29 October 2008

In the city there are a thousand things to do

I'm taking a few days holiday (use it or lose it) and am trying to make the most of the extra free time. Tickets for the recording of a radio show gave the opportunity to see some of London, so I did.

First port of call was the Tate Modern on the south bank of the Thames, always worth a visit. The installation in the former Turbine Hall was typically huge, interesting and (to me at least) confusing. I have no idea what the point of dozens of metal bunk beds is but it makes an effective display and was clearly appreciate by all the people walking through it.

I also had a quick look at Material Gestures, an exhibition "devoted to painting and sculpture from the 1940s and 1950s, showing how new forms of abstraction and expressive figuration emerged in post-war Europe and America". A lot of this I really liked and some of it I really hated, but that's what I expect from modern art.

Leaving the Tate Modern on foot there are two scenic options, along the south bank or cross the rover on the Millennium Bridge. I took the bridge where I took the above picture of the city. The tall building on the far left was called the NatWest Tower originally and I worked there for a few months way back in '93.

The path from the Millennium Bridge leads up to St Paul's Cathedral where I had a much appreciated coffee and a cake at one of the Starbucks nearby. I was surprised that there was no wi-fi there so my twitter silence had to continue for a few hours more.

After the bun it was time for a pizza and so it was off to the Pizza Express in Charlotte Street. Tried to work out how many different Pizza Expresses I've been too and came up with the answer 12 to 15. Not sure if that is too many or too few.

From there it was a short stroll to the Drill Hall Theatre for the recording of BBC Radio 4 comedy The Party Line. Was not too surprised to see some of The Now Show audience regulars there and spoke to some of them while waiting for the theatre to open.

The show was good entertainment both because of the topical satirical script (well, it is written by The Now Show's Punt and Dennis) and because of the interactions between the cast, particularly when cock-ups were made.

Finally, back to Richmond for a few drinks in the Angel and Crown, the chili vodka was excellent! The perfect end to a perfect day.

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