Arrived at St Pancras at lunchtime, so had the afternoon to suit myself. Did a fair bit of wandering round, looking at London things I hadn't seen before, but there was a really cold wind and I got chilled, which makes my tummy unhappy, so that took some of the shine off the day.
Lunch at one of the St Pancras shops - was a sandwich slightly too exotic to sit well, a mistake in retrospect. Walked on to PC World on Tottenham Court Rd as fancied a big techy shop for general geeking, and an Amazon promo mail had sparked my curiosity about Android tablets so I wanted to have a play. Wandered down TCRd and Oxford St till I got fed up of all the people and made a tube hop with my Lobster Card.
Next stop Fortnum and Mason, the upmarket gifts and accessories stall - spying for the lower classes! Nice inside, and staff very smart (men in tailcoats) but as expected it was mostly things normal people don't want at prices they'd never pay. Had tea and cake, which cost the same as a two-course meal at home - silly, but went with it as I don't expect to repeat the experience. Silver teapot, nice cake.
Down towards Trafalgar Square - dark by now, choir singing - possibly to do with the Olympics. Wandered in to the National Gallery for half an hour before closing. Art's not a big thing for me, so it was very much see what happens. Was struck by the glow of many of the paintings, and the impact particularly of the large ones - can see the power of them, even after several centuries. Nothing really grabbed me emotionally, though I was impressed by some scenes of Venice by Canaletto that were almost photographic in their detail. Next hop to a restaurant called Pho that does "Vietnamese street food" - I had a cousin of a Pad Thai that hit the spot very nicely.
The evening event was a mini-talk by Nick Williams to launch his new book Resisting the Soul, plus the Inspired Entrepreneur Christmas party - chance to meet a few people. The book is about resistance, a name for the psychological force that tries to prevent us from doing our authentic, creative work - something I'm exploring at the moment, which is why I wanted to go. (I say more about it on the timthinks blog.) A good do, over all too soon, followed by a zoom to the station and a return to a cold house shortly after midnight.