Friends and Family, Guests, Life in London
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Nadia the First, part a

Of the many parts of the Nadia.

The first thing that I want to mention, is that I didn’t forget Nadia.

But I did leave her on the dark streets of London due to failed phone signal- the City of London no less (lots of untrustworthy Finance types around there), and Sameer had to go rescue her.

Which meant we were all a bit late to the show, which was the first event of the trip.

Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool.

I know of Mike from storytelling on This American Life, but didn’t know much more about him, his life or his comedy. The show itself was broadly about aging, health and the threat of imminent death, and was engaging all the way through, but definitely sat more as a comedic story rather than full on comedy. ★★★

Nadia Review: Mike has good story telling abilities, turning normal stories into comedy even though he speaks about serious stuff like disease and death. I grinned a lot but only laughed out loud once, but all in all I enjoyed the show and would recommend it.

We slept at Sameer’s, and the next morning I headed off for a half day work, while Sameer toured Nadia around his home and then released her back onto the wild (but now not dark) streets of London.

By the time we met up at lunch, I was hungry enough for the mandatory London visitor stop at Gail’s Bakery, to feast on a sausage roll, spinach and feta scroll.

And to test our guest’s ability to eat scones with jam and cream the right way around.

Nadia voted for the jam on cream, which of course does mean that she has failed me as a friend.

Nadia’s ability to understand how to eat scones: ★

We had a bit of a park-walk, and Nadia demonstrated her superior Birding Abilities:

Nadia Cormorant: ★★★★★

Cormorant Cormorant: ★

.. and then spent most of our afternoon in the Frameless Immersive Art Experience

I have to say that I was pretty friggin’ surprised and impressed by this one.

I definitely would not have visited without the push from an interested party. Mostly, because I’d previously visited a similar-sounding Dali experience with a friend, which was overpriced (30 pounds!!!) and absolutely terrible. Basically you just sat in the room while they Ken Burnsed some Dahli art around you.

So what with that and myfrom my general skepticism of things in London that are described mainly as ‘Tourist Attraction’, I wasn’t highly keen.

But this was SO MUCH BETTER.

There was a lot of attention to the art, the movement of it all and the music. Plus one of the rooms was actually interactive, with stomp-on-able paint-leaves that you could effectively kick back towards the paintings on the walks.

I also really liked the mirrors, although Nadia was less keen on the vertigo-induction of it all.

I think I liked the first room we entered the best- which was pretty largely centered around that kinky bugger Hieronymus Bosch.

But they also had MONDRIAN:

(which merged into af Klint and others)

As well as other famous things that might tickle your fancy:

All up, a solid ★★★★.

After seeing some Art, we thought we’d balance it out with some Science, so popped quickly into the Natural History Museum.

We did a bit of a race through, mostly concentrating on the dinos.

I did like the section with various posters saying ‘this Englishman published on dinosaurs first’ and ‘this Englishman found the bones first’…. and then also a poster saying ‘actually btw Chinese people have known about dinosaur bones for ages but have been calling them dragons’.

Which I don’t think is any more incorrect than calling what is effectively a large bird a ‘giant lizard’.

Chicken bones: ★★

Lizard bones: -1★

Dragon bones: ★★★★★

Speaking of which, we said hello to a beautiful chicken:

And I met up with my of favorite of all the dinosaurs.

Can honk, 5★.

Most importantly of all, some nice person took these highly impressive photos of us:

… which sometimes worked better in the green screen context than other times.

Nadia Review: ‘Grrrrrr’*


We zoomed from the Museum over to Chinatown, where I forced Nadia to eat various delicious foods that could not possibly be consumed in any kind of delicate way:

And then, it was time for more sleeping!

Friday I did another half day of work, and then we jetted across to Kew Gardens, my favourite of all the London Places.

I mean:

One of the two large greenhouses had a special pride exhibit, which included this piece that was beautiful and billowy and colourful and almost definitley silk (would wear), but which we also felt could have had a bit more OOMPH.

Beyond that, there were plants:


All the stars.

After getting our fill of the natural beauty, and exiting through the gift shop, we made our way back to my house, ate large amounts of Carribean food, and put ourselves to sleep.

More adventures to come, but for now, I think it would be a crime not to end on more of these:

Our acting abilities are truly spectacular!

September 27 – October 2, 2023, and some times around it all.

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