Friday, 19 July 2013

A Tourist at Home

I have a house guest - she whose blog name is Nicole Sauvage - all the way from Macon, Georgia (which I learn that, unlike its French counterpart, is pronounced to rhyme with bacon) by way of Paris.

So last night we had a very traditional English supper: cold trout with salad, followed by summer pudding and all washed down with Pimms.  Sadly the Swan Whisperer couldn't join us as he had a nasty fall at Dance Club (fuelled, I suspect, by having drunk all the Tinto de Verano before he went), and had to spend the evening in A&E having a badly cut knee dressed.  He didn't reappear until nearly midnight.

And this morning after breakfast Dr Sauvage and I headed on out.  We walked down into Brixton and then caught a 159 outside Lambeth Town Hall, and sat on it all the way to Paddington Basin. I wasn't very sure how we could get where we were going from there, but a very kind bus driver said that What We Needed was a no 7 from outside Paddington Station, so we walked there, and our walk took us via St Mary's Hospital which is full of paparazzi waiting for the Royal Birth.  No sign of TRH, of course - if I were her, I'd have it in the wilds of Welsh Wales and tell people afterwards; after all, they no longer need the Home Secretary to come and check that it wasn't a changeling smuggled in in a warming-pan like whoever it was meant to have been.  Anyway, no sign of any excitement, so we headed on to the bus stop and got on a no 7 to Russell Square.

We were a little early to meet the Daughter, so ensconced ourselves comfortably on a bench in the shade and then texted her, and she texted back in about 5 minutes to say come on over, so we did and she met us downstairs and showed us round various bits of Senate House. As Dr Sauvage so rightly commented, it looks exactly like a Fascist or Communist headquarters - wasn't it used as one in some television programme or other?  I know it was used for The Day of the Triffids.

After this, we had lunch in the local Prets, which has quadrupled in size since I used to work upstairs from it, and then the Daughter had to rush back to work, so we finished our fizzy water and then caught a 91 bus down to Trafalgar Square, only we sat downstairs which was a Big Mistake as we couldn't see the entrance to the Aldwych Tram Tunnel properly, nor Bush House.  We could see Somerset House, though.

We got off the bus at Charing Cross and made our way to the National Gallery.  Dr Sauvage had two things she wanted to see, which were luckily almost at opposite ends of the gallery - Hogarth's Marriage a la Mode, and the Marriage at Arnolfi.  So we went to the one and then wandered slowly to the other, stopping to look at whatever caught our fancy - and a great deal did!  Then we wandered back by a slightly different route, and so to the gift shops where postcards were bought.

And then a potter around Trafalgar Square before heading underground again to Tooting Bec, as Dr Sauvage wanted to buy a shalwar kameez, which she duly did.  I was very tempted, but persuaded myself I didn't really need one.  Sadly, the sari shop is closing down soon - I bought my set there, so did my mother, and Sasha0407....

Then we caught a 355 bus home, and are now relaxing with a cup of tea before heading out to Brixton Village to get some supper.  Tomorrow is another day.

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