Leap-Year London (2020)

Barely a few days after my previous visit to London, I found myself flying south once more, this time on the Saturday itself – the last day of a leap-year February. The sightseeing began even before arrival, as the aircraft made the traditional pass over Central London on its way to Heathrow’s west-facing runways. Accommodation this time was at the very smart InterContinental O2 at North Greenwich. By the time Bruce and I both got there and settled in, we thought it prudent simply to enjoy the hotel itself prior to setting out for our planned evening programme. This involved travelling to Swiss Cottage tube station, where we began in the immediate neighbourhood with an enjoyable Lebanese meal at Arabesque. Still very much adjacent to the tube stop, we continued by seeing the play The Haystack at Hampstead Theatre. This tense, modern thriller about the handling of sensitive information was a perfect follow-on from the previous weekend’s visit to the Top Secret exhibition.

Sunday’s activities began with a walk from Green Park tube station, along Piccadilly and on into Chinatown. There, we enjoyed one of our little London traditions: a dim-sum lunch. The main afternoon event was the exhibition Masculinities, hosted at the Barbican Centre and featuring photographic interpretations of masculinity from multiple sources.

Our respective Monday schedules allowed for a joint morning visit to Greenwich and through the foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs. My flight home was from London City Airport, and provided a shocking (but from a ‘comfort’ point of view, enjoyable) clue about what was to come: a Monday-afternoon flight from London to Edinburgh with just a handful of passengers on board! eek