Let It Rain (London Day Five)

We met Jan and Anna at the Patisserie at about 830am for an English Breakfast. We enjoyed it and had a nice time. Thanks for picking up the tab, Jan! It was raining lightly as we headed to the tube station and down to the District line platforms for our ride to Westminster where we changed for the Jubilee line to Southwark. Happily, the Jubilee line is running through Friday before closing again for the duration of the trip.

We came up and it was raining a bit harder and we walked over to the Tate Modern, arriving at 958am, just before opening. We went in and bought our tickets to the Pop Life exhibit. We did something we normally don’t do and actually used the cloak room because we had gloves, jackets, scarves, jumpers, umbrellas, hats, and backpacks.

As for Pop Life it was heavy on Warhol and Haring and that’s not a bad thing. There were other artists that weren’t as famous but equally good. There were quite a number of over 16 only exhibits because of explicit content. They work it differently here. Each one has a docent that warns the guardian of the content and sends them in. The guardian then has the choice to bring his/her child into the exhibit. Simple nudity wasn’t protected but there were some more graphic details that were. And one room was so graphic, the four of us all left quickly. Who knew that was art?

There were also exhibits with dead calves and horses (ew) and a really cool one with twins sitting and doing identical things under colour polka-dots. I know it sounds weird, but it was really good. We then did the rest of the fourth floor galleries and I rather enjoyed it so far as did Karen. I’m not sure that they did, though and after running through those galleries, they decided to go shopping but not before we took some photographs. After they left for Oxford Circus in the deluge, we finished the museum before walking across the Millennium Bridge, nearly being blown off in the high winds. Karen’s umbrella committed suicide halfway across. We stopped at Costa Coffee (like Nero’s, it’s a local place similar to Starbucks but better) to warm up, before popping on the tube to Holborn and changing for the Piccadilly and off to Harrods.

Whilst this wasn’t the plan, due to the weather we felt we had no other choice. Apparently, every other person in London had the same idea. We went to the top floor (5) and worked our way down. We bought nothing except in the pharmacy (knee bandage and ice pack for Karen) and the food halls (scones). We rested until it was time to go, and I called my office. My employees seem to spend a disproportionate time whining about other employees and and making assumptions based on things they’ve heard, much of which isn’t even true. Blech. We also were looking for a fountain pen for one of Karen’s clients but were unable to find the appropriate one.

We hopped the tube and went to Covent garden for dinner at Belgo Centraal, a fine Belgian restaurant that is always tasty. The food was excellent, but they brought our bread, starters, and mains at the same time, followed by our drinks a little later. Very confusing but we enjoyed ourselves. We thought we’d see a movie and walked to Leicester Square but we missed the current batch, and didn’t want to kill two hours hanging around. We walked through visiting the shit shops* looking for a particular item. No luck.

Karen wanted to walk, so we continued to Piccadilly Circus, continued on to Green Park, had some coffee, continued on through to Hyde Park Corner, then Knightsbridge, where we stopped at Marks and Spencer’s Local (that’s the supermarket part of their chain). After that we went up the street to Lord’s to pick up some crisps before continuing on to South Kensington, and then almost through to Gloucester Road where our hotel was. Take a look at the walk from Covent Garden to Gloucester Road following the tube on city streets. That’s a hard walk in 45oF in the rain and wind.

Tomorrow is subject to the weather.

There’s an article in today’s Daily Telegraph (one of London’s many daily papers) about lions in South Africa facing slaughter. It’s a horrible article. I won’t mention most of it except to quote one of the guys breeding lions: “We don’t breed lions to kill them, we breed them to hunt them.” How the hell is that different? They take £20,000 for someone to hunt and kill a male, £8,000 for a female. More on the dodgy logic here.

I don’t find myself in agreement with Tom Ridge very often, but I do agree on this point. The ex-Bushie doesn’t think Terrorists should have the same range of rights as the rest of our citizens, and quite frankly I agree. Here’s the comments. I am not in total agreement but am in agreement on the sentiment as a whole. And along those lines, why are privacy concerns about seeing your privates such an issue? The technology to find those concealed packets already exists, but what is everyone worried about? A screener might see your tackle. Seriously. They use these overseas and it’s not a big deal. You’d rather blow up? Nice.

*These are those shops selling all those London and Union Jack souvenirs.

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