Translation: “Art in London”, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it, I tried the thesaurus for words related to “Art” or “Fun”, no luck at find what I was looking for initially I want something beginning with “L” to create an alliteration, but nope, so I tried two other languages, Hungarian and Romanian, there is a reason for that choice, I settled on Hungarian, it had a lovely ring to it, I tried the pronunciation, I’ll need to clarify that in the future though.
I’d like to share with you my adventure from Sunday in London, I hope you’ll have as much fun as we did. I will share both of our photographs and it’ll be interesting to see our different interests and style.
So it’s Sunday Morning, 9:14am, I arrive to pick up my friend, Barbara, she means a lot to me, we used to date, but now we’re friends, I have to be okay with this, maybe the future holds something different for us, I hope, but for now, just friends we shall be.
It’s kind weird being friends with an ex, but neither of us wanted the other to exit our lives, so we’re making it work.
So back to 9:14am Sunday morning, I arrive outside her house and ring her to tell her i’m outside, she brings me in and asks me to help her pick a pair of trousers, a floral one or a yellow checkered one (one of her favorites) , I did prefer the checkered one, but I was also wearing checkered trousers and she thought it might be weird if we was matching which, I suppose is fair enough, so we went with the floral ones, she looked banging in both of them regardless!
We make our way to the coach station, i’d planned out the whole trip so I made sure we had time to grab coffee in the morning, she was tired from the night before, she’d been working all day 12pm-2am, and she didn’t get in till 2:44am, not only that but she’d had to climb the fence to get into her own house as some fool had left their key in the door on the other side, so yeah she was tired.
I was tired too, I tried to go to bed early, but I was getting quite anxious that she was going to cancel last minute, I don’t know why I thought that because she’d been continuously telling me how much she was looking forward to it, but I don’t control my mind.
We had a choice of coffee shops, Costa or Starbucks, they were oddly right next to each other, like literally, we choice Starbucks, she asked to pay for my drink, I obliged, she order a Ice Chia Late and I got a Ice Tea.
We continue walking over to the coach station, we was doing good for time, as we arrived the coach started boarding so we didn’t have to wait around at all, we plonked ourselves in ours seats and waited for the coach to start, it was a long coach, 2 and half hours, we’d only planned this a week ago so the trains we’re not really affordable that close to time.
If it wasn’t obvious by the title, we was travelling to London, I’d always wanted to take her, she’d never properly been, there was so much to do but I really wanted to show her some art exhibitions I knew she’d enjoy that, the touristy stuff you can always do, and we’ll go back and do that in the future. I’d sent her a list in the week of some exhibitions I thought she’d enjoy about 10 or so we narrowed it down to 3.
We chatted on the coach for a short time, then we started watching the new series of Black Mirror on my phone, I’d previously downloaded these to my Netflix app on my phone during the week, as I knew we really enjoyed watching it together when we was in Romania, I’d also downloaded the new season of Happy, another one we enjoyed together previously.
As we watched an episode of Black Mirror, sharing one ear phone each, we stop intermittently to make comments, when it finishes we briefly discuss our thoughts on it, it was a strange concept, I said about how sometimes you make compromises in love, in relation to the end of the episode.
She turns and asks if we should watch another, I say i’d just like to chat for a little bit first, we’d not spoken overly much at this point, I guess that’s hard to explain because obviously we’d been talking but I just wanted some more time sat talking to her, she told me about her week and work, I listened and I made sure she knew I was listening, because often I do other things on the side whilst listening, any way, I go on to tell her about how I wrote a little something in relation to a conversation we’d had recently, about being able to understand oneself, I quoted myself saying it’s hard to understand yourself when we are just here in the middle of space on a floating rock, for what reason, she looks at me and tells me “Life has no purpose” and “that’ll free you”, we chat about this, and she tells I should write about it, and I did in the end later that evening.
I tell her I want to see more of her blogs again she hasn’t written anything since February, I was pretty shit at getting round to read them, she would badger me and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to, I was just so fucking tired and depressed that I couldn’t focus properly, but when I did get round to reading them I was always left amazed.
She tells me she’d like to start Vloging too, I support this, I offer her use of my camera, and say I will help her promote it.
The coach is behind schedule now, but we are deep in conversation, we were probably chatting quite loudly, we seem to do that when we get excited about what we are talking about, I can feel the guy next to me staring over and I see him laugh to himself at one point, but I don’t care about the judgment of others in this time.
We start talking about music and we start listening to her phone, sharing an earphone once again, she shows me her music, I mean I should have already known it but I didn’t, she shows me some songs that I adore and I had no idea she would even like, but I’d never asked, I looked at her and said I was sorry I never asked, because I was really happy to have similar taste, some of it I didn’t enjoy but I was happy for her to show me and listen to what she did enjoy. Some of the songs she showed me, I knew and they resonated with me, and the lyrics felt relevant to me and our situation, I don’t know if this was intentional from her part or just coincidental, I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to ruin the moment.
Eventually we arrive at London Victoria, almost 40 minutes late, at this point I was quite agitated I’d wrote up an itinerary and all my directions/journeys so we wouldn’t be panicking and rushing, but we was meant to be at our first exhibition by now, she looked at me and said not to worry it’s not about that, it’s about the day, she was right, I just need to enjoy the day.
We make our way over the Camden Arts Centre, it’s a short Underground journey, I had all the saved onto my phone, so getting in and around the underground was going to be a breeze. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for her.
Surrealism at Camden Arts Centre
We arrive at Camden Arts Centre it’s just short walk from Finchley Road Station. The building was quite nice looking like an old school. We’d come to see the exhibition “A Tale of Mothers Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism” it was some what of a surrealist exhibition, it was very interesting a lot of the art made sense to me, but it also didn’t make sense either, I suppose that doesn’t really make sense to you either does it.
The first room was full of faces weird faces, she was already in her element, I smiled cheek to cheek. We both took photos, I was messing around with a new camera lens a super wide angle lens, I was having a few issues with getting my depth of field correct, whilst also compensating for the lighting conditions the gallery provided. I’m no professional photographer, but i’d been experimenting a lot more lately.
We enter the second room in the exhibition, this ones about to get weirder, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I told you it was weird didn’t I? It was even weirder in person a lot of it didn’t photograph well I find that a lot, somethings are better seen with your own eyes.
I have no idea what any of it meant, and in the studio there was audio playing of what I can only describe as a man making baby noises and squelching, “bleb bleb”, we both thought it was really fun though.
She was snapping away on her new iPhone, I was snapping away on my Canon 77D.
We moved on to the final gallery of the exhibition.
Well I hope you enjoyed this as much as we did, it certainly was peculiar but we like peculiar, we managed to actually save time here, because I’d allowed an hour here for us but it was much smaller than i’d thought.
We asked the lady at the reception the quickest way to get to Camden Lock, she told us to take the Overground across the road, we made our way over.
Lunch in Camden
We arrived at Camden Road, nearly at our next destination.
I wasn’t quite sure how to get to the Lock from our station I looked around quite confused, as I was about to get my phone out a man walked up to us a creepily asked us if we was looking for directions, his vibe was perculiar but with my job i’ve learnt to try not to judge people, I happily accepted his directions, he seemed a little thought blocked but eventually he came to terms with his directions, very helpful but as soon as he said the Sainsburys was down that way I already knew where I had to go from there.
We made it to Camden market and it was heaving, we tried to weave our way in and out of humans I had to slow down because I kept walking to far from her, I have a tendency to march on and seeing as we wouldn’t be holding hands, I had to keep her in my sights!
After a short while I decided it would be easier just to walk in the road, it was a one way street and the road was wide, we made our way to the canal, I was a bit annoyed because the part of the canal I wanted to visit wasn’t accessible at this time, I’d planned to take her to this part I visited years ago as a teenager where there was an old retired Canal Barge covered in algae.
Netherless we took to the other side and settled down by the waterside for lunch, I hung my legs over the edge.
I pulled out us packed lunch from my bag i’d made the night before for us, it was made up of an halloumi, avocado, rocket and hirachi wrap, some fresh plum tomatoes, and some pineapple, she absolutely loved pineapple, I bought a fork with me so she didn’t have to get her hands sticky.
We sat and chatted we watched as a canal barge passed by. She thanked me for lunch, we stayed a little while, there was busker nearby us playing “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley, it was pleasant to listen to.
We made our way over to the tube station, on our way we picked up a small bottle of fresh orange juice from a market stall, it was juicy and had lots of bit in it, delicious!
Our journey would only be 30 minutes but we was both pretty tired of travelling by this point, we didn’t talk much during this travel but it doesn’t matter because we still enjoy each others company.
We found ourselves in Brixton where we’d gone with the intention to visit an exhibition “Sarah Cockings & Harriet Fleuriot: Another Funny Turn”, that was our intention but when I got my phone out for the direct location to it, my phone told me it was closed today, I’m not really sure how i’d managed that I was sure i’d checked it a thousand times, but I was wrong! I was devastated, I really wanted to take her, she said it was okay it didn’t matter, but for a short moment I was upset, so we hopped back on the tube again made our way to the final exhibition… Tate Modern, it’s a big building and we’d now saved time so we had more time to explore it!
The tube is hot now, she tells me she needs to sort her contact lens out, the air down there is making them irritant, it’s hot and busy and we’re both quiet again, we sit opposite each other, we joke saying we’re so far apart, as soon as the seat next to her is available I plonk myself down next to her, we sit mostly in silence, occasionally prodding each other for entertainment.
We got off in Blackfriars, the nearest station to Tate Modern, I knew the way myself from here, I pointed out the top of the building to her, she looked and said “oh it’s so far away” I suppose from the angle it did look that was but it was just a mere 5 minute walk, we walked along the river side, the Thames ain’t much to look at but it sure was nicer the crowd of people along the path, though saying we’d both enjoyed people watching at numerous points throughout the day, I like to make up little stories for them in my head, I never really share them though, maybe I should sometime.
I ask her if she’d like to join me in the forest some time to throw paint at a canvas, use whatever colors she is feeling, she agrees, jokingly says it’ll be all black!
We enter Tate Modern it is absolutely massive, she tells me how she’s always wanted to come here, I’m happy to be able to fulfill this for her.
We pondered around there was a lot to see and we now had more time to do it in, I mostly just followed her at her pace.
I’ll share with you some of our favorite things from it.
We spent a long time in Tate, longer than we’d planned but we’d saved time from our mishap earlier, we visited every gallery that was free, we wanted to do some of the others too but we ran out of time.
As we walked around I followed her I think I was a burden I often don’t stop to read everything, I like to make up my own stories, but I did encourage her to do what she wanted, she told me she’s always preferred going by myself to galleries, I’m the same really.
She talks to me about the pieces of art, she knows a lot more than she lets on, I guess she’s quite enigmatic but it’s not really something that comes up in a normal conversation.
I am happy to share and listen to her thoughts about the work, but most of all I am happy to see her smile, she’s in her element here.
She took loads of photos, in fact I think there is more than I have included, I didn’t take many photos, I was just enjoying viewing them and I couldn’t be bothered of the hassle with my camera all the time, trying to manually set it up because I detest shooting in auto!
I remember we reached a few bits of art and it was sort of frustrating because I felt like I could have easily achieved something like that, one was literally just a line down a canvas and called it Modern Art, I could have done that, but I didn’t so I guess that’s why it’s not my work up there, I do paint however I paint expressionist art, like Jackson Pollock.
We’d spent a lot longer than expect here, but it was so worth it!
We make our way back to our next location, it’s a mystery restaurant I’ve booked us a table for in Notting Hill, she has no idea anything about it other than I’ve booked it, I told her it would be “instagramable” one of her phrases. She says she trusts me.
It’s a bit of a longer tube journey nearly 45 minutes, ugh, not fun! We’re both hungry now!
We are running a little bit tight for time so we order an Uber to take us the rest of the journey from the tube station.
The restaurant was called Farmacy and it served all vegan organic food! We’re both vegetarians!
We arrived at 6:59pm, table is booked and ready for 7pm so it was perfect, we go in and it’s very fancy, she was very impressed, I was too, I’d done good, I already knew what I was ordering because i’d looked at the menu prior.
We took a good look at the food and drinks menu, I ordered mushroom tacos, and a beetroot drink called Witches Brew, she ordered the Farmacy burger, with sweet potato fries, and a Chia latte.
We always struggle to talk at meals, it’s not awkward though because we really enjoy each others company.
I’d previously asked her to tell me her issues she had with me whilst we was in a relationship, she’d asked me to do it for her last time we saw each other so I let her do the same for me this time, she’d thought about it over the week, it’s weird but it’s good to say and hear these things.
She lent over and she began to tell me, she had quite a few issues, I won’t list them because that is for me and her only.
I was aware of a lot of them already, I apologized because she deserved better than my broken self had given her, and it wasn’t from lack of love, it was just me and my issues.
The conversation took a bit of turn here, I told her I stilled loved her, and she did too, but she just wants to be alone for a bit, focus on herself, I told her i’d wait around, because we’ve both said it’d be nice to try it again in the future, but we don’t know how far away that future is, I made her promise to tell me if there ever comes a point where I am chasing something that is not there, and there is no chance, she agrees she will tell me.
I held back my tears as we chatted more, I could feel my voice quaking as I spoke, I really wanted to cry in front of her, but here was not the place in this busy restaurant.
We both apologized for our mistakes and lack of trying.
It must have seemed odd to people around us to overhear our conversations, we spoke quite openly about things, I didn’t feel ashamed though.
Our food arrived quite quickly I gulped mine down absolutely delicious , she cut her burger like the lady she was, we tried each others food, the burger was lovely. We share some chips and she kept insisting I have more but I was saving space for pudding!
They cleared our plates up quickly and I asked for the dessert menu, because I’m greedy.
She ordered some vanilla Nice Cream, I ordered a Banana bread and Peanut butter slice, with Nice cream on the side.
I think the dessert lasted less than a minute before both of ours were gone, traveling down our digestive tract. So I guess you can say we enjoyed it!
I got up and asked for the bill, then proceeded to the toilet.
When I got back the bill was on the table she offered to pay, I refused, she offered to split, I also refused, I told her I was getting, I owed her, not money, but I owe her my effort and my kindness. Money for the most part has no meaning to me, and for a while I was saving for our first place together, so all that money I saved a whole £4000, I was aiming for £ 10,000, it was going to waste now, so I might as well use some of it for nice things.
I paid, I didn’t tip because frankly the service was a bit lackluster plus they already included a service charge.
She insisted she would pay for the next time we see each other, whether or not i’ll allow it will remain unseen, I don’t really want her to waste her money on me, she’s worked really hard to be a position lately to actually have spending money so I just want her to have it all for herself.
We left, it was lovely meal with a lovely human, someone I am happy have in my life.
A Little Stroll in Hyde Park
I’d planned one last thing for the trip, a walk through Hyde Park back to the coach station. We had two and half hours to kill now, so there was no rush.
We hopped in another Uber to take us to Hyde Park, the driver kindly gave us directions to find the lake in the middle.
We walked through, it was nice, she stopped quite a few times to roll her trousers up because they was dragging I told her she should have just warn the other ones, she laughed. I told her I was upset I couldn’t hold her hand today, i’d wanted to do it all day, she didn’t respond to that.
As we walked I decided to tell her some things I’d been keeping in, one of them wasn’t bad the other maybe it was, there are our shared information now.
I divulged these words upon her, it became clear we were in the same boat a lot of the time but we didn’t talk about it ever, she’d been worrying about me and I’d been worrying about her, I was pleased to be able to finally tell her. She had to know.
She goes on to tell how it’s been weird talking to me every day last week, like we’re in a relationship but we’re not, I understand where she’s coming from, I just really enjoy talking to her, I later tell her that I will just let her contact me from now on, I want her to talk to me because she wants to, not because have instigated it, and if that means we don’t talk for a while well then that’s that really, I would be sad though.
I turn to her and I ask her to tell me something that makes her vulnerable, this was huge deal for us not really being vulnerable with each other previously, I’d done a lot of it lately though so I wanted to hear something sincere from her, she tells me a story from her past, a story I already know but this time with more feelings, we sit down in the park it’s sort of raining now but it doesn’t matter, I just listened and try to be there in the moment for her.
We talk about recovery and getting on with life, she tells me how she’s going to write a book one day about her experiences, I encourage her, i’d promote the shit out of it for her.
She’s very intelligent, she’s gonna do great things I tell you.
We got up and started walking towards the edge of the park, to find the nearest tube station, as we walked we eventually meet the lake the taxi driver spoke of, we walked partly down it, chatting away, she told me somethings that made me jealous, I couldn’t do anything about it though, we was chatting away for a while before I realized we was actually heading in the wrong direction, we turned around and proceeded walking again.
We’d said we was going to get a nice photograph together in the park but that moment never came, I regretted not getting one but I was too engrossed in our conversations, and after all we’ve got all the memories from today. There’ll be other opportunities.
We neared the edge of the park and there was a little waterfall feature, and next to it was a Heron bird chilled, I stopped turned her around and we walked over and looked at it in awe, I got my camera out and tried to get a decent photograph of it, the lighting conditions weren’t great and I didn’t have my tripod but it came out alright, she said she really liked it. I had to up my ISO on my camera, so it came out a little grainy. It was a nice little moment to end the day with.
Time to Kill
We made our way to the nearest tube station Knightsbridge and back to Victoria coach station, we boarded the train it was only a few stops.
We got off on the wrong side and for a short moment I was disorientated, she asked me if I was lost I said I wasn’t because I found my bearings, she said okay in a questionable fashion, I don’t think she believed I knew where I was going, until we found somewhere familiar she’d seen!
We still had a good hour to kill till our coach, there was no point being out in the rain so we went into a nearby pub, she got my drink she already knew what I wanted, a soda and lime, she ordered a medium glass of white wine, I want to say it was Chardonay but i’m sure it began with M, she did tell me and I did listen honest, I’ve just forgotten!
We sat outside, she lit up a cigarette she smokes in such an elegant fashion, it always allured me, if you picture Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s you’ll get an idea what she looks like, or at least that is what I see, she made smoking look somewhat glamorous. She doesn’t smoke much at all to be honest 2-4 a day maybe, I never had an issue with it.
The pub staff comes around and tell us to move inside as the outside area is closing now, we find a nice little seated area in the corner and we just chat, I say we should talk about more happy things, but the conversation always seems to drift back towards us, but it’s nice just talking, she tells me how much she is looking forward to going back home to Romania, for two months, she leaves this Monday coming, I tell her i’ll miss her, she tells me she will too but she knows she’ll be busy so it’ll distract her, she tells me she understands I wont be distracted, she knows I’ll feel it more. I guess it’s nice knowing she can sense that in me.
She sent me all the photos she took from the day, and I told her I was going to write about it, she tells me she’s looking forward to reading it.
It’s nearly time for our coach, she tells me she’s going to roll one last cigarette before we board, I ask her if I can roll it for her, I used to smoke years ago but I’ve long since quit but I still really enjoy rolling, I roll it quickly she is surprised how quick I do and it’s a very picturesque roll up, it seems perfectly smooth, it just adds to her glam factor when she smokes it. She goes on to tell me how I was the one who taught her to roll last year, I can’t really remember too well but she definitely learnt from the best.
Sleepy Journey Home
We board our coach, it’s dark now and we’re both tired, we talk some more, I see her eyes closing, we’re both smiling at each other talking softly and quietly, her smile is infatuating, I let her drift off, I rub her leg gently and quietly say “goodnight Barb” she smiles at me.
I watch her for a little while, not creepily, but it’s just nice she looks so peaceful and content in this moment.
I turn around and I open up my phone I begin to write up my post about purpose the one she’d suggested I write, it took me maybe 30 minutes or so, and then I was just alone, but I wasn’t, I played music through one earphone and just starred down the carriage thinking, pondering, taking in the day, it’d been wonderful.
The journey went quite fast for me actually, as we neared our final destination back in Southampton she woke up just before I was about to nicely wake her up, she tells me she’s thinking of getting and Uber home, I tell her it’s a waste of money as it’s only a short walk and i’ll walk with her anyways, but the truth is I just wanted a little bit more time with her. She agrees and we exit the coach, finally our travels are over.
The Walk Home
Our journey isn’t over yet, we were meant to stop off at mine so I could lend her my luggage scales, she needed to weigh her luggage before heading off, she told me she was to tired to make the trip, and she’d get them off me later in the week, I agreed, I proceeded to walk her home, we spoke softly to each other, and she shared with me some deep words, stuff I didn’t know about her, it was sad, but it felt nice, I appreciated her sharing this with me.
We arrived at her home, I was sad to say goodbye, we gave each other a hug, this time the hug didn’t really feel awkward, it was nice, we both thanked each other the for lovely day, she went into her house and we said goodbye.
I walked myself slowly home, taking everything in, thinking a lot, I was worried i’d ruined the day with sad conversations in the end, I panicked, my head hung low, but as I got in I looked at my phone and i’d received a message of her thanking me once again for the day, I was relieved, she didn’t have to thank me again.
I wished her a good night and I retired to my bed, I slept well that night actually, I hadn’t been sleeping well for a long time now, but I got a full nights rest that night.
In the morning she shared on Instagram some photos of her day and tagged me saying it was a lovely day, I was over the moon, there wasn’t any photos of me, but it didn’t matter the fact she’d tagged me meant enough, it’s weird because she’d only ever shared one photo of us on her page, and if you would to look through her profile it probably never seemed like were ever together, she did used to share a lot on her story of me though, but this meant a lot to me, thank you.
I sit here typing away, this has taken me over a day to get right, one of my laptops broke whilst doing it so I had to use my back up.
She asked to see me Sunday night before she leaves Monday morning it’ll be a sad time I’m sure but i’ll be happy to spend the last moments with her, she’ll be back in two months for my birthday and she’s promised to organise a “banging day out” for me. I look forward to this.
I hope you have the best time away, and truly look after yourself and have all the fun possible.
I hope you all enjoyed our adventure, I had one of the best days ever, with the best company a man can ask for, I think we both learnt a lot about each other on that day, and I feel it’s bought us stronger together. Our story is a strange one, but either way I think we’ll be inseparable.
I hope when you get round to reading this, you’ll enjoy reliving our day, thank you so much for all your words and time, it means a lot to me.