There is a reason why London is one of the greatest cities in the world. I’m not going into all that now, I’m just going to describe my day, which wasn’t very spectacular but just an ordinary Saturday. An early start with a breakfast of beans, toast and honey, tea and some cherries. Rainy outside. Classic FM on, with compositions that made me cry (in a good way). Some lazing about as I wondered what to do – should I go to the photography exhibition at the Tate, or the National Gallery, or at the National Maritime Museum, or the exhibition at the Royal Academy? I decided on the exhibition at Somerset House – Tim Walker: Storyteller. Not because I have an affinity towards fashion photography but one, because it was free (sorry) and two, I could get there very easily by bus (I have a renewed love for bus travel, especially for upper decks).
I’m very glad I went. I’d never been to Somerset House before, and today it was absolutely lovely. There was skating in the courtyard in front of the Christmas Tree. The photographs themselves were stunning – high fashion combined with giant dolls, skeletons, bugs and reptiles. Photos that should have looked chaotic looked strangely well balanced. I loved it. The “props” from these photos were part of the exhibition – so there was the larger than life skeleton hanging from the ceiling, the snail crawling up the wall, the giant doll standing in a corner. Even the painted radiator from his pictures was about but I’m not sure if that wasn’t just part of the room and not necessarily the exhibition.
I crossed over into Covent Garden afterwards, hunting for Barbour jackets, which turned out to be harder than I anticipated – I visited two of their stores, walking through the hell that is Regent Street on a wet weekend evening just before Christmas. Bloody umbrellas, a grouchy Londoner behind me whined (no doubt at me). I had another bus ride back, the rain (heavier now) obscuring the view and distorting the lights outside the windows. I said hello to the lit Norwegian spruce at Trafalgar Square. Hello to the National Gallery – I owe you a visit. Back home and back to Classic FM.