I love London. I spent a large part of my childhood with my dad, being shown the famous and not so famous corners of the city which he was born and grew up in. When I got older I continued visiting and exploring. It’s not so easy to go as often as I’d like now but we went up for my daughter’s birthday and, last Friday, I got back there for a gig.
My wife and I rarely have any time on our own so this was a great opportunity to get into town and enjoy ourselves. Thanks to our incredibly supportive network of friends we knew the children were in safe hands and took an early train to Paddington. From there we took the tube to Oxford Circus and walked down Regent Street, stopping for lunch at the excellent Tidbits on Hadden Street. We then walked through Piccadilly and Leicester Square to the National Portrait Gallery. After a few hours gazing at paintings and photographs we moved on up Charing Cross Road with a quick stop on Denmark Street where we made an exciting decision I’ll reveal later. Denmark Street is lined with musical instrument shops, so that should be a clue.
We stopped for a snack then walked up to the British Museum, which was a favourite stop of mine as a child. I was fascinated by the everyday items from ancient times: cups, plates, pots and vases. I loved the idea of these ordinary things being used by someone long forgotten. They seemed to be a gateway back to times that only existed in books and pictures. It was one thing to see an illustration of an ancient Roman family enjoying meal, something else to see the actual things they ate off of.
The other reason I loved the British Museum as a child was because it was close to a shop called Davenports, which sold professional magic tricks and apparatus. It was a fascinating place to hang out in and my pocket money could usually stretch to a small trick for me to learn over the following weeks.
The gig we went to see deserves a post of its own.