urban75 blog

London showers and the National Portrait Gallery

London showers

It’s a windy, Spring day in London and I’ve been enjoying another of my mighty cross-town walks.

I got the tube to Warren Street, walked along Tottenham Court Rd (sneaking a peek at the glittering array of tempting 8 megapixel new cameras), grabbed a coffee at the Photographer’s Gallery and then trotted over Waterloo Bridge to Southwark for a meeting.

An hour later, I was back on the move, ambling back through Covent Garden and finally managing to secure a decent pair of walking boots (I’ve been after a good, sturdy pair for years, but had found the prices waaaay too exorbitant).

Luckily, the Karrimor shop on The Strand was closing down and I managed to get a fab pair of Karrimor GoreTex hiking boots (Karrimor KSB 300 GTX) for £50 – less than half price!

Suitably chuffed with my bargain, I popped into the National Portrait Gallery to check out an exhibition called, ‘We The People – postcards from the collection of Tom Phillips’ and features postcard scenes from 1900-1950.

The exhibition shows hundreds of fascinating slices of long-disappeared British life, with images of scouts, soldiers, sportsmen, salvationists and charabanc-riding day trippers and more.

It’s also interesting to note how perceptions and society has changed: the section showing male friends arm in arm definitely reads differently to the modern eye!

I was also intrigued by a turn-of-the century newsagent shop bearing the headline, ‘Disguised man shot in London music hall’. I think I might have to investigate this story further!

Later on, I strolled up to Rays Jazz Café for a cappuccino and to plug into the free internet wi-fi hotspot listed on WiFiHotSpotList.com.

After several moments looking like a demented Magnus Pike waving my Sony TH55 PDA around in the air, I gave up and decided to connect (expensively) to the web via the bluetooth on my mobile. And you’re now reading the results!