I went on a visit to London yesterday. I started with a limp from Euston to South Bank, stopping off at Muji on the way. I don’t need any new stationary but still bought a few things. I then went to the Hide and Seek festival (review here) where I waited to meet some friends.
I felt too awkward to join any of the directly interactive events but enjoyed looking around. I particularly liked Trap Street which involved making an imaginary map of London. I also signed up for The Day of the Figurines, an SMS game that I’d missed when it was in Brighton (picture below). The game was interesting and I liked the gentle flow of messages updating me with game events. The only problem I found was with text messages as an interaction – it was a little like a terse text adventure.
Since my friends were running late I spent some time exploring the South Bank. I found a beach at the riverside where people practiced somersaults on the sand. I also joined up with the event I’d come to see, the London-as-tokyo tour given by Momus, which consisted of outrageous lies and facts about Tokyo. Meanwhile my friends tried to find me by SMS, which they described as ‘Hide and Seek with James.
We wandered to the Tate Modern where we checked out the Street & Studio exhibition, which contained an interesting range of work. My favourites were Wolfgang Tillman‘s pictures of tube passengers and a couple of group shots by Richard Avedon, of the Chicago Seven and the Factory. The image below is from outside the Tate, where the exhibition’s sponsors have provided an Information Tunnel – ‘thanks’. We then ate at Tas Pide where we had lovely food and lousy service.
Sadly the day ended with another train problem – Virgin trains are not a means of transport, more an open invitation to go fuck myself. I’d assumed I’d have no trouble travelling back a little later than planned but discovered the last train north of Northampton left London at 9:50pm. Do people from the Midlands not visit London for the day? My sister helped out by booking a National Express ticket which was sent my mobile and I arrived home a couple of hours later than planned. She also cheered me up by telling me about Jay-Z’s Glastonbury set, where he proved himself to be a better man than Noel Gallagher.
But it was a good day: drifting, catching the sun and staying up late.