It was a last minute decision to fly to Europe, but an opportunity arose and we took it. Beyond catching up with family in the UK, our itinerary for Europe is still very sketchy so this will be quite an adventure.
Our first port of call was London with two whole days to fill. We based ourselves in a studio, just a stones throw from romantic St Pancras Station and the London Underground. For me the Underground, with all those unusual English place names like Elephant and Castle, and the more familiar Paddington and Baker Street, has a childhood nostalgia from British stories I grew up with, not to mention endless games of monopoly.
First stop was London Bridge to visit the Tate Modern, but by happy accident a road detour took us to Borough Markets and we were immediately flanked on all sides by people milling through food stalls piled high with cheese and bread and all manner of local produce. Being lunch time, we joined a queue for toasted cheese sandwiches. Unless you’ve tasted one for youself, you won’t believe this was the best toasted cheese sandwich I’ve every had! Two slices of sourdough, overflowing with grated cheddar and a sprinkling of spring onion, toasted golden brown and piping hot – delicious!
So too, the Tate was a feast for the eyes: Dzanza, Picabia, Chapman Bros, Ernst, Gorky Raushenberg, Hockney, Klee… I could go on.
Sunday was market day, walking from Spittlefields, through Brick Lane and up to Colombia Street Flower Markets and back again. The colour and the smells and the crowds all added to the atmosphere and I was quite pleased the vintage scarf and Welsh wool/bamboo yarn I found that day. (Incidently, James was wearing the jumper I knitted for him. If it weren’t for that, I might have been jealous of the ladies at the wool stall who were seriously checking out my handiwork!)
And then it was off to Nottingham.