But back to my almost-week off, the week that started 2011. There was a Sunday trip to Columbia Road, to buy the first bulb flowers of the season, blue hyacinths, white tulips. A visit to The Natural History Museum to see The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, which I loved, as ever, a brightly lit carousel as we left, lights in trees. Cocktails on Wednesday night for C's birthday, fairy lights, bare wooden floors, discarded shoes, sweet potato chips, a walk home through the drizzle. Thursday saw heavy rain and a trip to Borough Market, side-stepping puddles, clutching hot apple cider in our hands, eating Raclette melted over new potatoes and cornichons from paper plates. Heading then along the river to Southbank, a hot chocolate and a cappuccino whilst we dried off in the BFI bar, sinking into deep velvety sofas, then on to the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award at the National Theatre. Relishing these midweek days off. Friday was pizza at the Italian Coffee Company, strings of molten cheese, a dusting of oregano, and a brief trip to The British Museum, to say hello to the mummies. Another birthday drinks, squashed into a crowded bar behind Waterloo, windows steamed up with drying umbrellas. Saturday we braved the packed V&A, to catch the last weekend of the Diaghilev and visit the Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography exhibition. A walk round the cold, deserted, central courtyard as we killed time between entry slots, a stroll to upstairs, to less visited galleries, flattened brass instruments suspended from the ceiling. Sunday we lunch at Polpo, somewhere I have longed to go for ages, drink Aperol Spritzes, eat small plates of delicious Italian food, enjoy this final day in London, together. In the evening we go to the Tate Modern to see the Gauguin, transported for an hour or so to the vivid colours of the Tahiti of the artist's mind. Then we walk along the river, London's lights reflected on the dark water, to The Royal Festival Hall. M takes me to up Skylon, where we slowly sip two of their exquisitely crafted cocktails, talk and talk, try not to think about the morning.
Friday, 14 January 2011
The week that was
The first week of January 2011 was wonderful. Time spent back in London, with friends, with M. There were a couple of days at work, but mostly I had time off, coming back down to earth with a bump this Monday when I was back in the office, and on a late shift to boot, having kissed a hurried, tears-threatening-to-spill-over goodbye to M on the Green Park Jubilee line platform as he headed off to Heathrow and I to my desk.