Friday 11 May 2012

Pic of 2011

When I saw this pic about 30-Apr-2011, I thought that's got to be the Pic of the Year: One year on, it's been doing the rounds again.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Bank Holiday weekend in London May 2012

Danny DeVito - Patrick Stewart - Omid Djalili - Cutty Sark - HMS Ocean - Wellcome Collection ...
Pics for this trip, with locations

Besides the highlights below, I visited the annual Canalways Cavalcade at Little Venice, the TCR Crossrail station dig in Tottenham Court Road and the nearly-completed refurbishment of Leicester Square.

As to art exhibitions, I went to The Age of Elegance and Turner Inspired.

Months ago I planned a linked set of visits around Battersea-Wandsworth-Chiswick, relying on the rail lines in the area. Guess which London rail line was closed for engineering this weekend?

Dr Salter/Wellcome Collection

Having revisited the charming statue in Bermondsey honouring Dr Salter last year (as part of the Brunel Tunnel guided walk), I was appalled it was stolen a week later. Returning this weekend, I saw the council have removed the other parts (the girl and cat) for safe keeping and erected appropriate notices. This also led me to my first visit to the Wellcome Collection and its fascinating exhibitions, including Here Comes Good Health, showcasing Salter's pioneering work.

Sir Patrick Stewart

Doing one of my favourite walks along the Thames Path in Bermondsey, I was reminded of Sir Patrick Stewart's support for local issues such as saving the houseboat community there (by the flats where he lives) and the current battle over Chambers Wharf. Then around the corner heading towards me came Sir Patrick. He briefly looked worried as I had a camera but I made no move to use it. However I did pap him once we'd passed.

Cutty Sark

Andrew Gilligan wrote this review - I wondered if I'd agree with him.

I think it's a triumph, with a good balance between modern interpretation gimmicks and simply showing it. The copper bottom for the hull is especially fine. The barcode entry system is somewhat awkward but it's early days yet (barcodes on tickets, allowing home printing of e-tickets).

HMS Ocean

HMS Ocean arrived to anchor at Greenwich late last week for a first stint of Olympic security duties and flew lots of helicopter sorties over London.

What the Butler Saw

This preview performance was a delight, though they did rush it a bit at first (not waiting for laughs). Omid Djalili fluffed & giggled a few times but enjoyed his larger-than-life role in this relentless farce.

Sunshine Boys

Danny DeVito sparkled in this preview performance, relishing the role even though being on stage practically whole time. Richard Griffiths and Adam Levy were excellent in support.

Hay Fever

Delicious: a badly-behaved family have fun abusing their weekend guests. Jeremy Northam stole the show as a diplomat out of his depth with the out-of-control Bliss family, led by a demented Lindsay Duncan.

Old Royal Naval College Painted Hall

At last went in to see the stunning decoration by Hogarth's father-in-law.

National Maritime Museum: Royal River

Superb exhibition on Thames history by David Starkey.

TCR Crossrail

I had a look at the huge hole in Tottenham Court Road where the Crossrail station is being built.

New-to-me pubs

Coach & Horses Free House in Wellington St (Covent Garden) - it's always been too packed to get in. A Sheps beer and Courage Directors on. The customers looked to be off-duty taxi drivers - a definite 'type' in London!

About 100y further up, the reopened Globe had a reasonable range of beers, without being exciting (e.g. Doom Bar)

Angel & Crown, St Martins Lane/New Row junction, right opposite the Salisbury. This has been a blank spot on the map for years, there being no reason to go in. Now taken over by a small pubco, there are interesting beers and good food.