hutch0 (hutch0) wrote,

rainy day in london

An American friend is in the country for a few days. We last saw each other about twenty-five years ago, although we've stayed in touch by email, so when she said she and her husband were coming over for a conference, we made a date for a day out in London. Obviously, it rained like a bastard. We met at Waterloo (they're staying at an hotel in West London) at ten o'clock this morning, and apart from half an hour's break for lunch we spent the next seven hours walking around the City. We spent a very happy couple of hours wandering around the Tate Modern and sniggering at the exhibits - I think I must lack the Modern Art Gene or something, because I just Don't Get It at all, although it was kind of cool to see a Maleevitch, Duchamp's urinal and a couple of Warhols in the flesh that I'd only ever seen in photos - and she tried out Karsten Holler's helter-skelters. I did not; hutch prefers to think of helter-skelters as something that happens, on the whole, to other people.
I wanted to give her an angle on London that you tend not to get by doing the museums and galleries and the Eye - the old landscape that you can still see in the topography of the streets,  the hidden rivers, the bomb at Bank Junction during the Blitz. We stood for a while in the way of lunchtime crowds on Cannon Street looking at London Stone (supposedly brought here by Trojan exiles who came to England to found Troia Nova but certainly already very old by the time Shakespeare mentions it - it's set into the wall of a sporting goods shop)
And we walked. Oh, sweet baby Jesus did we walk. I am seriously out of shape - the most rigorous exercise I get during the week is changing the toner cartridge on the office printer. My legs are in absolute agony. Apparently my friend wore holes in her socks. Do I know how to show a girl a good time or what?
We made a date to see each other again in another twenty-five years. Which is fine by me; by then I'll be almost seventy and someone can push me around in a wheelchair.
Good day, though. Too few of those, these days.  

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