The Black Box

Sneaky backpost #1
We’ve got it down to a ritual now: check in, dump suitcase, go and say hello to the river. (Yes, I’m afraid I do mean that literally.) Then off to a pub that is blessed with a Very Fine Location Indeed for a drink (that’s drink as in coffee btw, it wasn’t even lunchtime) and some time spent contemplating the river and the London skyline.

I love the river in a completely illogical way. There is almost nothing about its modern day self that connects it to the river of my early childhood, but sitting next to a lot of murky brown water as it flows past, oblivious to my presence, makes me feel strangely connected to the city that I never wanted to leave. Of course I wouldn’t want to return now, not to live there anyway, but it’s still nice to visit.

Our afternoon stretched invitingly ahead of us, what to do? A trip to Tate Modern? A mooch around Borough Market? A stroll down the Thames? Or even all three. Hey, I’m a tourist, I’m allowed to do that kind of stuff.

Our jaunt to Tate Modern brought our first encounter with the rather large black box that is currently occupying the Turbine Hall. Despite having encountered a few online spoilers, it still manged to surprise.

Black Box

It wasn’t the only surprise of the day. Our trip to the Tate also produced a rather improbable event: a chance encounter with someone I knew. (Yes, in London. Only the third time in my entire life that has happened.)

It was like a film scene: we were on the down escalator, gliding past Lovely S, one of my French teachers, who was (where else?) on the up escalator. We smiled and waved and called out “Hellooo!” and “How are you?” to each other, but we had passed out of range before either of us managed to reply. Were the amazed stares that we received from some of the assorted onlookers caused by the fact that I sounded like someone who had wandered out of a 1950s movie or did they think they were witnessing some kind of bizarre performance art?

That’s the second carefully choreographed little scene I’ve played out in the space of a few weeks. How odd. Is my life actually a fly-on-the-wall movie? Do you see me on your TVs and think “Ha, I read her blog and she has no idea we’re watching this.”

I’ve never watched The Truman Show (Why not? Jim Carrey, that’s why not), but perhaps I should.

2 comments to The Black Box

  • The Founders has been a rashbre watering hole as have several along that stretch of the Thames. The South Bank walkway from Borough is pretty good these days with plenty of interesting stop-offs and also some great views across the River.

  • The Truman Show is great. I should add that I love Jim Carrey at his most subdued. Give it a shot. Have you seen “Eternal Sunshine…”? It’s absolutely lovely.

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