Saturday, October 2, 2010

Morning, London

It's 730 am. I'm showered dressed and now waiting for Laura to luxuriate through this process I just sped through. I did enjoy the shower though, high ceilings after Vancouver apartment living marketed for drawfs. This renovated old building was meant for giants, the people had such vision. An era of big cars and big rockets to explore space. All is now replaced tiny by 'smart cars' and the announcement yesterday the Russians are planning to have a hotel in space by 2015. There's a new planet, earth like, with possible life, found 20 light years from here too. So perhaps tourism will remain a boom industry.

I'd left my latest Bill Gibson, Zero History, hard cover at home, not caring to lose it traveling or carry the weight. The story was nagging at me when I woke in the night. I wanted to know what Hollis was doing next to find the maker of the latest marketing communication fashion that had the American military following her in London. Gibson has carried over characters from an earlier novel so Blue Ant survives. That said, I downloaded the Amazon book for Kindle at $9.99 having already paid some $30 for the pre ordered hard cover copy.

The weather forecast is sunny this morning with rain this afternoon. Right now there is blue sky over London.

I've passed on disturbing Laura to make a pot of instant coffee and opted for a can of diet coke while waiting. I'm so proud of myself. With rotating use of the electrical socket with our 2 adaptors I've charged all the batteries in all the electronics and cameras. While I loved the Vancouver airport there wasn't a plug in anywhere in the international waiting area. I appreciated the First Nations carvings and themes but thought I'd attract too much undue attention if I tried to send out smoke signals.

Awake in the middle of the night by time changes Laura and I watched the tv for a bit. Channels went on endlessly making it a heavenly moment for this channel changer buff. The trouble is the fair was all the same, rock videos with sex and violence themes suggesting Freud on coke was right about those under forty, sports news, BBC, television equivalents of Ebay, talk to me semi naked beautiful young women pimping for their older fatter uglier sisters who would be answering the calls and talking hot sex between burrito snacks and Kentucky Fried, a lame sit com or two, more sports and good for fun comedian Tim Minshin threatening God will take off your wanker with a lightning bolt scalpel if you have unnatural sexual thoughts. I turned off the tv and we nodded off for another few hours.

I checked the Iphone Stepsaway application and there are hundreds of 12 step meetings within a few miles of here. I've been seeing so many pubs, bars and restaurants decorated in bottles upon bottles it would be nice to see how the other half thrives today or tomorrow. There's a walking church tour I've found that would take a couple of hours but then there's Harrod's and Oxford Street. I would like to see Hyde Park again. When I worked across from Harrod's at Associated Television when I was living here, the IRA were forever threatening to blow us up so once a week we'd get to leave the building and I'd stroll round Hyde Park for a bit. There's a bit of nostalgia. I used to take my lunches at museums and galeries, eating on the run so I could wander through the history, culture and art of the British Museum and Albert's Museum. There were the galleries too. We've not enough time to do more than touch the surface. It was the same when I was in Washington a few years back for a week long conference. The Smithsonian went on forever with wonder after wonder and I had only hours of time free to enjoy the mental feast.

Laura's progressed further. The showers stopped. I'm looking forward to the breakie that came with the room. Coffee for sure appeals right now. Then it's down to the tube to face the press and off to some enchanted place. My brother and nephew Graeme have shamed me into enjoying photography again. I got a Nikon Digital SLE D5000 before the trip and would have been mistaken for a oriental tourist were it not for my height. I'm actually taking that many pictures and swaggering somewhat like a true photographer does, carrying my Nikon like I might a Glock. I've even interacted with the other photogs, the equipment being an introduction to the 'club'. I've got some serious equipment so I'm one of the brotherhood. It's a bit like scooters and Harley's. The guys are mostly taking pictures of the girls and the few girls with interesting equipment are taking pictures of each other. My brother knows these folk well as I do the Harley drivers. There's a camaraderie here that I see now that I didn't see when I had my snapshot digital. Henry Wong at Broadway Camera would be impressed.

It's Saturday morning in London. I expect we'll find out where we are going at the Underground. Lynn was on a tour of Buckingham. Helps pay the Queen's taxes. I would love to see what books Prince Charles is reading right now but there's so little time. What can one do in a day in London. Much easier if one asked me what to do in a day in Vancouver. Everywhere here is exciting and new. All the buildings are shiny boxes and they open to endless views. Mostly we have to stay on the surface. A couple of those water spider sorts of tourists. If we sink a bit we'll come back with knowing the intricacies of Queen Elizabeth's bathroom. I'm sure that would warrant a day, where the faucets came from, did she get her bowl from India, are the Tiles from Russia, who carved the door. Each of these questions would lead to the great artists of the day. I loved the Royal Dollhouse for that reason especially the tiny paintings done by the greatest artists of the day. A bit like me getting Dali to design a collar for Gilbert or asking Picasso if he'd make up a little something so my cat could have a more elegant rug to lie on. I can hear the Queen and her kids saying something like, "Let's have that Paul McCartney fellow come by and play some tunes after dinner."

We each do it in our own way. In my little world I have my McCartney's and Gainsboroughs. It's just exciting to think of this day of walking about this wonderful garden of the mind. I was astounded as ever at the architecture and sculpture last night. Architecture is the greatest of art for all, but mostly for the common and down trodden who might not be able to pay the price of a gallery or museum. There's so much democracy in London. It's in the art and I've studied the sciences for years.

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