Weekend so far…

…has been quite placid.

On Saturday we decided to go to Tate Britain for the photography exhibition. As usual, for an exhibition that is about to close (our bad, as we always vow not to wait until the last minute to see something but somehow always do), it was mobbed. The fact that many of the items were small, with long captions that need to be read, meant that there was quite a mob at each photo/picture. A very cute man with cutoff jeans and flip flops and a great tan was ahead of us most of the time, and, frankly, I probably looked more at him than at most of the exhibits. As it was British photography from the mid-1800’s to today, much of it had cultural overtones and resonances that I could not entirely understand, not having been here as a youngster. There was a pictorial of the area around the Elephant in the mid-1940’s that was quite interesting, though. I suppose I should take some pictures before the whole thing goes up the spout, as it’s apt to do shortly.

We then walked to St. James’s Park, having thoughtfully brought a blanket to sit on, our iPods to listen to, and books and newspapers to read. We took some pictures along the way:

We went by the new Home Office building on Marsham Street, an energy-efficient building that looks like some sort of defensive wall with openings for gun emplacements (perhaps quite appropriate). The sign is nearly invisible, as it’s embossed letters on a shiny background. You need to get really close to discern the letters.

We then continued walking past the old “Public Baths”, given to a grateful populace by the local Church of England parish; it’s now some sort of religious centre, where now sins can be washed away by faith, if the sign in the window is to be believed.

and the dedication plaque as well:

Getting to the end of the street, we saw Westminster Abbey as tourists.

and HWMBO wanted a pictures in an alley with interesting shadows, just by the European Union representative office.

In 1995, my Christmas Letter was accompanied by a less artful picture of me standing under this street sign. Recreating the scene 12 years later, here’s a much better view.

When we got to the park, we sat in a spot just off the Mall, and I took a picture of the Eye. I discovered that my exposure setting was much too high to take pictures of such things well (the structure disappears in the sunlight) and, by lowering the exposure, I did a much better job:

A very pretty pair of young women perched next to us, applied makeup (perhaps they were going out on the town later), ate, read, and generally made merry until a park attendant came and demanded rent for the deck chairs they were sitting in.

They then moved away, exposing what they’d left behind. I do wish people wouldn’t litter like that, expecially since there are plentiful trash baskets around.

Some young men were walking by, and their backs seemed to present a challenge for photography.

As the afternoon progressed, people moved around to capture the last few rays of sun on their Vitamin-D-deprived skin.

We then walked up to Kingsway and ate at Belgo, a part of a Belgian restaurant chain. HWMBO had chicken and drank an apple beer of which he is fond, and I had a Swiss burger and a Hoegaarten. We walked home from there, and boy did my legs ache on Sunday.

On Sunday, after a reasonable Eucharist for a change, with Sheila, a priest at a neighbouring parish, presiding, I came home and realised that I was dog-tired. So we stayed home Sunday, fed the squirrels, and rested. In the afternoon HWMBO watched the 1979 remake of “A Lady Vanishes“, and didn’t like it very much. I made a meatloaf for dinner, and after dinner we watched the 1938 Hitchcock version, which HWMBO thought greatly superior to the remake. As I didn’t watch the remake, I must confess I did enjoy Hitchcock’s version quite a bit. At the very end Victoria Station appears, and except for the antique trains and the absence of the awful new concession stands, it’s the same now as it was then.

Just before retiring I made our usual perimeter check of the house, and turned on the outside light to look at the back garden. Lo and behold, someone’s cat was on our windowsill, meowing to be let in and fed (I think). HWMBO and I conferred, and I thought it would be better not to let the cat in, as it probably did belong to someone.

Today we’re off to East London this afternoon to see our friend Rosemary compete in a dressage competition, and have dinner with her. The wonder of this entire weekend is that it has been sunny and almost cloudless, although it is a Bank Holiday and, traditionally, English Bank Holidays are damp (if not actually bucketing down) and cloudy and cold.

Long may it continue!

2 Responses to “Weekend so far…”

  1. keith_london says:

    First “Global Cities” then Tate Britain – I think I might follow in your footsteps! 🙂

    Very nice photos!

  2. ruth_lawrence says:

    I very much enjoyed seeing The Tate with you, and it’s good to see picutes of London 🙂

    she-who-was curlygrrrl