London Notes #3

Today* we braved the weather – showery – and went into central London. The idea was to go to the V&A via an outdoor kit shop so D could buy a cagoule, move on to South Kensington books, and to spend as little money as possible (on non-book things). We failed in every way.

We didn’t see a cag shop on the way to the V&A, and although we did go into the museum** we only stayed for the length of time it took to find the loos and get a cup of coffee in the cafe: it was too busy, noisy, and hot to focus on world design; I couldn’t tell Canova from Kahlo in that din. So we wandered up Brompton Road and landed in Harrods food hall where I spent my entire week’s food budget on a tiny French cheese and a slice of chocolate torte.

What’s happened to the food hall at Harrods, it seemed much shrunken since I was last there, and about five times more expensive? It’s no longer the local supermarket of Knightsbridge ladies, but a spectacle for tourists. One of the things I used to like most about going there was seeing terribly elegant old ladies filling trollies with everyday groceries, or dashing in for truffles to enrich a mushroom risotto that was proving a little too dull. There wasn’t an elegant anything to be seen in the whole place, so we made for Covent Garden.

Where we finally found a Mountain Warehouse (with a sale) and rendered D showerproof. But not before triggering an overdraft with two gin and tonics in the Nag’s Head, and picking up a small canvas messenger bag for me so I don’t have to lug an enormous rucksack around all the time.

Daily Observation

It’s almost impossible not to spend significantly in London, even the charity shops we ventured into were beyond my budget, no wonder people feel they have to work themselves to death. I realise I could too easily slip back into that lifestyle: working to buy things I don’t have time to appreciate because all my time is spent working. Luckily there’s no chance of that happening in Moffat.


*the 10th, I left posting this till the next morning so I could check it for illegible sentences in a less tired state.

**free but for certain exhibitions, for example they have a Frida Kahlo exhibition on at the moment and it costs £15, which I’d happily have paid if there weren’t so many people in the queue.

10 Comments

  1. Such a sad indictment of London Life. G and I have wonderful memories of scouring the highs and lows of London back in the 90’s, but a short trip down there four years ago convinced me I’d never return to central L. However we have friends in various suburbs that still feel ‘villageish’ and I’m sure you’re canny enough to have a feast – belly and eye without spending a fortune. Enjoy.

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    1. August probably isn’t the best time to come to London, it’s far too busy. However, Blackheath where we are staying is lovely and villagey, and we’ve got friends coming over this afternoon which will be delightful.

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  2. The MITM was talking about another visit to London, but not anytime soon! I think he’s waiting for the exchange rate to be more favorable to the dollar. ;~) The last time I was there, we went to the Tate Modern and saw the Kahlo exhibit. (Yikes! Just googled when that was – 2005!!) He was there far more recently because of work. I’m still drinking the Fortnum and Mason tea he brought home. xoxo

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    1. Tate Modern is one of my favourite places in the whole world, I love the space and light of the Turbine Hall especially, and am looking forward to seeing the new extension this trip. I think there’s a Picasso exhibition on too! xoxoxo

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      1. Same here! The more I try to avoid temptation, the more I seem to give in! If I could have everything I wanted then I wouldn’t want it! AArrrrgh!
        Sx

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