Well, here I am in the Australian “red centre” as it is called.
This flower is called a Kangaroo Paw as it resembles just that.
We used to have tree ferns like this one in our garden.
And these flowers!
Hah! I tricked you! I’m actually at the British Museum in London!
It’s part of their Australian Season.
Ah – the humble Bottle Brush.
Seeing all of these plants and flowers made get all sentimental for a few minutes. It was odd seeing such familiar plants after what is now a year and a half.
Then my hayfever started to kick in. Yes, I’m allergic to my home country.
To be honest I think this is the first time I’ve ever actually seen a Sturt’s Desert Pea!
Here’s my hotel. It’s literally just around that corner from the British Museum, so it’s a great location. How I came to be staying here is a long and involved story I will tell you about later, but the short answer is my booked accommodation fell through.
I arrived at London Euston station around 1pm yesterday and walked to the hotel. I checked in and after visiting the Australian Garden I walked down to Somerset House where the Courtauld Gallery is holding a Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition. It was all about the artist and his muse Jane Avril, the Moulin Rouge dancer. Very interesting.
Afterwards I wandered through the piazza at Covent Garden. Here’s London’s other St Pauls. This is the one where Henry Higgins meets Eliza for the first time: “will one of you gentlemen buy a flahr off a poor gerl?”.
There was some celebration at St Martin in the Fields as the bells were pealing in great celebration. I’d never heard them before. How does the rhyme go? Something about three farthings?
Trafalgar Square. Big Ben in the distance. Said hello to my favourite lion at Nelson’s Column.
I then spent some time at the National Gallery with the Turners. That is, the paintings by Turner. There are some lovely leather seats in front of the Turners that you can sit in and rest your legs. Most of the other parts of the gallery have those flat benches so you can’t really get comfortable, but that’s not why I like the Turners so much. I was never a fan of Turner when I read about him in books. It was only when I saw the paintings in real life that I realised how remarkable and beautiful they are. Utterly luminous.
Had an early dinner at Rowley’s on Jermyn Street and then went off to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. TV really must add ten pounds as both are much thinner in real life. The play was fantastic and the entire cast was wonderful. An absolutely hilarious evening. I was in the second row so had a great view. The play is set in a Mediterranean resort in the 1980s and there were all sorts of clever references. It was fresh and funny and I would see it again if I got the chance.
That’s about all for now.