Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Men About Town

So far today, we have enjoyed a Continental breakfast followed by a walk from Pimlico to the South Bank via Lambeth Bridge. At the London Eye I was describing to Andy how much Ille and I had enjoyed the video which accompanies the flight, and decided to pop in to see if we could just do the film and not the Wheel. We were met by Danny, the Manager, and I described our plight as a strange request which he said he had never been asked before. A most convivial man, he instructed one of the attendants to take us to the front of the queue and let us watch for free! I enjoyed it as much a second time, while Andy was also impressed then we continued along the Thames side to Tate Modern. Andy's daughter Sarah, who teaches 'art' had described it as a lot of dross with some excellent gems to be found. We found the building, the redundant Southwark Power Station, most interesting with its intricate brickwork and an interior light, bright, fresh and airy. The exhibits were on the whole interesting particularly the 'room size' work by Cornelia Parker entitled 30 Pieces of Silver. Constructed from steamrollered silver tableware, the flattened items were formed into the said 30 pieces shaped like coins and suspended from the ceiling.

We then moved, via the notorious Millennium footbridge, to the other side of the river and met up with one of Andy's old ship mates Jeb Kitchen, now Managing Director of Bibby Lines, and enjoyed a pleasant lunch together at the Foreign Exchange. The afternoon had been laid aside for a visit to the Satchi Gallery, but in the event we happened across the unveiling of a statue in Trafalgar Square to deceased Chief Air Vice Marshal Kieth Park, architect of the Battle of Britain. Needless to say there was enough gold braid to go round, and in addition to military types Boris Johnson, Michael Howard and others were in attendance. The unveiling, of a most striking representation of the man donning his flying gloves, was carried out by the Park family, which for now stands on the Forth Plinth but will, in 6 weeks time, find its way to Pall Mall. As the white silk cloth fell to the ground a Typhoon fighter and a Spitfire roared overhead making for quite a spectacle.

There was only time for a brief visit to the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery before we returned to the hotel to prepare for this evening. Tonight we dine with our mutual friend Stephen Williams MD of the Antiques Wine Company who, to describe as a colourful character would be under selling the description. There should be more of this in tomorrows post. Unfortunately I have misplaced my camera lead so no photos to accompany this post, but again I'll endeavour to rectify this before long.

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