London’s wet and cold, and I’m still poorly (but happy)

Today I decided to put one of my New Year’s Resolutions into practice and make sure I go out and about at the weekend rather than work!. To that end, I booked tickets for the Rubens Exhibition at the National Gallery (£9) used the opportunity to catch up with a friend. We met for brunch first in the National Portrait Gallery cafe which was very nice (raisin scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam is a pleasant way to start the weekend). The National Gallery also had an exhibition of Tom Hunter photographs. He’s a London-based artist who stages photographs to evoke famous paintings – e.g. staging a photo mimicing Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergere’.

Trafalgar Square is much nicer now that it has been pedestrianised: the road along the front of the National Gallery is now paved over (I remember catching the number 29 to Camden from in front of the National Gallery when I first moved to London). However, the pigeons still abound and the tourists are ENCOURAGING them by feeding them bread etc. so that the pigeons flock to them to eat out of their hand! We also passed a young Asian couple who appeared to be making some sort of Bollywood video (well, she was wearing a skirt quite unsuitable for the weather, and then they started dancing), and a silent (Quaker) anti-war protest (in the morning – think that they had gone by the afternoon). I also never worked out why the ITN van was parked in Trafalgar square through our entire visit.

I have a picture of all the pigeons on my mobile phone – I will post it when I’ve worked out how to get it on to the laptop.