London Journal – Day 5 – Smoke From Sherlock’s Pipe

I had a wonderful night at the theatre last evening, The Playhouse Theatre, to see “Ring Round the Moon.” It was a charming twist on a drawing room comedy, taking place in a winter garden rather than the drawing room. I shan’t review it here other than to say that is was a nice way to spend an evening.

I was met in stalls by Glen and Vivianna, the charming couple from Toronto whom I met on line at Tkts earlier in the day. Neither of us had realized we’d be sitting together, but it was a pleasant surprise. We chatted before curtain, and during the intervals. They are only in London for the weekend. It was nice to make some new friends.

After the show it was back to the flat, and a couple of hours work.

This morning brought me out to Portobello Road to experience the market stalls and antiques dealers there. What a mass/mess of humanity:

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Hundred upon hundred of people throng to the site to hunt for bargains. There are rough geographical boundaries from south to north, from antiques to fruit & veggie, flea market, and crafts. I am proud that I actually made it the whole way, tho I was pleased to duck out when I got to the overground tracks. Here is some of the more gimmicky new and repro stuff:

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I did buy a small vase for myself, (shown here next to my iPod Nano)
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and cherries, oranges and some spinach & feta burek for dinner.

Here is a little guy who just wanted to take a nap:

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The crowd is a real mish-mash of nationalities and languages. I heard French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese… I stopped into a butcher shop briefly and caught this exchange:

Overheard in London:
Butcher, holding up rib roast to show to older gentleman and speaking slowly: One rib is the smallest amount I can sell you sir.

Older gentleman is silent

Other customer: What language do you speak sir?

Older gentleman: I speak English, son, I’m just thinking about it.

I just couldn’t help but snap this shot, a kind of recursive camera thingy:

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The trip back to the flat is circuitous due to a fire alert at Baker Street Station. I am on the Hammersmith & City, so this is a problem. No trains will stop at Baker Street. I get off at Paddington Station, which is one of the large stations of the system, along with Kings Cross/St. Pancras, Marylebone, and some others. These stations share the feature of connecting British Rail with the Underground. Paddington is huge and broad and a traveler like myself, one who is new to the station, can get easily frustrated by the lack of way finding signage, which is so abundant throughout the rest of the Underground. I find the Bakerloo line, finally, which gets me back to Marylebone station, which is close to home, closer, in fact, than Baker Street.

Updated with photos: 19:40 16/02/2008

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