On Thursday last week, I went to London for the day. I usually have a day there once or twice a year – sometimes on my own, sometimes visiting a friend. I’ve been very lucky with the weather, but this time it seemed things would be different. The weather forecasters painted a picture of doom and gloom: high winds, torrential rain, plagues of frogs. I may have misheard the bit about the frogs, but in general the advice was to brace yourself, it’s going to rain.
I’d booked my train ticket and a day off work some time ago, so there was no easy way to change my plans. And as it turned out, things weren’t SO bad. There were very high winds, and at one point it rained in biblical proportions, but I was pretty fortunate when it came to avoiding the worst of it. When the torrent of rain started, I was on a bus bound for Tate Modern, and so was perfectly dry. I was shocked as the bus stopped to pick up passengers who’d been caught out by the rain: one poor woman in particular looked as though she had been thrown, fully clothed, into a swimming pool. The bus finally arrived near the gallery, and I ran straight from the bus into a nearby shop, where I waited for about 20 minutes for the rain to subside. There were dozens of people doing the same thing, and more arrived all the time.
Because the winds were so strong, the rainstorm was swept away reasonably quickly and replaced for an hour or so by clear blue skies – this photo shows some of the storm clouds disappearing off into the distance.
I went to Tate Modern to look at the sunflower seeds that have been in the news so much – it was certainly interesting to see them, but such a shame that it’s now fenced off and not the interactive exhibit it was created to be. After that I moved on to the Bankside Gallery, which was the real reason for my trip that day: an exhibition by artists from St Jude’s Gallery in Norfolk. I enjoyed looking at their work, and hope one day to buy a print for my home.
Earlier in the day I’d had a wonderful lunch at Wahaca, Thomasina Miers’ Mexican restaurant. If you’re in Covent Garden and like Mexican food, don’t miss out. The food is fresh and delicious, and the flan I had was amazing (I don’t usually even like flan, but something made me order it and I’m glad I did).
The rest of the day I spent pottering around shops – I really enjoyed visiting Heal’s and Liberty, and the Christmas decorations in Covent Garden are very stylish and tasteful (not words I’d usually use to describe Christmas lights in a shopping district – the ones on Regent Street seemed rather weak in comparison). I took a late train home and was back around 10.30pm – a long day, but a worthwhile one – although it has to be said that long train rides at night are incredibly boring since there is no scenery to look at.