Thursday, 24 October 2013

Comings and goings

So we’re back. And it feels….


And strange.

I’m just freewheeling with my emotions at the moment – ignoring the stunned, slightly dazed feeling that comes from a cocktail of jetlag, overwrought emotion, uncertainty and exhaustion – and focusing on the minute to minute. And the truly genuine joy at being back amongst the family.

Our last 36 hours in London were really pretty wonderful. Monday I made a first and last visit the Guildhall Art Gallery to see the small but quirky Victoriana exhibition; had an impromptu lunch with my friend Jen in Clerkenwell, and then spent the afternoon at Central St Martins talking art journalism and professional development with a large group of first year students in a very small room.

Some art, some lunch, some last ditch creative and professional satisfaction. And then dinner at the Shard.

Lovely Boy spent his last day quaffing beers in olde pubs before pilgrimaging up to The Emirates Stadium for one last spin through the gift shop.

We reconvened at half-five and found ourselves a prime corner position for a cocktail at Hutong on the 33rd floor of the big spike. The view from here was suitably panoramic for an occasion celebrating all that London is and has been for us both over these last years. It was kind of perfect actually.

And Aqua, where we ate with Nina, Steve, Katie and Ash was like something out of a James Bond film – all glass and mirrors and dark lighting, with views from everywhere – including the loos. 

Because why wouldn’t you want to look down over Bermondsey while you wash your hands. 

The service wasn’t quite as impressive, still ironing out a few glitches I think, but the food was first class and for our last night, it was amazing to sit up above the city in these glamorous surrounds and watch it succumb to the evening. Tate Modern, St Paul’s, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, all of it. The ultimate lesson in perspective really, this magnificent city and our relative insignificance amid it all. 

Denial, liquor and dear friends is a wonderful combination.

On Tuesday we had lunch at Borough Market before ambling along the Southbank trying to avoid the rain. LB granted me a quick half hour to rush through the sensitive, beautiful, haunting Ana Mendieta exhibition at the Hayward (because why wouldn’t you want to buy one last exhibition catalogue to add to your 110kg) before one last schlep home on the tube to finish our packing and head to the airport. In and of itself an adventure…

Thanks to my brother, who handily works for Qantas, we managed to get excessive amounts of excess baggage and so flew back to Sydney in the company of six suitcases and a guitar.

And now we’re here. And what that means I don’t know yet but as I said to my lovely boy as we landed this morning, 'Don’t worry my love. We’ll always be Londoners.' 

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