The plan for the day was to meet a friend in the St Martin-in-the-Fields restaurant which is below the church and please note very popular during mealtimes. In case my readers do not know, this church has a long and distinguished history of dealing with and helping the homeless and are less fortunate. The church welcomes everybody and has a wide range of concerts, exhibitions and facilitates.
I realised that the environments where you meet someone is as important as the content of the conversation. I do not particularly like sitting at a table where there are noisy people around because I cannot hear what is going on. This was the case with our good friend. I realise that I’m most comfortable walking around so I propose to her that the next time we met, we could go for a walk together and she agreed.
Afterwards we went to the National portrait Gallery, where increasingly the space is taken up with paid exhibitions alas and even more alas which are not particularly inexpensive. It is common to be asked £15 or £20 for the show. Okay maybe the cuts, the dreaded national cuts, are upon us but I think that people from abroad never mind and good selves would find this a little bit much especially if you have a family.
After the meeting, we went off to the National Portrait Gallery and I was tempted to buy a huge photographic book for £39.95. It claimed to list 500 of the most well-known photographers in the world. It was a challenge to the editors to pick one photograph that was representative of the work of the photographer but anyway it makes a good coffee table items though it is a bit heavy, about 3 1/2 kg.
Incidentally, the book was far too heavy to carry back so I asked them to post it to me. They have averaged the price of any book posted to the UK at £3.95. I made the order on Thursday afternoon at about 3 PM. It was posted on Friday and arrived at my home in Midsomer Norton on Saturday. Now that is what I call good service. I’m sure it cost them much more to send it via overnight delivery but I’m not complaining.
We then went off to the Royal Festival Hall complex and particularly the National film Theatre where some very kind person has offered to fund the digitisation of 30,000 film titles, most of which are historical, so what you have to do is to grab one of the dozen booths or so and watch. Free. I love that word. I watched a black-and-white version of Dracula which I enjoyed enormously. In the days before sound, the actors had to slightly over act because the only thing apart from the accompanying music was to watch their expressions. A challenge indeed.
After much wandering around we went home and bought a good portion of chips in a cardboard box with two portions of mayonnaise for which we paid £4.20. In case you grasp, this is London. The chips were good but not exceptional. I will give them 7/10 but when you are hungry you just eat.