Sunday, April 20, 2008

Greetings from (c)old soggy

Everyone here talks/complains about the weather constantly, so I may as well, too. It pretty much sucks. Arrival day was sunny, but windy and a bit chilly. Friday was very windy, grey, somewhat damp and COLD. I spent the day walking around Islington, with runny nose and watery eyes most of the time. But it was an enjoyable walk that included Camden Passage Market (not much going on there on Fridays), lunch at the S&M (Sausage and Mash) Cafe, another Banksy, and a nice little gallery of Italian art called the Estorick Collection.

After finishing with Islington, I took the overground to Finchley and Frognal and walked down the Finchley Road to catch the bus to St John's Wood to meet Spooner at his school. As luck would have it, I saw a charity shop and got a warm scarf for 2 pounds. At Spooner's school, we went to a concert that the kids were doing as a fundraiser for a school in Kenya, and then had dinner at the Princess of Wales pub in Primrose Hill.

Grey, cool and damp again on Saturday, but we were able to do most of what I had planned (a graphic art exhibit called AgitPop at the London Print Studio and the Camden Town Group painters at the Tate Britain), with the exception of the stroll around Chelsea -- when we got to the Royal Hospital, the rain that had been threatening all day started for real and the grounds of the hospital had just closed for the day, so we skipped that as well as Cheyne Walk and headed for a caff instead. The day ended with a concert of Welsh choirs at Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square -- some fine voices, but a very odd assortment of numbers, many sung in a language consisting mainly of G and W and totally without vowels, and a lot of stuff about the Risen Lord and Amen, Amen, Amen. The popular numbers were the strangest -- the theme from The Rose, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, When You Walk Through a Storm, and -- weirdest of all for us Yankees -- Elvis' American Trilogy of Dixie, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and All My Trials.

Today, we're heading to Moorgate where we'll begin a walk around Smithfield Market and various dark and mysterious alleys in the City. It's somewhat warmer and not raining yet, but still grey. I guess you just learn to live with it.

End-of-day update: The afternoon turned out to be sunny and nice, so after the City walk we went to Covent Garden Market (ScribeGirl and rosenbeans will be happy to hear that I scored the soap and tea for them), walked through the Embankment Garden, and did a little food shopping in Chinatown.


  1. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Hate to tell you, but we've been having gorgeous weather -- sunny and in the 70s. All the trees are leafing -- you can almost see it. Do you only eat mash if you're a vegetarian at the S&M? The Welsh concert sounds swell -- did I ever tell you I know the Welsh national anthem, in a garbled syllable-by-syllable version? What is in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, of all things? Park-like? We saw Lou Reed at the Calvin last night. Good. Holiday today -- for Patriots Day, i.e., Boston Marathon. As you go through your London version!

  2. We're back home after the big weekend and the weather here is humid and warm. Don't know if we'll have rain this week, but there's a chance. Just keep piling on those layers and keep a stiff upper lip!

  3. I had a veggie sausage buttie (sandwich) at the S&M, and a huge plate of fish & chips at the Princess of Wales. The Royal Hospital, a home for old soldiers and sailors, is one of Christopher Wren's buildings, and the grounds are where the Chelsea Flower Show is held every year in May. I had really wanted to see the little old pensioners strolling about in their red coats. It will have to go back on the spreadsheet for a future visit.