A long weekend

A week ago was the last May bank holiday weekend and we had a busy time in London. On Saturday we went for a bit of a walk and visited the Tate Modern which was in the midst of a long weekend festival. We happened to time our arrival with a piece of performance art titled “Did you ever want to be someone else?”. A number of people with masks on walked the turbine hall floor and did random things as prescribed by text on paper they were holding. This scenes below take in a group pointing to the ceiling while the second shows the aftermath of a group of these ‘other people’ collapsing to the floor after trying to break through the wall. The masks made all of these people seem strangely intense and focused even though it was hard to fathom what their purpose was at any given moment.

Strange people with masks pointed to the ceiling.
Strange people with masks pointed to the ceiling

This is what happens when you unsuccessfully try to break through a wall with no tools - apparently you collapse.
This is what happens when you unsuccessfully try to break through a wall with no tools – apparently you collapse.

The Sunday saw us heading out to Twickenham for the London leg of the IRB Sevens tournament. The crowd was large even though the weather was wet and cold and we joined the masses walking from the station towards the stadium. Patricia met us outside the gates with our tickets and before long we were inside and watching the rugby. Actually the day was spent as much watching the crowd as the sport, this being an occasion for people to dress up and party. We had the male cheerleaders behind us and left (they looked very similar to the official cheerleaders if you ignored the beer bellies, stubble and lack of grace) and a few rows in front we had Charlie Chaplin, Elvis and Shrek. One of the unofficial cheerleaders won the costume competition that was held in a break between matches and celebrated by running from the centre of the pitch to the try-line and executing a graceless swan dive which burst his fake breasts – very funny.

A big ball for the crowds entertainment.
A big ball for the crowds entertainment.

Further entertainment was provided by various singer impersonators (Freddie Mercury, Tom Jones and someone else I can’t remember), large inflatable balls being bounced around by the crowd and a number of attempts at Mexican Waves. The most successful wave deteriorated into a rubbish wave after its fourth or fifth time around the stadium, huge amounts of detritus being through into the air like some sort of rubbish dump celebration (who’d be a cleaner).

Try time in the final.
Try time in the final.

More photos from the day at Twickenham can be seen in the gallery

Of course there was the rugby as well, the day ending with New Zealand taking on Fiji in the final and winning comfortably in the end. It may have been cold and damp but it was an enjoyable day and hopefully next year the weather will be better. We all left the stadium and found a pub near the station that wasn’t too full and had an area where we could have a meal. The food turned out to be much better than we could have hoped for and was a nice bookend to the day.

A view of the atrium at the British Museum.
A view of the atrium at the British Museum.

On the Monday we met Patricia at Liverpool Street Station, she having seen Sam off on his way to Stansted Airport for a flight out to Spain for a week long conference he was attending. We headed to the British Museum for something to do for a few hours and ended up walking around the Assyrian and Greek collections. I introduced Keryn and Patricia to the Elgin Marbles and we learnt about the history of these stolen/saved pieces. Personally I think they should go back to Greece, especially now they have the building ready to house them. I’m sure the diplomatic argument will continue for years to come.

Patricia and Keryn at the British Museum.
Patricia and Keryn at the British Museum.

More photos from the British Museum can be seen in the gallery

We tried the Museum cafe for lunch but there was a long queue so we headed out and found a cafe on the street where we paid tourist prices for tired food. It was time then to head to Kings Cross and we set about finding Patricia’s train which was leaving from the new St Pancras Station. Keryn and I hadn’t been into the new station so walked with Patricia through the still-under-construction terminal to her platform. I think the station is going to look amazing once finished; the mixture of new architecture with old Victorian grandeur seems to have been done very well. With the train boarding we said goodbye and then made our own way home back through the stations for Brentwood.

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