Ice Age Art (above): The swimming reindeer.
The Guardian gave our Emerson Quartet concert (Bartok qt 3, Janacek qt 2, Berg Lyric Suite) four stars out of five and I was pleased this eggheaded programme more or less filled Queen Elizabeth Hall, also drawing a high percentage of under-forties.
P and C, with whom we were staying, live in Lewisham in south-east London. Normally we take London's motorway ring-road, M25, from which it's a 20-minute drive. Instead we plunged into London's suburbs on the western side of the capital to pass by our old house in Kingston-upon-Thames. Since I know this quadrant I tried to override the satnav but finally (for complex reasons) I gave in. Needless to say it took ages and the satnav came into its own during the final three or four miles of hilariously zig-zagged narrow streets liberally endowed with sleeping policemen (Speed bumps in the USA).
C, who paints and sculpts, had chosen the British Museum Ice Age Art exhibition the following day. A salutary display. Carvings in mammoth ivory and reindeer antler, some dating back 40,000 years, evolved from realistic renderings of, say, a bison and (my favourite) a tiny, perfectly detailed sole, into impressionistic and very beautiful shapes evocative of the female form. The mental processes on which modern painting and sculpture are based were already there and active all those years ago.
At the Courtauld two-dozen paintings by the nineteen-year-old Picasso revealed him stumbling his way through imitation, low-grade Toulouse Lautrec and ending up with a masterpiece, Girl With Dove. All in one year.
Docklands Light Railway down to Greenwich for a couple of pints at London's greatest pub, The Trafalagar*. London has it all.
*Superior to the pub on Roupell Street in only one respect - it has a view.