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In complete contrast to my visit to the Museum of Brands the previous day, the main purpose of my short visit to London last week was to visit the Cézanne exhibition. Mary and I went on the Overground to Blackfriars station, from where I took this picture, looking down the Thames to Tower Bridge.

Zooming in to our right, I saw some mudlarking (for definition if necessary see later) swans, humans and pigeons. No not really mudlarking; Mary tells me that the swans are fed regularly at this spot.

Arriving exactly at 10.00, we entered the Turbine Hall with the gathered crowd,

and made our way to the café for the obligatory refreshment, from where I zoomed in on the two towers of St Paul’s Cathedral.

I love an audioguide, and the bonus this time was that it was free. Opening the Cézanne exhibition (if you see what I mean) was the man himself.

Paul Cézanne, (1939-1906) early self-portrait

Given his proclamation about Paris and an apple (see heading), it was hardly surprising to find them everywhere, though the selection here does not reflect the extent of their proliferation.

The Basket of Apples, c 1893

And indeed it was not apples everywhere.

The Murder, c 1870
The Battle of Love, 1879-80
Auvers, Panoramic View, 1873-75
The Conversation, 1870-71
Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, 1889-90
Portrait of the Artist’s Son, 1881-2, considered to be unfinished. I rather like it like that. A clear resemblance between him and his mother
The Bay of Marseille, seen from l’Estaque
Still Life with Plaster Cupid, 1894-5
Man in a Blue Smock, (recently identified as a farm worker called Pere Alexandre, but I think it looks like Mark Rylance), 1896-7
Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902-6
Bathers both male and female. I didn’t get the dates.
Still Life with Apples and Peaches, 1905
Seated Man, 1905-6
Mont Sainte-Victoire, seen from Les Lauves, c. 1904
Two of his last works, described as ‘ominous compositions with skulls’ by the curator

Returning to the Turbine Hall, I was struck by the serendipitous artistry of this view.

It was not yet time for lunch, so we went along the South Bank for a while, hoping the forecast rain would keep away. While I had walked along the other bank many times, and much of this, I had never in my entire life seen the sights along this particular stretch before, to my own and Mary’s surprise, though I do recall singing a concert in Southwark Cathedral, half a century ago.

Looking back to Blackfriars station, from which I had taken the first photo. The swans are still there, though the tide has mounted.
Virtually all that remains of the Great Hall of (the Bishops of) Winchester Palace, ruins rediscovered in the 19th century. The Shard behind.
Full-scale replica of The Golden Hinde, the first English ship to sail round the world.
The Shard and Southwark Cathedral

We found this attractive pub, The Mudlark, right by the Cathedral, to have a bite of lunch in. It was very noisy and crowded inside, so we opted to eat outdoors.

Here’s the definition of ‘to mudlark’.

We sat first here,

then here, seeking the least windy spot.

(Perhaps my decision to drink Guinness was influenced by the museum exhibit the day before.)

We walked on, in the odd spot of rain.

The Queen’s Walk is a promenade located on the southern bank of the River Thames in LondonEngland, between Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge. The creation of pedestrian access along the south bank of the Thames was seen as an integral part of the creation of the Jubilee Walkway to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. However, the last section was not established until the completion of construction of London Bridge City c.1990. In 1996, the Walk was recognised as a foundation for establishing the Thames Path national trail through London.” Wikipedia.

It was a pity some of the buildings opposite (I wasted no pictures on them) were so hideous. Looking at you, Cheese Grater.

The Tower of London, HMS Belfast, and Tower Bridge.

We would have gone right up to Tower Bridge, but underfoot were some beautiful slates. Not so beautiful to walk on when wet. So we turned back, and in Hay’s Wharf sought the coffee we’d not had with our lunch, In the event it was accompanied by some delicious lemon drizzle cake.

It was time for me to be making for my train home. In order to get the Circle Line round to Paddington – and en route to pick up my overnight bag from Tate Modern – we walked back to Blackfriars Bridge, just yards beyond the station, where this caught my eye.

Needless to say, my train was delayed, this time by 25 minutes because of points trouble. The day before it had been damaged overhead electricity lines. But it had been a most enjoyable mini-break. Thanks to all concerned.