London has got cold very quickly. I’m now wearing gloves any time I step out of the house to go anywhere; I cycled to Southwark (a journey I made every day, more or less, pre-pandemic) and found myself chilly even in three layers and a big overcoat. I need to make more effort to go out during daylight.
I’m nearly at the end of Couch to 5K, and bounced on my first run this week—on Thursday my calves were in physical pain by minute number 20, so bailed out and walked (very slowly) home. Oddly, I felt better in the evening, went out, paced myself better, and managed 28 minutes just fine. This coming week will be the 30 minute milestone, assuming I can manage it. (Previously.)
NaNoWriMo also finished this week, although I only managed 25.3k. It was helpful to have done it, at least, because helped to shape whatever the story will eventually be once I get to finishing it. What I have started thinking about doing is cutting one of my previous (successful) projects into a short story to see what’ll happen. (Previously, previously, previously.)
Yesterday we went to the Museum of London’s site at London Wall before it closed for good. True, some of the displays were dated, and maybe excessively busy, but I shall miss it: the displays may conform to the current vogue of museum design, but they are immersive, willing to engage with difficult topics such as slavery, and utterly unpretentious (laced through with a wicked sense of humour in the interpretation boards.)
The designs we saw for the new site at West Smithfield (to be renamed as the semantically-uncomfortable “London Museum”) seemed to suggest a more adult, Museum Late-type crowd. A ‘test area’ showcasing a design for a new Roman London gallery looked rather anaemic—heavily-stuffed display cases with fake grapes and olives are out, and sparsely-populated shelves and digital interpretation boards are in. The impression was uncomfortably close to the ominously spartan, anti-chromatic hellscape of Kim and Kanye’s mansion post-renovation. It’ll be a pity if an attempt to lean into more “sophisticated” design trends leads to the Museum of London becoming less accessible or family-friendly in its new home. We shall have at least 3 years to wait (my bets are on it being 7, but I’d be very happy to be proven wrong.)