Sunday, August 09, 2015

A taste of London in summer

Near the spot where we had a picnic lunch in crowded London! (Hyde Park)
Friday evening's Prom was excellent. The BBC Philharmonic was conducted by Nicholas Collon. The first piece they played was the ballet music from Idomeneo. The conductor gave a good impression of Mozart as portrayed in the film Amadeus. 
Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, with the pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, is very jazzy, with definite echoes of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, among others. 
The highlights of the second half for me were Messaien's Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (Oiseau tui) inspired by the tuneful Tui from New Zealand, and Ravel's La Valse.  
Albert Hall and our view from the "choir" seats - and no we didn't have to sing.
We had time for an evening wander to the Serpentine Bridge and back afterwards.

We had a leisurely start to Saturday, as we made our way to the Serpentine, and its Sackler Gallery, past the Albert memorial shining in the sun, and the cafe in an installation, by Fortnum and Mason

Not a Duane Hanson figure!
In the gallery were sculptures by Duane Hanson, mostly of people we would ignore in real life, so spookily realistic that I watched carefully to see if they were breathing. I should have taken a photograph or two there.

We strolled through Hyde Park, with its birdlife. This huge park acts as lungs and refreshment for the humans too.

I think he needs a sunshade today
Next stop the RA Summer exhibition, fortified by coffee and a cookie. 
Joshua Reynolds conducts The Dappled Light of the Sun.
The art is a mixture of the ordinary and the very good. But out of my price range, though the investors are certainly buying up the Tracy Emin prints. This year you can view the exhibits online as well.

First, negotiate the stairs - not quite as vertigo inducing as it looks.

After a couple of hours we're all exhibitioned out, and hungry. On our way to St james Park we have another taste of old-time-rural London. 

Then it's time to hit the little cafe. Lovely and shaded, though the chair probably printed itself on my backside. I amused myself, half-listening to some kinda astrological guru chatting his companion up with his phone-fuelled guidance from the outer limits.
View from a bridge - Buck House is the other way
We make our way along the Embankment to the Festival Hall, where there's an urban dance festival in full swing. All very loud and vibrant  but at least we can sit down and have a cup of tea - all important on hot London days when you've done a lot of walking around.
We stop at the food stalls nearby for a samosa chaat and follow it up with a gelato (lime and mint sorbet) before wending our way back to St Pancras for the 9pm train.
Green man or similar on Kings College building

Fleet Street with Ye Olde Cock Tavern

By the village pump?

Hanging out in Kings Cross Square


Ida Jones said...

Lovely photos and a great record of your trip to London. How nice that you were able to find some quiet spots and bird-life too...the parks are really something, aren't they!

aliqot said...

I've really only begun to know London in the last few years. It's a great place to visit, and the green spaces are fantastic.

Ida Jones said...

I'm not sure I could have climbed the rainbow stairs - made me feel cross-eyed just to look at the photo! The shot inside the Albert Hall is impressive - that and your reminder of London brought back many happy memories. My first job and later others were in the West End - Shaftesbury Avenue, at the park end of Exhibition Road, Great Portland Street, Hanover Square...happy days!

aliqot said...

I'm pleased this helped remind you of your youth. It must have been a wonderful place to live and work.