Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Londoners! How do you put up with it? I've done my time in the Big Smoke, having lived there four years and commuted there and back for many more. But I'm glad I only have to endure it rarely these days. Yesterday I had to go see my publisher Laurence King at Angel Islington. Getting there was fairly straightforward: the Thameslink to Kings Cross then a bus. The 10.04 (the first train I could use my railcard on) was rammed and I felt sorry for the American family with two kids, a baby and huge amounts of luggage who got on at Gatwick and detrained, like me, at Kings X Thameslink, a station with lots of steps and no lift. I don't know their ultimate destination, but could hear them given much misinformation from other passengers. After the meeting I headed south to see the Millais exhibition at Tate Britain. I was laden down with heavy books so decided to take the bus all the way to Victoria. Big mistake - on Theobald's Road the driver advised us it'd be quicker to walk! What with roadworks and selfish drivers blocking junctions, the whole of the Holborn area was in gridlock. I had to walk all the way to Centre Point on the Tottenham Court Road before I could rebus. At Victoria I grabbed a sandwich from M&S and headed to the Tate on the C10. Millais is my least favourite Pre-Raphaelite, and this was confirmed by this exhibition. Apart from his early paintings, they look overworked and murky, the faces sometimes seem like porcelain plaques collaged onto the freer painted canvas. Even the later Scottish landscapes look better in reproduction than in the flesh. It was worth seeing, however, and I got in free thanks to Amanda's friend of Friend card. Great to see the drawings - and his palette and brushes - and how some of the paintings, ie The North-West Passage, are enormous! Roll on the Holman Hunt show! I had a quick look at the Turner Prize Retrospective show and Hockney on Turner, but by then was cultured out! Bought a couple of badges: one by Jake and Dinos Chapman saying 'I've been bad' and one by Sara Fanelli saying 'Future artist'. Back on the C10 to Victoria and a fast train home, covered in aches and pains.

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