Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions for something to do on a Saturday in London. There were far too many good choices, as one expects in a millenia-old city. I found the prospect of the Tate Modern to be very, very tempting, but as it turned out I crashed hard and slept very late that morning, so I didn’t feel like I could really do the Tate justice.
So instead I decided to walk south and pay a visit to the person who’d pleaded for CSS help in the comments, since their offices were only five minutes’ walk from my hotel and on my way to other points of interest. You might wonder why I would do that, why I would in effect work, when I had only one day in London, but you know what? London’s been there a long time, and will most likely continue to be there a long time. I could never see all of it, not even if I were to move there. Helping others out is something immediate, vital, and it’s something I like to do when possible. I was there, he was very close by, and so why not?
As it turned out, he didn’t actually have a CSS problem, but we had a lovely lunch at a gourmet burger place right across the street from St. Paul’s Cathedral. That didn’t seem weird or anything.
From there, I crossed the Thames at the Farringdon/New Bridge/Blackfriars bridge, and made my way along the south bank to the Westminster Bridge. In the broken late afternoon sun, I took in living statues and the Eye, a combination which seems far more Tolkienesque than is really necessary. Perhaps fittingly, there was also a book fair beneath Waterloo Bridge, albeit one I regretfully did not peruse—I was afraid I’d be there until the next morning. Once I reached Westminster Bridge, I cut inward to check out the Imperial War Museum—what can I say? I’m a history geek, which you might have guessed from the fact that it was my major field of study in college. I’d also given thought to seeing the Cabinet War Rooms, but again, time was short. I spent a couple of hours wandering randomly through the nooks and crannies of the IWM, and then skedaddled out of there to catch a train to the BBC Backstage Bash. It was loud, it was fun, I traded conference organizer war stories with Patrick Griffiths and got into a short conversation about nihilism with a lovely young lady, and I met more people than I can remember but not nearly as many people as I’d have liked. A whole kettle of thanks to Ian Forrester and the BBC crew for inviting me to such a great party.
If you’re interested in a short visual record of the day, you can see my photos from the War Museum, two pictures from the Bash, or just the whole general collection of all London photos I’ve Flickred. Thanks again for all the suggestions!