What can you do in 2 days....in London, if you haven't been for 15 years or 4 years on a working trip? Be selective. Tate Modern, Covent Gardens, duck rice and a play!Taking the tube from Bayswater to Temple, I could not help comparing how much better the train system in Tokyo is compared to London. Quieter, cleaner, faster and better organised.
Walking along the Embankment, it occurred to me that the feel good factor of exploring Japan and Asia far out passes the attraction of the West these days. Development along the Embankment has changed its profile, and the walk across the Millennium Bridge creates an artists perspective of St Paul's. However old favourites like the Tate Gallery, now evolved into Tate Modern and Tate Britain, are still a must see especially after a long lapse.
The Futurism exhibition was informative. F T Merinetti and friends stayed up all night to write their manifesto.
"We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness...; exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride...; We will glorify war...militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman;....We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism..."
Covent Gardens was alive and well basking in the summer sun for a motley crowd. No one was wearing masks.
After a satisfying duck rice (5 quid) in Soho, the play Taking Sides was the last thing on the agenda. A rather serious courtroom drama about a Nazi sympathiser caught me napping and wishing Dirty Dancing across the road was spotted before this choice.