My least favoured day is Sunday. Wow, not a very positive note to start this blog-journal, is it? Nevertheless, it is true – Sundays are lazy and boring and, more often than not, surrounded by a dreadful feeling of anticipation for the week ahead. Today, however, I feel quite at peace with it, even though I DO have to work tomorrow.
Last Friday, the 15th, I boarded an Eurostar train in Brussels and off I went to spend five whole days in London! The journey was peaceful – God, I love riding the train! – and the days spent in London were lovely. I have a couple of friends living there, so London has become a mixture of vacations abroad and meeting with friends. Makes it all even better.
On the 20th of July I returned home, after a five hour journey, with a suitcase filled with souvenirs and books. I found a few bargains at Southbank.
I’d been visiting Shakespeare’s Globe for the first time and then decided to take a stroll along the Thames, cross Westminsters Bridge and then head to the National Gallery. I did all this, in spite of the unusual heat, but was detained halfway by a beautiful second-hand book sale in Southbank. I wasn’t going to buy anything, I had my kindle filed with books and a very ambitious to-read list, yet, as I was checking the tables and feeling the spines of the hundreds of books laid out there, my eyes caught sight of some unexpected – cheap – treasures.
I bought a collection of three volumes by Nick Hornby, – Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About A Boy (I failed to read Fever Pitch but had rented the other two long ago, at the public library back in Portugal, so I never owned those before) – Atonement, by Ian McEwan, which inspired one of my favourites movies but, alas, I hadn’t yet read the book, and The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje, which I have read, and I own its Portuguese version, but I always wanted to read the original, in English, so now I own it as well. All of this for £13. Neat.
Full-handed and with a light heart, I then headed to the National Gallery to check on some of van Gogh’s painting, exhibited there. I didn’t find them. It’s the second time I visit the gallery and I love it, but it’s a labirint of rooms and I couldn’t, no matter how much I followed the green, post-impressionists signs, find his paintings. I was quite tired from the walk, and thirsty, so I headed back home. Deep down, I just created a(nother) reason to go back to London.
At Sainsburys I also found a very recent best-seller, The Girl On The Train, for £3.49. I mean, it’s cheaper than icecream.
I am now finishing Lust For Life, about van Gogh and I may just put this one on the top of my to-read list, just because everyone went nuts about it and the movie will be out soon. I want to know what all the fuss is about.
These are a few of the physical things I brought from London. On Regent’s Street, my friend and I went looking for the make-up shop Kiko because I wanted to buy a nail varnish that would make my own nail varnish matte, and we were sure to find it there. On the way to Kiko there was a van selling souvenirs, three for £5.
Yes, that is indeed a ticket to the Hogwart’s Express I bought at King’s Cross, I am a proud Ravenclaw. 😉
The snow globe – which is what I usually buy as souvenir when I visit new places, but the magnets were so cheap I bought them too – is from Oxford, which is a beautiful town. My friends took me there on Saturday. We walked around town, had lunch at a nice restaurant and lost ourselves amongst the souvenir shops and a beautiful bookshop, which had lots of Harry Potter stuff, mainly due to the release of The Cursed Child, on the 31st.