London Travel Blog› entry 56 of 87 › view all entries
Roughly three hours after I intended to go up to London, I finally left the house. Dad was spending the day having needles stuck in him in the hospital, so I swallowed the guilt and went off to have fun for the day. The journey in (once I ascertained the low emission zone doesn't apply to Little Orange Cars) was uneventful, depriving me of the chance to share funny train excuse stories with you, and I made it to Barbican without so much as a scary looking creep on the tube to riff on here.
The Barbican is a fine example of late 70s/ early 80s architecture. I mean, you can totally see what they were trying to achieve. But it still has the air of a big ugly concrete lump.
This time it was the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art. The entire exhibition sort of forms one over-arching piece of concept art, in fact. It is presenting contemporary art, a lot of which puzzles the life out of me, as if it was contained in a sort of Martian version of the British Museum - "this piece of art seems to relate to some sort of kinship network" - that sort of thing. The majority of the art was totally incomprehensible, even to me, and I like a lot of contemporary art. Maybe I should have got the audio guide. But the flying double bass and the totem poll made of golf bags were fun.
The exhibition took about an hour, all told, including reading the tie letters. SO I'm not completely convinced it would be worth it full price. Oh well. I was meeting Lori at 5.30, so I had a bit of spare time to go a-wandering about the city. After a little thought, and a brief calculation about what was left on my brother's Oyster card, I went for a walk towards the river. By this point, I really wanted a coffee, and I thought that maybe the tower wouldn't be a bad place to look for one.
UNfortunately, when I went to the tower, none of the coffee smelt of coffee.
Naturally, the latte made really good friends with my hard-to-wash jumper. But caffeinne and sugar are good enough to forgive.
Initially I thought I would walk up to join Lori in Faringdon - it was only one stop from Barbican and that was about half an hour from where I was.
This alternative was to take the tube. The tube at 5.15 on a Tuesday is as close to purgatory as... the M25 on a bank holiday, that's how close it is to purgatory. Londoners must totally get free passes to heaven, unless they are actively evil, because 30 years on the tube would totally do the job of penance for you.
In Faringdon I explained to the nice Oxfam man that I was already signed up to their are you in campaign, and that my MP was sick of hearing from me about child trafficking. He grinned, and then Lori turned up bang on time, and we went to t'pub.
I can't remember what the pub was called, but it was one of the Wetherspoons. We had a really nice night talking nonsense, deciding that I was OK not to call my Most Recent Ex right now, and that actually, steak and pepsi for £7 was a great deal. it was with great reluctance that I went home to see mum, and hear about dad.
The hospital have tried every single vein they can think of, and have got a painkiller line in his leg. Tomorrow he will be well enough to visit, with luck, so I shan't be having any adventures then.
*The City, in this sense, means the square mile of towers fullof rich traders, stressed secretaries, and money. The City of London, as opposed to London, the city, which is several miles across and has a far smaller concentration of people who care that your trainers cost you £30 and are technically last season models.