2004-05-06 : What I did on the second day of my summer vacation.

I woke up.

OK, my last couple of days have been *moderately* more interesting than just waking up…

As I'm “on holidays” now, I'm operating on B.S.T. (Bum Standard Time), and hence am not necessarily sure what day it is at any given juncture. How about I just call it “today” and “yesterday” ?

Yesterday I decided to head in to central London and go visit something famous & important. A quick look in the Lonely Planet helped me decide that it should be the Tate Modern Gallery… so away I went. It was raining a fair bit outside, so I put my goretex on and kept walking. Little did I realise at that point however that the backpack which I'm presently sporting seems to have lost all of its waterproofness. I guess it stands to reason, given that I bought it in 1992 or so (see, wasn't THAT $45 well spent Mum !!). But I digress.

The good book said that to get to Tate Modern I should get off the tube at Blackfriars, which I did. Luckily, once there I found signs pointing which direction to head for the gallery, so I followed them. Walky walky walky, and the rain wasn't easing up… in fact there was now thunder. Yay for being outdoors ! The rain stopped only to change to hail, so that was kind of fun. I crunched along Queen Victoria St for a while, and found myself at the end of it, looking at a rather impressive and historical looking building. As impressive as it was, it sure wasn't the Tate. Casting my Australian masculine ego aside, I decided to look in the book again, and discovered the waterproofing issue mentioned above, so from here inwards my Lonely Planet Guide shall be referred to as “The Soggy Planet”.

It turned out that I was meant to turn off Queen Victoria St and go across the Millenium Bridge – a fact omitted by the Soggy Planet description and also by the street signs. It was only raining lightly so I figured I could walk in that, and set off back the way I'd already been. About 50m into the journey the rain got rather more persistent, and I soon found myself absolutely drenched from about scrotum-height downwards (don't you just lovea good descriptive phrase !?).

I FOUND the Millenium Bridge, and crossed it. Whilst in about the middle of it, I watched the lightning forking down, and couldn't help but wonder if being on an open metal bridge over an expanse of water wasn't the BEST plan I could have come up with… Anyway, I got to the Tate, and wandered around there in my damp state, doing my best to appreciate the works of modern art and dry out simultaneously. It was pretty cool – I was having just as much fun looking at the works of art as I was watching the people there appreciating it. It was quite obvious that there were plenty of people there with just as little idea as I had, however they felt the need to try to look as if they knew what they were up to. V. amusing. I quite liked the Salvador Dali work, and the one which most sticks into my mind was Lobster Telephone… it reminded me of my beloved Pinchy. It was also a bit of a trip looking at original Picassos and Warhols – I'm always overwhelmed by the significance of looking at historical objects.

Anyway, I left there and was due to go meet Tim at work at about 6. I caught the tube to Angel and rang him, and he said he wasn't finishing til 8.30… so I decided to go to the Salmon & Compass where Tim's mate Dave works and go have a jar or two to kill time. Again, historical significance caught up with me at the point I learned that the Salmon was established in 1786 – I was drinking in a pub that was 2 years older than Australia (well, you know what I mean).

Actually, the rest of the night was a bit of a non-event… when I eventually caught up with Tim we walked for about 2 and a half hours to get to a friend of his' place, and then I went home because it was about 11:30pm and I didn't want to miss the last tube.

But ANYWAY, the reason there were no photos of any of this is because it was too wet to get my camera out, and then once inside the gallery you're not allowed to take photos.

Hmm, that's a bit of a long post, isn't it ? Maybe I should give it a rest for the time being. It's bed time anyway.