While I was enjoying my breakfast in Brick Lane my phone rang and I heard a voice that I have not heard in many, many, years. It was an old friend, Miles, who I met when I lived in Brighton in 1994 (pre email – its amazing to think). We planned to meet again today, at Leicester Square.
Miles is a photographer, web developer, writer and thinker with whom I have had many philosophical discussions about art and life over the web, over the years. It was wonderful to talk as we walked in and out of small commercial galleries in Soho and Mayfair sharing the sights and hashing it out.
In the middle of our wanderings we came across Liberty of London. At the entrance was an abundance of fresh flowers – mostly roses in every hue. We soaked up the scents and all the new Liberty patterns and textile compositions such as modal (made from beech trees) that I have been interested in in my line of work (as a textiles designer – my other life). The attendants were really informative and didn’t seem to mind me taking a million photographs. The scarf I wanted was £525 – that will have to be another life again!
We were definitely in the money end of town and we had met some delicious characters. One handsome, beautifully dressed gallery attendant was advising us where to go for lunch – he indicated The Ritz (at the end of the street) we giggled and suggested something a little less expensive. He smiled broadly and gestured broadly and said, “Darling, you’re in Mayfair – EVERYTHING is expensive here”.
In the late afternoon we were galleried out – we found a little spot in the sun in Soho Square and got some takeaway drinks from a local pub. The park is a buzz with groups of people enjoying the stunning weather. There is no evidence of dreary London drizzle – only clear blue skies and rays of sunshine. No need for the winter coat I packed.
Another old friend, Clara, who is in London completing a PhD in Sustainable Textiles, joined us. It was great to see her in her element in her neighbourhood. Clara and I went to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant near Soho Square– oh the food! Yum! Then before I knew it, it was time for me to come home and pack and wash sweet chilli sauce out of my hair (don’t ask).
I leave London for Amsterdam tomorrow. I have loved my time in this city… maybe I should stay a while… besides, my children will be very disappointed to learn that I haven’t seen the Queen.