Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Trying to contact the contractor and insurance again; by Tube to the Blackfriars station and across the Thames to Tate Modern; lunch at the TM; by cab over to Trafalgar Square; National Portrait Gallery; National Gallery; a guitarist busking on the Square; dinner at the Chandos; Mozart by candlelight; by Tube back to Gloucester Road and another late night snack run

Best Western the Cromwell (Cromwell Road)



Today was mostly a good and even fairly productive day even though it ended with a bit of confusion from my insurance adjuster.

I have email addresses for my insurance adjuster and office manager at the construction contractor but only have an office phone for the manager at the mold mediation contractor and cell phone # for that project manager so early this morning I sent a text message to the project manager asking for an update & status report by email from someone in his office. As I was sending emails to my adjuster and the manager at the construction contractor I still had my home iPhone on and airplane mode switched off and was rather pleasantly surprised around 11 AM London time and 6 AM Florida time my mold project manager had texted me back. He said that almost all the mold has been removed and that he is meeting with the construction project manager sometime tomorrow. I asked him to please have someone from both offices send me an update by email after their meeting.

My concert at St Martin in the Fields was at 7:30 PM and I wanted to be in the area of Trafalgar Square not much later than 6 to find somewhere for dinner but not to have too much time on my hands before dinner. I left here a bit after noon to take the Tube over to the Blackfriars station to cross the bridge over to Tate Modern, hoping to find somewhere to have lunch along the way. I didn't, so I wound up buying lunch at the Tate's café and was a bit disappointed to find that they only have pre-made sandwiches and wraps although the labels all say they're made in house. I had a decent sandwich and fruit cup.

Along the way to the Tate there was this young guy playing a musical saw along with prerecorded organ music and he was very good so I stopped to listen to him for a few minutes.

It did not take me long to get through the Tate. I liked the building, a converted former power station and rather industrial and brutalist in design, than I did most of the art. If I have to read something about the meaning and symbolism of a piece of art, modern or otherwise, I'm not going to and that's pretty much true even with my favorites, landscapes and portraits especially of lovely women. For me most of the time that comes down to whether the piece of art has pleasing colors, images, shapes, textures and even more so when it's abstract or nonrepresentational.

It was about 3 PM when I left the Tate. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to do at least one of the National Galleries, especially the Portrait Gallery, so to save time I took a cab over from the Tate.

Both Galleries weren't very crowded today, although there were the occasional tour or school group as usual. I had a very pleasant wander through the Portrait Gallery seeing many pictures I recognized. I didn't see some of my favorites which are in the contemporary section which I thought was on the ground floor not far from the entrance but I didn't see them. There were a couple of sections closed off.

I was back outside the Portrait Gallery about 4 PM and couldn't remember when the National Gallery closed so I took a chance and went over and it was still open. As usual I know I didn't see everything because I admit I get a bit lost wandering around and don't always buy the map but I as always enjoyed what I see–not only the art on display throughout but also the lovely building itself.

It was about 5:30 PM when I was back out on Trafalgar Square. Most of the Square was still closed off for the special events they've been having there but I did find a space on a small wall to sit for a while. By now most of the floating Yodas or other living statues had left and there was only one busker, a young guy who later said he was 28 and played guitar in a style I wasn't familiar with. His sign said he played "tap tap guitar" and he said he writes some of his own material and arranges the rest. He had a CD which was only 5 GBP so I gave him a tenner and told him to keep the change.

I might go back to Prezzo, the Italian place I went last time I went to a concert, tomorrow but tonight I thought I'd try and find a small table in the restaurant area upstairs at the Chandos. It was very busy when I got there but I did find one and had a bowl of pretty good liver & onions in an amazing gravy with mashed potatoes, carrotts, and grated cabbage. I also had a berry cobbler with custard for dessert.

The Chandos only sells Samuel Smith products. I am unable to determine whether that means the Chandos is actually owned by Samuel Smith. The company's web page says only "Samuel Smith's brewery operates in the region of 200 pubs" but doesn't actually list them, only the ones with B&B accomodation. And I've never been able to find what seems to be an official web page for the pub itself.

Tonight's concert was quite good. My seat was acceptable, one seat in from the aisle in the second row.

The theme for the concert was "Mozart by candlelight" and featured the Locrian Ensemble of London who don't seem to have their own web page. I have no idea how many members the group usually has but tonight there were only a maximum of six of them. One, the first violinist, was a woman and the rest were guys.

Before they began playing the cellist reminded us that Mozart had played in St Martin in the Fields himself when he was young.

It turned out that I was familiar with most of the pieces played tonight, except for the first one. The pieces, almost all of them by Mozart, were: "Piano quartet in G minor" K 478 (the pianist came back out in the second half to play his regular instrument, the bass); "Eine kleine nachtmusik", to finish the first half; Mozart's "A musical joke", Bach's "Air on a G string", Pachelbel's "Canon" and Mozart's "Clarinet quintet in A minor" K 581 were in the second half.

I was back at Gloucester Road shortly after 10 PM after walking up to Leicester Square and taking the Tube back. I made my usual snack run for another fruit cup (strawberries & cream again), some yogurt and a bottle of hard cider which I'm going to have after I finish these notes.

I checked my email after I got back and found one from my insurance adjuster I'll need to call him about Tuesday morning. He keeps getting two claims confused–the one they're handling which is for the mold and water damage downstairs, and the one they declined for the earlier mold in the area upstairs between the vanity and the closets. I sent him a reply reminding him they're handling the claim downstairs and I'm responsible for only the one upstairs.

That's about it for today and it's just past 11 PM. Tomorrow I have to be up early enough to drop off a load of laundry downstairs before 9 AM. I'm meeting my podcaster friend around 3:30 PM at the Clapham Junction and think I'll try to go to the Museum of London and the British Museum first. I'll figure out my travel plans after I drop my laundry off.

Time for the hard cider and strawberries & cream.

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