London was nice. I walked everywhere on Friday, which was vastly pleasing. I trotted along to the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum and Sir John Soane’s museum, which I’d never visited before. The Boy charmed me entirely and bought me tea. Then I met El and Phil and we had dinner in a splendid restaurant which I think is called The Chancery … hang on, I’ll look it up … yes, here you are. We keep an eye on Top Table for the half-price offers, being frugal types. We’d been to their ‘sister’ restaurant, the Clerkenwell Dining Room, so thought it was worth trying, and had an excellent meal with very good service. I’d sensibly (oh lord, stop making me sensible) skipped lunch to allow for three courses.

My daughter had suggested it to a friend, and she had been the night before. Her party had to wait for half an hour to be served, so they were sat down in the bar with a free bottle of champagne. I think she will be recommending it too…

On Saturday, we went to the current exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and then walked and talked. El lent me a coat, as I was slightly underdressed for the cold. I am an obsessively light traveller as I can’t bear to be cluttered. I realise that it’s a reaction against the overpacking of my mother who, equally but oppositely, hated to be caught wanting something. Spare underwear and a toothbrush will do me nicely – it’s a waste that I’ve never been a girl for the one-night stand, as I would always be quite comfortably equipped, and since I always look slightly scruffy, my next-day appearance would receive no second glance at all.

11 comments on “Splendid!

  1. The Boy

    No excess baggage? Dears, she had a small handbag and a lovely knit cardigan. Get thee a nice small descrete backpack Z!

    I was equally charmed in return. Next time I’ll spot you lunch, there’s a lovely Thai around the corner.

  2. Z

    If you haven’t visited London for a while, then you’ll be taken aback at how busy it is. It’s always been busy, but ever more so.

    Dharmabum, I see you as a light traveller, and maybe an impulsive one?

    I came home with rather more in fact, as my daughter lent me four books and she also had some things to send home for the babies. So I was bundling a couple of carrier bags.

    Lunch would be an entire delight – but my turn this time, I think.

  3. Dave

    Sorry, I nearly stopped reading after the first sentence. I don’t find busy cities pleasant.

    And don’t get me started on the misuse of the word ‘nice’.

  4. Z

    Dave, I feel complimented that you know that I don’t mind how grumpy you are.

    For many years, of course, when I would never have used the word ‘nice’, particularly written down, except in an entirely correct manner. Times change however, and in this colloquial setting I find myself quite able to write ‘get’ and ‘a lot’ as well. I would not do it in a formal letter, of course.

    I could have said that I’d enjoyed the weekend – but I didn’t want to start with ‘I’. London was … ‘lovely’ is so overused, particularly by me. Delightful …nah. Enjoyable …doesn’t quite fit. ‘Pleasant’ – hm – and I said pleasing in the next sentence. Good … just not right. I could have said ‘satisfactory’, in the sense of ‘giving satisfaction’, but that’s not the way the word is generally meant, and ‘satisfying’ would sound as if there was a void to have been filled. ‘Nice’ – you know what I meant, even if your own nicer sensibilities were jarred.

    I am generally comfortable in my own space, however many people are around. I enjoy a feeling of bustling anonymity, as long as people don’t walk slower than I want to. But even then, there’s the ducking and weaving challenge. And if one wants to visit major museums and galleries, a city is usually the place to go.

  5. Z

    There’s a redundant ‘when’ at the start of the second paragraph. I mention it so that you don’t have to (but feel free).

  6. Dave

    I came here to say that I regretted my comment which wasn’t, of course, aimed at you, but at those who use the word without knowing what it really means (which clearly you do) – but then I found you’d already responded.

    Sorry, I’m in a bit of pain today, and on edge about my job (should hear about the next appointment this week) and seem to be a bit grumpy.

  7. Z

    Oh Dave, I took it as a tease and responded in kind. I know you know I know (oh blimey, did you listen to Round the Horne in your youth too?) what nice means and it did, indeed, cause me a pang to write it.

    I hope you have good news soon.


  8. PI

    Was that a blogmeet? Sounds like a great outing. I’m learning to pack less but it’s hard.
    The boy: a back pack in London seems an open invitation to rifle it.

  9. Z

    No rifling in my backpack if you please.

    Does a meeting of two constitute a blogmeet, or does it require more? Maybe I’m being too nice in my distinctions – certainly two blogfriends met.


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