Friday, 6 June 2014

A sunny day (or two) in London Town

1st June 2014

This morning we walked up the Regent’s Canal as far as Blow-up Bridge and crossed over to Regent’s Park.  After we had picked our way past all the runners (there was the monthly 10K race taking place) and the families playing with balls and frisbees, we could let the notorious ball thief off the lead for a run.  We could hear the gibbons or monkeys or whatever the noisy things are in the zoo but Meg wasn’t at all bothered by them – old Tess would have barked every time she heard them!  We walked round the boating lake

1 regents park  boating lake

and then back to the boat via Paddington Green, discovering a delightful park next door to it, St Mary’s Churchyard, which is only 5 minutes from the basin.  You get to it by walking north from the basin towards the Westway flyover which has a convenient underpass with the traffic on either side controlled by pedestrian crossings.  It’s much better than taking your dog to the little green patch near the end of the basin and dodging the security guards – we realised there are discreet ‘no dogs on the grass’ notices only after we had used it a few times.

After lunch we made for Tate Modern where we met daughter Liz again for a bit more culture.  On the way we passed various entertainers, including this jolly little band on the beach;  there wasn’t room on the bank with the throngs of tourists.

4 cheerful band playing  libertango

As usual in Tate Modern there is good stuff and stuff to mock.  We went to see the Rothko Seagram murals, one of which was vandalised a while ago and has been painstakingly restored.  They are surprisingly restful to look at.  Then there was another work, looking from a distance like a curved horn but which turned out to be a carefully positioned cut in a blank canvas.  This is what the info said …

6 pretentious tosh

Well we are only a bit cultured so we thought this was tosh.  We also saw the installation noted by another blogger (sorry can’t remember who you are) which looked like something you could buy in Jewson’s – sections of air conditioning ducts.  Its creator recommends that every time this work is moved to another gallery it should be assembled in a different way …. and she has also given up art and turned to sociology or something similar.  So there you are.  We were amused by this though – a goth boater’s hose nightmare!  Wouldn’t want to get that round your prop.

7 goth boaters hose nightmare

We took a couple of photos before Liz fetched her bike to cycle home.

10 dave and liz tate balcony

After a walk with Meg in St Mary's Churchyard park we went off to Zizzi’s for a lovely meal.

2nd June 2014

Though we heard a boat creeping out in pouring rain at 5.30, the rest of the day was quite sunny again.  Derwent 6 also left quite early – we recognised their name from other blogs but did not have the opportunity to say hello, but at least we waved as they went!

The towpaths were very busy this morning – not with wandering sightseers but with commuters and cyclists all on a mission with coffee or mobile in hand, all walking twice as fast as yesterday’s strollers.

No sightseeing today – we feel a relaxing day is in order, starting with a walk for Meg in St Mary's Churchyard.

2 st marys church field

Dave spent the morning getting some varnishing done, while I went off to buy a pair of running shoes in the Asics store in Oxford Street – quite quiet at 10 on a Monday morning! I caught a bus back, using my free pass, hurray!  Then got some supplies in while Dave finished his varnishing, and took Meg for another quick walk in the park.  On the way back we saw a flock of street cleaners waiting to cross the road – their depot is under the Westway flyover, and it must have been the end of their shift.

3 flock of street cleaners end of shift

After lunch we strolled over to Kensington Gardens where Dave and Meg played ball and read the paper (not necessarily in that order).

Is he ever going to pick that ball up?

12 waiting for the ball in ken gardens

I went off to try out my new running shoes which are great.  I took in the Albert Memorial

8 albert 2   9 albert mem 2

and the bronze statue called Physical Energy.

11 physical energy

We strolled back in the sunshine past the Italian garden with its fountains

15 italian garden fountains

and had a quiet evening in.

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