I was in town on Tuesday to sign on at yet another agency so the plan was to do one of the tours on my list. There is the fortnightly tour of the Royal Courts of Justice at 11am or 2pm, the weekly tour of the Lord Mayor of London’s home the Mansion House or the almost daily free tour of the John Madejski Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy.
On leaving the library I picked up a leaflet for the River Sounding exhibition at Somerset House. It was a nice day so I thought it would be a good place to stop for lunch. It was the perfect spot. I sat in the sun watching the fountains and listening to the River Sounding sound installation in the background. I must have sat there for 2 hours; all my plans went out the window as sitting in the sun was so perfect.
The following day I was back in London again so headed for the Royal Academy to do the aforementioned tour to find it wasn’t happening this week. I did however stop to see the photography exhibition Relics of Old London. A recce of my Mayfair walk followed and then on to Marylebone to explore for a possible new walk. Walking past Sotheby’s I realised I had never yet made it in there to view any upcoming items for auction. On 20th May there was an auction of photographs. They may never again be seen in public but I saw them on Wednesday. There were portraits by Irving Penn (there is a current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery) and by Andy Warhol.
Just north of Selfridges I came across Manchester Square and the Wallace Collection which was at least one of the places on my list that I have been meaning to re-visit for years. I didn’t have long enough but will return soon for a proper look.
The day finished listening to free live jazz at The Old Red Cow in EC1. Unsurprisingly I was exhausted but happy.