I’ve regained my sense of humour and love for this magnificent city. Yes, it’s still grey and cold, as it always is, and yes, it’s unbelievably, insanely, crowded. But it’s also stuffed with treasure and beauty, history and tradition and style. And it’s still not actually raining. Yet.
Van Gogh’s chair
Vase of flowers by Bosschaert the Elder, 1609
The virgin queen
a park nearby
The crammed sidewalk outside Selfridge’s on Oxford Street
Just inside, the most lovely thing: a display of luminous photographs of birds by Luke Stephenson. People were charging by – I stopped to look and was nearly trampled. I don’t know how he achieved such detail, but the pictures are stunning.
An orange-cheeked waxbill. As beautiful as anything at the National Gallery.
I managed to get something like the broken vase – what a shop, there’s everything, I confess I did hang around the stationary section for a bit – and then walked home. Now more resting and a few glasses of wine before going out again to a local cinema to see my friend Harriet’s just-released movie, The Sense of an Ending. I bought my ticket in advance, and was shocked: it cost 17 pounds 50. That’s nearly $30. For a movie. This town is absurdly expensive anyway, and with the low Canadian dollar, it’s crippling. There will be no more shopping.