Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Out and about

Statue of a ballerina, outside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden
Central London on a damp September morning:
  • Functional sports raincoats on the tube - Altura, Berghaus and Peter Storm.  Just one, rather dashing, belted trench coat.
  • An exchange of travel stories in the Primrose Bakery - "darling, there was a spider THIS big and she didn't even blink!"
  • A large, tofu-coloured van, delivering tofu to the Royal Opera House.
  • Europe's largest bookshop getting ready for an important book signing on Friday. The staff were fretting about whether there were enough sofas on the first floor.
  • A policeman on a Piccadilly Line train, standing feet apart, arms folded, staring down the length of the carriage.  I thought to myself, what a great way to people watch.
  • Enticing smells coming from the bistros and cafes in Covent Garden.
  • Small children from schools all over London visiting the British Museum to look at the Egyptian mummies - "It's GROSS!  They have jars full of BRAINS!".

I'd got cabin fever from sitting in the house sewing for the best part of two weeks, so I treated myself to a morning out today. 

I went to the British Museum (via a mysteriously circuitous route that also incorporated Waterstones in Piccadilly and the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden) with my iPod, so that I could listen to some of the podcasts of A History of the World in 100 Objects, whilst looking at the objects themselves.

I have been meaning to do this since the podcasts began back in January.  But every time I go to the museum, I seem to have C or O with me, and gazing at a miniature Incan gold llama for fifteen minutes while I listen to a podcast on my headphones is not very interesting for them.  This had to be a solitary pleasure.

I went, I listened, I saw and I had a lovely time.  Sometimes the solitary pleasures really are the best ones.


  1. It's probably not quite polite to comment 35 seconds after the post goes live, but it's a quiet night in the library tonight! I love History of the World, and you can just pop in and have a look. Oh I really feel a trip to London coming up! I'm afraid I've been in my functional Wolfskin raincoat this week, Avoca not quite cutting the grade!

  2. the husband has just commented on your cleverness as he too has been listening to the radio 4 i think you should both do some work!!
    glad you had a lovely time though,sometimes a few hours to yourself can be hugely healing I think!x

  3. I'd much rather Bill Granger than Cheryl Cole.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful thing to do. But feeling very uncultured now in comparison!

    Though I too would pick Bill Granger over Cheryl Cole--this is surely a sign of a cultured mind :)

    K x

  5. Yes, yes, absolutely re. Bill Granger over Cheryl Cole. I thought from the sofa comment that it was the Great Nigella visiting on Friday - I would have gone back if it had been.

  6. What a fabulous idea. I have been really enjoying the series and shall be quite sad when it's over.


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