Monday, 28 March 2011

City Sights... For Sore Eyes

I often find myself saying to my harassed colleagues, my stressed sister and my frazzled friends, “Life just gets in the way, doesn’t it?” And although I might say it with a wry smile on my face, it’s true. I admit that my attempts at being Superwoman (trying to write a book, investigating setting up my own business, going to the gym, cooking for friends, keeping the flat decent etc) often mean that I neglect the part of me that likes to explore London, wander around the shops and poke about museums for no particular reason other than because, well, I fancy it. This weekend, however, I had an excuse to do just that. A friend from Up North came down for the weekend. Last week I spent a bit of time investigating what was happening around town and emailed her a few suggestions. So, when she arrived at Kings Cross we headed down to the Museum of London to see the popular London Street Photography exhibition. Luckily we only had to wait fifteen minutes to get in and had a good old chin wag about my friend’s ambition to study photography as we peered at the sepia prints. Our artistic needs met, we trotted down to Bank to meet a City Guide who took us on a “Spooktacular” tour of the area. Wandering through the narrow streets in the oldest part of London (and coming across some very peaceful and beautiful churchyards in the process) whilst listening to chilling tales of apparitions, devils and poltergeists made a refreshing change and reminded me how interesting the history of the city I live in actually is. The following day we headed down Holloway Road to mooch around a small craft market in a pub. Unfortunately the Horatia had been swamped with football fans having a swift pint or three before a friendly at Arsenal, so we didn’t see much nor stay for Sunday Lunch. However I made a mental note to pop down again soon and my Scotsman-loving friend got to eye up lots of young men in kilts. We jumped on the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington and made our way to the Natural History Museum. Although not really my cup of tea it was nice to wander around such an impressive old building and, although we both agreed that some of the exhibits we in dire need of updating, my teacher chum got some inspiration for her next topic at school. Our thirst for knowledge (well, childish desire to see dinosaurs anyway) satisfied, we walked to Kensington High Street for a bit of retail therapy. After a well deserved Chai Tea Latte and slice of Rocky Road we hit the shops. It was a joy to splash the cash in an area of London that I don’t visit very often – usually if I need the high street it is Oxford Street, just for its convenience rather than enjoyment. High Street Ken felt decidedly more civilised – even pleasant. By the time I waved my friend off on her train at Kings Cross I was knackered. Yet somehow, refreshed. The good weather was sure to have helped, but spending a weekend doing nothing but exploring the city and taking advantage of its free museums was certainly food for the soul. We have already decided that next time she comes down we are going to go to the Tower of London and I am going to investigate 2 for 1 offers. However, I know that I won’t be leaving it so long to enjoy London purely for the sake of it, whether it is finally getting up to Highgate Cemetery or wandering down Brick Lane on a Sunday afternoon. After all, it is all very well doing all these worthy things in my free time, but at the end of the day, there is more to life than keeping fit, cooking amazing meals and finally finishing “the novel.” Not that I am going to give up my pursuit for perfection, you understand. But every now and then I am going to give myself a day off and go explore. Just as soon as I have proof read this blog…

1 comment:

  1. I'll join you for that trip to highgate,
    Love, stressed sis :)