Bowery Mural

London day 2

Monday, 16 May 2011

I woke up was a bit sad that i wasn't able to go and meet some friends for the picnic but I decided that I'd go to oneof my favourite places, Tate Modern. I ate my banana and drunk my orange juice from my little brown bag and made my way to Old Street tube station (taking note of the exit as i ended up at the other side of a massive roundabout the previous night). I hopped on the tube and got off a few stops south then made my way through Borough market area to the south bank (with a little help from the maps on my iPhone). I meandered through tight winding streets just before I reached the river, drenched in sunshine. I swithered whether to stop for a more substantial breakfast but decided against that and kept walking and looking and listening and all this with the sun beating down on my whole being. This was a good time to be me.

I wondered further and came upon the Globe theatre. The area was mobbed. School groups and tourists alike. I took a few snaps and carried on to Tate Modern. I was pleased to when i arrived because my plan was just to wander and see whatever i could see but it just so happened there was a Miro exhibition on so i jumped at the chance to see it. I love Joan Miro art, well most of it. Ever since me and Karen went to Barcelona and bought a Barca poster by Miro we've liked his stuff.
Miro and Tate

Ai Weiwei seeds, vast area

Anyway first of all I wanted to see the sunflower seeds. I headed to the Turbine hall where they are and looked. As far as you can see to a set of large doors at the back of a vast space they're there. Grey hand painted seeds. I wanted to take one but of course you're not allowed. Admittedly i don't get it. I liked what I saw. I imagined the patience and effort it must've taken to do it and place them all there but i didn't get it. What does it represent? I'm sure you're going to say there was information up about it but i didn't have a chance to read it as i had to make my way to the 4th floor to catch the 11am Miro exhibition. I'm not sure why there was a timeslot but it was 11.20am when i bought the ticket, the ticket had '11am showing' on it and you had to be there within half and hour of the time on the ticket. Explain?

Anyway I made my way up to the 4th floor and wanted to get an audio description of the galleries but it was an extra £4 and i'd just gave the girl £15 for the exhibition (she kind of looked at me with disdain when i handed her a Scottish £10 and £5 note, took it though). Yes, I'm a cheapskate. I wondered slowly through the various rooms where there were about 5 to 6 pieces of art, size dependant of course. Some of it went straight over my head but most art does. What I like is colour and lines and shapes and there was an abundance on show. The little notes beside the pictures i find strange. Do they tell you what the artist thought when he painted them or do they tell you how you are supposed to feel when you look at them?
Miro self portrait, revised edition
 Anyway after i'd seen everything and digested as much as I could, I left - via the gift shop! and got a cup of tea. By this time it was after 12 and I was starting to feel hungry. Too late for breakfast, too early for lunch. I made my way to the main gift shop on the basement level and bought a few postcards and other bits n bobs for the boys then headed out into the boiling sunshine and across the bridge towards St Pauls.

Lunchtime steps
 The area was swarming with people in shirts and ties and skirts and smart blouses as well as tourists. From my trip to London i learned that large tourist groups stay together as someone at the front get the unfortunate job of holding a mini flag of their country aloft so they can follow it, poor thing!

I walked and walked passing each food establishment with my usual silent voice saying no, it's too early to eat keep going. I eventually made my way to Bank tube and decided I'd head to the bright lights of Oxford Street area. I wouldn't shop though. Not at this time. I arrived and made my way down regent street which was adorned with union jack flags as bunting. I hadn't seen this much bunting and crowds since Cowie gala day circa 1987!
Bunting and flags, Royal Wedding prep

I wandered along Regent Street taking in the Apple Store as I went. Just for a look mind you and to use the chargers. A conversation I overheard in there went something like this...
Customer: so you don't have any iPad 2's in stock?
Apple person: No but you can order online and it'll be here within 2 weeks.
C: No, I just want to walk in somewhere and buy it. Now!
A: Sorry but there's been a shortage.
C: Well I bet if I go to Curry's I'll be able to walk in and get one. That's what i'll do. *harrumph*
And with that he took himself and his entourage to Curry's, somewhere, I wonder if he got his iPad2.

Apple store crowds
 After my phone was suitably charged with some more juice I headed out once again into the sunshine. It really was hot and by the time my stomach thought my throat had been cut. I was starving! I noticed a Slug and Lettuce off a side street so popped in there and ordered a HUGE burger, fries, a Coke and a much needed cup of tea. It wasn't too busy which was surprising as it was what i would say lunch time (about 1.30-2pm). Anyway my food was delivered pronto and I waded in. The burger was so huge I had to cut it in half to be able to eat it was a smidgen of dignity. Why are portion sizes so big?! Also, another thing I don't really like/get. I get that serving burgers and salad may look good on a wooden bread board type thing but to eat... it's not very practical. One, they're usually too small and half the salad almost always ends up on the table or on you and two, hygiene! Can you really scrub one of those boards as clean as a plate? I mean, really?!! eek. As I devoured this burger those thoughts weren't in my head though. Slugging down my cola and savouring my cup of tea for a little while longer I decided I'd have a little wander around some more and then head back to the hotel. And that's what I did. It was nearly time for my hair appointment.

After my hair was done it was back to the hotel for a quick change and out to a London meet140. I thought it would be good as I hadn't seen Mark for a while. The area was hoaching with people and I managed to find the venue no problem. I met a couple of nice people who spoke to me but to be honest others were not as keen and as I stood at the bar for nearly half an hour trying not to look like a saddo whilst pretending to be busy on my phone (I was on a tweeting DM mission to a friend), I decided that this was definitely not my scene. The people I'd spoken to earlier were gone. The people left were all into their own conversations. I'm not a good approacher. However I was sort of saved for about 10 minutes when a girl came to the bar for a drink and invited me to sit with them. I'm grateful to her. By this time it was near 10pm and i couldn't wait to get out of there. Mark has disappeared earlier without a goodbye and i just wanted to be gone. So i did. That was interesting, and one i'll put down to experience(!)...

When I came out into the balmy night air it just so happened to be at the same time as many shows were finishing so people were pouring out of the theatres from a hundred different exits. I headed to Piccadilly circus tube which wasn't too far away and lo and behold i found a Boots that was opened until Midnight! yes, Midnight! (now London people, this may not seem strange to you but to me who's shops close at 5, wow this was a revelation, and you just know there are things I'd forgotten to bring with me so i stocked up while i had the chance). Back at the hotel was lively again. I sat at the bank of iMacs and wrote a short blog post and tweeted for a bit then it was time for my tired little self to go to bed. I was kinda hungry by now. Too late for room service (or a huge meal) so I bought a can of Coke and a Twix from reception for a £1. Yes, £1 for both. Another reason The Hoxton was a good hotel. No hefty prices.

I settled in to bed and dreamt about what tomorrow would bring. Until then...

Angela x

Oh, I nearly forgot. I saw one of the people I follow and chat to on Twitter at Old Street tube station and I was so taken aback that I didn't have the guts to say hello to him. You know who you are. I'm sorry x


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