Spring in Bloomsbury

Last night we walked out to see a play at the Duchess Theatre, “The Pitmen Painters”, which was wonderful. In early February we walked the same route to see “Master Class” and experienced a blizzard — wild gusts of snow, icy streets. This time a full moon lit our way and I could smell flowers in the darkness as we turned a corner. Trees are blooming, daffodils fill the squares, and the magnolias are even coming into flower. There was a fat orange bee stumbling in some Clematis armandii by a farmer’s market (free range lamb and goat cheeses, bedding plants and levain…) a block or two from here. What a difference a month makes!

We’re staying in a tiny attic flat at Cartwright Gardens. It’s like a ship’s quarters, everything built to fit the small space, and very well-organized. We overlook a square with tennis courts and have enjoyed watching people play in the sunlight that is so welcome after winter’s rain and snow. And last night we passed the pub on the corner where the outside tables were filled with people laughing and drinking their pints.

We tried to go to the David Hockney exhibit at the Royal Academy of Art yesterday but the line-ups were astonishing. Come back around 4, a woman advised, and it will be much quieter. I think we’ll try that today,. Instead we went to Hatchards and bought books — poetry collections for John and Ian Bostridge’s essays about singing for me.

We’re both so delighted to be on shortlists for the B.C. Book Prizes, John for poetry and me for non-fiction. Thanks to everyone who wrote to offer congratulations. It seems like icing on what has already been a delicious cake. A month in the Czech Republic and now five days in London where we both spent a lot of time when we were young and nimble. (You notice the lack of nimbleness when crossing the busy streets, believe me…)

This morning I want to go to look at St. George’s Bloomsbury, a church by the enigmatic Nicholas Hawskmoor. And maybe Sir John Soane’s marvellous house after that. Then a concert at St. Martin in the Fields.

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~ by theresakishkan on March 9, 2012.

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