Going out (before I have to stay in)

I had a fun-packed morning in town on Monday. I wanted to do my own little recce to see for myself any effects of the virus scaremongering. (Please don’t accuse me of being irresponsible. It may well be total shut-down from here on in and I am one of those people who really has to get out of the house every day, or go nutso.) Still far too much traffic about, a few less people, some wearing masks but the majority not. A young woman serving me tea in a cafe wore blue surgical gloves.

First off, my favourite bookshop, Any Amount Of Books, in the Charing Cross Road. I was determined to buy something from them to show my support (I bought three books). They, like many other small businesses, will feel the effects more than the big boys. No sh*t Sherlock! They put on social media that there was no traffic on the Charing Cross Road on Sunday, and they could safely stand in the middle of the road to take a photo of their shop. (They also have an online shop, btw. Do take a look.)

Then on to the Monday antiques market in Covent Garden. Fewer stalls and people there. I chatted to two dealers I know and they said they’d never known it so bad in 30 years of trading there. I spotted Boy George looking at one of the stalls. Never seen anyone famous there before. Too shy to take a photo, though! Too intrusive.

After that, I visited the free Somerset House exhibition on mushrooms. I read about it by chance the other day, or I wouldn’t have known it was on. It’s so interesting, I might go again. It’s on until the end of April, if anybody cares to join me? I had no idea mushrooms were so important in so many ways. The shop was full of gorgeous mushroom-related goodies but I resisted temptation and just bought the catalogue instead. I had a delicious toasted cheese sarnie in the café afterwards. Maybe they should have had a mushroom theme going on? It was nearly empty in there, which I prefer but obviously it’s not good for business. The slightly eccentric-looking man behind the reception desk called the exhibition “bonkers” but I would rather call it “quirky.”

The weather was beautiful, so I walked back to Waterloo over the bridge. To cap it all, I exceeded my daily steps target – hooray!


Author: Hampton Caught

The rants and ramblings of an ex Deputy Fiction Editor of Woman's Weekly magazine.

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