I arrived late on a frosty eve and checked into a small cheap hotel near Victoria. As usual I had hoped for a quaint, rambling hotel with interesting artifacts and old furniture, but, as usual, it turned out to be a once-elegant building now stripped of any features.
I was installed in a micro room featuring flat pack furniture and hideous pink paintwork - like being in some fearful medical experiment involving lurid blancmange. I slept badly due to no heating, an odd clicking in the wall which I think must have been death-watch beetle, and pillows like fossilised marshmallows. However I felt cheerful enough the next morning and sallied forth to experience art, architecture and mainly just wandering about gawping.
Glass cases containing hauntingly-beautiful rusty submarines and battleships. I didn't learn much about why as I was too hungry.
Part of the canal somewhere near Haggerston, looking towards the Gherkin building, etc. I was completely amazed by this stretch of water; doubly amazed that I could have lived so long in this city at various times and not walked these lovely waterside paths.
Then I got lost. And the camera ran out of battery which was a great shame as I had ended up in Brick Lane market which was seething with a million different people, dogs, smells, colours, foods, vintage clothes, et al.
I spent a lot of the rest of the day being obsessed about a grey rabbit fur hat that I missed as I had tried to barter with a wily Russian woman who said she could get the full price - and did while I had walked nonchalantly away planning to come back and up the price a little . . . I did buy a cheaper black ostrich feather hat instead, but it wasn't nearly as good - still idly checking the internet every now and then . . .
Post add-on: the obsession was useful as it turned into a short story.