A week ago today I was in London, visiting a friend in Bethnal Green. We spent the afternoon walking around Brick Lane and Spitalfields market, and looking at some of the graffiti that adorns the walls of disused buildings in that area.
This picture shows a Banksy, the first time I’ve seen one in the wild. (We went to New York a few years ago and were in the Museum of Natural History at the same time as the high-tech beetles he snuck into a display cage, but didn’t know about them and failed to spot them.) It’s been there a while and has been altered a bit – both by the council and by other graffiti artists – you can see what it looked like originally on Flickr.
I really enjoyed my day and have planned a return visit to London for July. I’m going to go to Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, and have a walk along the South Bank of the River Thames (I hope I’ll see some Space Invaders!). I’ve done that walk before not so long ago, but didn’t spend any time in the Tate on that day, and I don’t think I’ve ever been inside St Paul’s. If time permits, I’ll go to Liberty’s for a look around their fabric department.
Part of the reason for the return trip is that I found a website selling cheap train tickets to London. If you’re in the UK you might want to look at Megatrain – I’m paying £12 for a return train ticket from Nottingham. You have to be willing to travel at somewhat unpopular times, but they aren’t too antisocial. I get to London at 1.30pm, and come home on a train that leaves London at 8.30pm. And since most of London’s museum’s are free, it makes for a not-too-expensive day out.