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Trip Report Micro-report: Passing through London

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We met our daughter at our Russell Square hotel (not the big red one: our favorite small B&B one with back view of Horse Hospital) after an enormous summer Sunday morning immigrations line at LHR and the always just-fine-even-after-overnight-flight Piccadilly Line ride. The three of us would spend two nights there, then two weeks in France, then another two nights on the way back.

After reviving soup and latte at Tutti's, around the corner on Lamb's Conduit Street, H and I were ready to walk around while her daddy tested out the hotel bed. Lamb's Conduit, by the way, is a fine little pedestrian-mostly street dotted with inexpensive sidewalk cafés and pubs.

Russell Square was hopping on that very fine Sunday afternoon, and to our delight there was a red-and-white striped Punch and everyone-but-Judy stage amusing children of all ages. Punch beat the doctor, the policeman, and other males with his stick, but presumably wife-beating is not so entertaining these days. The puppets are sponsored by Friends of Russell Sq., that has a booth nearby. I bought a 1£ paperback Vanity Fair from them, not remembering that whole chunks of it are set in Russell Sq. homes or remembering what a great book it is.

We took full advantage of Russell Square and the great weather, sat on its benches, power-walked it perimeter waiting for Pa, enjoying a beer and snack at the Café there.

H and I visited the special exhibits at British Museum, which hardly anyone can ever see enough, and we especially enjoyed the political cartoons from the Napoleonic era. History for dummies, my favorite:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/bonaparte_and_the_british.aspx

Bob walked back up to the British Library (I can envision a day when the Beatles exhibit will be pushed aside to make room for new heroes) while H and I walked down to the National Portrait Gallery, pausing at the Tottenham Ct Rd Caffe Nero for more caffeine for me and a loyalty card for her.

I love the Natl Portrait, probably because I paint portraits myself. Or maybe I paint portraits because I find people most interesting. This time I spent awhile sorting out Wm and Mary and their families, and then H and I went down to this year's BP Portrait Award exhibit. Wow. We loved it.

http://www.npg.org.uk

I've been disappointed in the modern and contemporary portraits there, including the big one of Paul McC who gazes soulfully at you as you ascend the escalator, but this exhibit was so well selected. Go see it if you can. I'd skip the Audrey Hepburn one, though I thought she was adorable, partly because calling someone an "icon" gets on my nerves.

Dinner at The Lamb, my official Favorite London Pub, and finally got to see what Sunday roast is all about when Bob ordered it. They were out of lamb, so their chicken roast was quite a bit like mine. Love the bartenders there.

And that was our first day.

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