Saturday, June 23

big ben, parliament, wholefoods

Sorry if you received the last post unfinished, I accidentally published instead of saved. I'm obviously out out of blogging practice, as I am way too busy chasing buses around the Sicilian countryside and expanding my waistline with almond pastries, sourdough bread and macchiatos. 

After a marathon 50 hour journey from coconut palms to roses via the desert of Qatar, I was reunited with a couple of dear friends in London for four days. The only goal was to get a new Indonesian visa and I failed dismally, as the embassy only issues to UK citizens. Bollocks to that, there wasn't a plan B.

I was delivered two days of heavy rain and two days of glorious sunshine, which is not bad odds for the English summer. There was much eating of berries and salad, drinking of tea, playing in the park and talking late through the extended dusk light.  Within the first six hours of arriving I was on the tube, in a black cab, over the Thames on the Millennium Bridge and parked on my rental cushion to watch Henry V at Shakespeare's Globe theatre. The jet lag threatened to pull me under in the second half but inspired by Henry and his brave warriors, I fought gallantly to the end with only the odd head wobble. 

I devoted day two to overflowing my artistic mug with a spot of Damien Hirst at Tate Modern (so much more than a shark in a tank) and a gathering of Picasso, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and David Hockney at Tate Britain. The two Tate galleries are linked by a handy ferry service which offers a cheap cruise past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.  Big Ben, Parliament...

Never did I think it possible for a store to elicit a welling of tears, until I walked into Wholefoods in High Street Kensington. I knew of the organic food empire from my work with Samudra, however nothing prepared me for the display of fresh, cooked and packaged goodies devoted to raw, vegan, vegetarian, healthy culinary ecstasy.  It brought to mind a dream of my childhood when I would get locked in a supermarket after closing hours and spend the whole night scoffing myself. Please can I camp under the fruit display for a few days? Bugger Big Ben. 

I am writing these belated posts to you from Erice in western Sicily. It is my last in Sicily before I fly to Venice to attend the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts for three weeks. Expect a barrage of photos of flowers, pot plants, balconies, cobbled streets and lamp posts as we sail along through London, a ten day whirl around Sicily and into the cafes of Venezia.  Now if you'll excuse me, it is time for my daily pasticceria experience. Ciao.

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