050/2024 – Quick Update From London

Photo of Westminster London by night. On the right the House of Parliament on the right the London Eye in pink light. Westminster bridge and more of central London in the centre. Clouds in the sky
Westminster by night

I thought I’d post a quick update before I head out for the day to visit the National History Museum incl. the Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition and then later today to my 2nd musical of this trip: “Hamilton”.

So far everything went well or nothing went really wrong, which for a worrier like me is basically the same thing. But in all earnest: I’m startled / surprised / impressed about how I handle all the tiny things that don’t go 100% as planned. A few years ago every tiny mishap came with the chance of me tail-spinning into negative thoughts, but this time – so far – I managed to take the necessary step back. I re-assess. I adjust my plans, which are mostly vague during the day anyway and just get on with my day. Progress!

Mishaps include

  • technical problems somewhere north of Wimbledon which meant: No trains coming or going. Took the bus the South Wimbledon and hopped on the Northern Line.
  • a camera who somehow seemed to have stopped working after I removed the SD card to transfer the photos to me tablet. Nothing I can do about that here and now, so I don’t need to spend my time worrying about it. Good thing I’ve got a smaller camera as well.
  • a lost USB C charger cable and a replacement (bought from Morrison’s first thing this morning) that charges really really slow. I might need to buy another faster one somewhere today.

The first thing on the list of things I came to London for – seeing “Operation Mincemeat” on Saturday – was brilliant. Again! As it is! I was treated to the the full original cast, which hasn’t happened the two times I was here last summer. So that was fun. I managed to hand over my little present and letter to one of the cast – David – at the stage door, which was good. And I had a quick chat with cast member Jak, who always is the sweetest at stage door.

Jak was the one who caused the biggest stage mishap I recall ever seeing on this show, when he mixed up a cue and came on stage too early. Realized it half-way through the door and retreated. The cast on stage at that moment reacted amazingly, carried on as nothing had happened but ad-libbed to our delight. A few moments later with Jak finally on stage, Zoe entered in her part as Colonel Bevan with the line “You’ve made a stupid mistake” directed at Monty sitting at the table. But while she said it she basically glared at Jak which set the audience off again. Such fun!

Just as the last time I was here to see the show in August, where I saw all sorts of “connections” to it at the Postal Museum I had visited that day, this time around I once again stumbled across something. While I was just strolling through the surrounding park on my way to check out the Tibetan Peace Garden, I saw the banner for the “Spies, Lies and Deception” exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. Which isn’t a museum I’d usually visit, I think. But of course I wondered, if Operation Mincemeat might feature in it. Did I go in to check? Of course I did.

Photo of an oar, photos of Ewen Montague, Jean Leslie and some parts of the mincemeat deception
Operation Mincemeat section of the Spies, Lies and Deception exhibition at the IWM

From there I took the bus across the river, because my legs were already a bit tired from all the walking I had done on that day and the day before, which included the 193 steps (down) at Covent Gardens tube station after the show, because I hadn’t remembered that there are so many! I had a bite to eat in a Pret and then walked to and across the river for some photography.

I think I’m quite happy with the few photos I took that evening, especially as I hadn’t read up about the best settings for night photography before and operated mostly on memory. I will need to check the photos on my big monitor at home though.

(In the spirit of full disclosure: the annoying bitchy worrier voice in my head urges me to include mentioning the things that could be considered “not have gone well that night”, but I stubbornly fought against her! Go me!)

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