The Curate and I have escaped from Devon again! We have been to London for more exploring. With a little more time than the last visit in November, we managed to walk from Tower Bridge along the Thames to Westminster,then to Picadilly and lunch in Chinatown. This was a continuation of the walk we made last time and we were determined to walk rather than take the tube. it is surprising how short the distances are when you are above ground! And we had to remember to look up - there is such a wealth of detail and history if you just remember to look up (but mind the lamp posts!)
The real highlight of our trip was seeing the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy. His paintings are of the changing landscapes of East Yorkshire but we saw similarities to the landscapes we know and enjoy. The sheer scale of his work is incredible - the vibrancy and vitality of the colours are stunning. His use of an ipad, instead of the traditional canvas, certainly challenges the conventional approach, as does his use of colour. I found it a very stimulating exhibition and everyone around us seemed to be smiling.
The Curate and I walked back to our apartment in the warm evening sun, stopping only at a deli to buy our supper. It was unseasonably warm . London is full of foreign students at the moment and when we stopped for a while in Trafalgar Square, we were surrounded by a cacophony of languages. By the time we reached home, we both felt that all our senses had been totally saturated.
How do you follow a day like that? For us it was with a walk through Notting Hill to Portobello Road Market. Although it was not a proper market day there were a few interesting stalls and we enjoyed exploring a part of London neither of us knew. The rest of the day was spent people and parakeet watching in Kensington Park. We were fascinated by the parakeets that have settled in London - and, as a non-native species, they are not always welcome. But they looked so exotic as they darted amongst newly budding horse chestnut trees - you don't get them in Devon......yet!
(And the sky really was that blue!)