Rude Britannia

Tate Britain has had an exhibition on the summer called Rude Britannia, it has bee getting good reviews, so we had made a note to try to get to see it. I checked the Tate website, turns out this is the last weekend so we booked up for an 11am viewing. We were up early so left the house at 8, and were on the 8:30 train from Berkhamsted, which got us to Tate Britain, via the Victoria line, at 9:30. We hung about until the doors opened at 10!

The exhibition was worth the effort, it is all about comic art through the ages, from the first hints of caricatures in political engravings and oil paintings by Hogarth, through the 80’s Spitting Image and Scarfe, right up to today. Helen particularly enjoyed a Heath Robinson cartoon from the war about camouflage in the streets of the city. In the main hall there were two shells of fighter jets, one extremely polished, lying on its back and another drab grey hanging by it’s tail from the roof. Everyone wanted their picture of these objects in an unusual setting. We had a quick look at some of the other paintings then decided to get the boat to Tate Modern.

Over the road we found the jetty and spent our time watching the Thames for a quarter of an hour. We saw the London duck tour boat/road vehicles, and some canoeists, making their way down the river. The boat was a bit disappointing as you could not go out on deck to take photo’s, but the seats were a welcome rest. We passed the Festival Hall which reminded me of the Press Photographer of the Year exhibition (ppye), so I did a quick google and found out it was currently on. We now had a plan, walk along the Southbank, grab some lunch, check out ppye, get the bus to Foyles, and then head back home via Euston. At Tate Modern we saw a sign for RSPB Peregrine watch, we haven’t ticked that bird this year so we took a small detour and scoped both a female and male bird sat on the ledge of the Tate buildings chimney. We then wandered on down to the National Theatre for the photos.

The ppye is an annual event (it’s in the title!) and is well worth a visit, it is always free and the photos are both stunning and thought provoking. The year Haiti featured a lot. I thing I have only missed one year, if that, in the past 10-12 years, and it is often sheer fluke that I manage to be in London when it is on.

We had to take a detour to get up onto the bridge to get the bus, and chanced upon a food fayre, shame we had already had lunch, some of the street food looked delicious. The bus from the bridge took us to Tottenham Court Rd, it was like gravity was pulling me there, but today I gave the technology mecca a miss. We headed over to Foyles for a browse through the books, and perhaps a purchase. I bought a PHP book, The Remains of the Day, and the new Collins complete bird guide, as a thank you to Abida and Connie for their help with the wedding.

We got a taxi from Foyles, because we could not be bothered to find a bus stop that would take us to Euston, it was not the first time we have done that, £6 well spent. I am now on the 15:04 typing this blog entry. All in all a relaxed day wandering around, London with some culture and some purchases to boot.