I woke up with Allie at 7am. She busied herself getting ready to go to work for the next hour, during which time I stayed in bed, feeling progressively more and more lazy as time went by.
This normally has the effect of making me feel like I've had an eighteen-hour sleep marathon by 8am, resulting in me getting up and starting the day in sheer shame, a veritably unheard-of occurence. Today I managed to conquer the guilt-laziness tie-in and fell asleep five minutes after the front door slammed, waking up at the more shockingly slobbish time of 10:45.
At this point I had some toast, and as the war coverage appeared to have vanished, I channel-hopped between Cliff Richard's 'Summer Holiday' and a Laurel and Hardy film on BBC2, where Stan and Olly were in the French Foreign Legion, imprisoned, and due to be executed at dawn for some reason. Stan helpfully pointed out that the gaoler had left his keys in the cell lock. Olly growled and took off his hat in frustration.
Getting dressed, I left the house and wandered down to Cutty Sark Docklands Light Railway Station, and took the train to Bank, from where I wandered up to the Royal Bank Of Scotland Offices in Liverpool Street. After sitting in a luxurious white leather sofa in the foyer, reading my book and fending off the receptionists' regular offers of hot drinks, Alice came down and we went and had lunch in a place called The Grape Shot. I had a Chicken and Chesnut Pie, or rather Chicken and Chesnut stew with a massive, six-inch-thick wafer of puff pastry resting pathetically off centre on the top in an attempt to impersonate a pie.
Allie had a Cumberland Sausage Baguette. And some cheesy chips. I'm telling you, this was a classy joint.
After lunch I caught the tube to The National Gallery, and charged into the exhibition, determined with one thing only - to get the name of a painting I saw about four months ago in there. I wrote it down in a handy tiny notebook, which I then lost. I rushed in, and the bloody painting had gone. However, the nice lady at the information desk instantly knew which painting I was talking about, showed it to me in a huge tome of a book she had behind the counter, and told me where it was now (Hamburg). I was understandably a little deflated at this news, as I was planning on trying to squeeze in the Natural History Museum that afternoon as well, and Hamburg wasn't really on the agenda.
Then she produced a print of it and told me they had them on sale in the gift shop.
Hurrah. A genuine copy postcard for my wall.
The Natural History Museum was so good I couldn't take it for very long, so I went to the Science Museum as well, and was kind of impressed by it all. The best bit of the two museums for me was the free 'Earth From The Sky' photography exhibition outside the Natural History Museum - the photos are enormous, beautiful and stunning, of all sorts of land and sea and city-scapes...I was there longer than in either of the museums...which might account for 'Culture Overdose' setting in by the end of the tour.
I am now sitting in an internet café near Leicester Square, and I'm off to my first 'Second Thursday' a regular monthly convivial meeting of people I know from university, mostly through RaW, the student radio station at Warwick. Seeing as I'm a tiny bit more local, I might be making more of these things now. I'm off to On Anon where drinking will definitely be indulged in.