Friday, September 02, 2016

At large in London with Bob

A day of birthdays. Anton, off to a wedding, and Bob, who I went up to London to meet. I met him at Trafalgar Square, and having arrived early I paced three times about Nelson's column, and I successfully summoned him.  We went off to the Nell Gwynne for a cheeky beer, where a man stared me in the eyes as if I were on TV for a while. Very odd. However a good chat, then we went to the Courtauld Gallery where there was an exhibition of Georgiana Houghton's work. She lived 1814-1884) and was a spiritualist medium, and did abstract watercolours, her hand guided by various spirits. Her work reminded me of outsider artists. This and other pictures looked at, Bob interrogating  A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Manet, when I told him the reflection of the girl was in the wrong place.

From there to pubs, briefly to the Bank then to The Seven Stars, which is a splendid pub behind the royal courts of justice and legal folks go there. I sat in there alone for a bit while Bob popped into a tailors where he was having his trousers adjusted. And experienced a kind of timeless moment, in the little low ceilinged place, with hops hanging down, and its posters of old English films, and Bleak House characters lurking about. Then to have a nice indian meal near St Paul's cathedral before I hopped on a train home at Blackfriars.

Home to Lorraine. I've been fighting a nasty bug lately, and my throat felt shredded by the time I got home in fine rain. But I'd had a good day with Bob, always nice to lurk about in some of our old haunts. Bob in good spirits, and plenty to chat about as usual. His daughter Millie was having, at 12, her first date today (an afternoon cup of coffee with a boy). Nice to see Bob phoning for an update.

Below a sculpture on the plinth at Trafalgar Square (the strange ribbon, with stock market results on it in real time) two shots inside a momentarily empty Seven Stars. I did a 'joint selfie' of me and Bob, but by common consent it was too appalling to show.

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