Thursday 29 April 2021

Shamed by a comment from Pam, who was kind enough to say, 'Come back, Mary!' ... well, here I am, wishing that Boris prioritised theatres and galleries over pubs, but alive and kicking and although it isn't fashionable to say so, sick to the back teeth of slooooowwww living - lockdown feels like God's waiting room! - and willing London to open up again!
I did go into town last week to pay a farewell visit to Persephone Books - there was a little queue outside the door - as I'm not likely to be visiting their new shop in Bath anytime soon. It did feel a bit like the end of an era: those lovely grey covers and discovering writers like Dorothy Whipple, then a browse in Pentreath & Hall over the road (which was closed) and maybe an all-day breakfast and a mug of proper tea at Sid's café next door (which looks properly closed for good like so many other independent businesses around town). It still feels very quiet everywhere; the suburbs seem busier than the West End. But I did go for an amble around Mecklenburgh Square because I've been enjoying this book:
I celebrated the re-opening of book shops with a browse in Hatchards and bought this, which I've been meaning to read for ages:
And, happily, although all the big galleries remain closed, the smaller ones count as non-essential shops. So although I'm not always the biggest fan of Gilbert&George, it was a real treat to see their take on 2020 and the new normal: plus I only booked as I was putting on my coat and leaving the house, and when did I last do anything as spontaneous as that!