That’s What I Love About Sunday

On Sunday we got quite a late start. We still made it to the Columbia Road Flower Market before the crowd had thinned for the afternoon and managed as well to stop in two funky shops for art purchases. By then our stomachs were growling more loudly than we were speaking. I was so happy to sink down at our (newly) regular table for lunch at The Marksman!

marksman

We’ve been asked where to find the best fish ‘n’ chips in London and haven’t been able to produce an answer, but we are happy to report that we’ve found it! Just look at this plate…

fish n chips

Their secret might be that they start with sea bass… It’s served with a really yummy homemade tartar sauce (and David played us a little Dolly Parton so that we would feel at home).  Unfortunately, you may not find your favorite main on the menu as it is seasonal and often rotates so that patrons don’t get bored; just ask them what’s on the menu for the day when you book your table.

lunch at marksman

It’s so swank and local to say that we got to meet both of the owners, Dawn and Gary and their beautiful baby Marlowe.  Dawn made time to talk to us despite the fact she was enjoying her own Sunday lunch!  Don’t worry. If you missed it your first trip, we’ll get there on your next.

After lunch, we wandered along the east side canal until it started raining.  There are so many great old and new buildings to see along this section – on the east side there less pubs and crowds of people, though there are still interesting bits worth the wander.  I think Megan picked out several flats with patios that she’s ready to let.  When Emma gets ready to open in London, I know the first girl who will be on the boat over the ocean!  Bring it.

Of Bridges Burned

While Drew was busy today, I joined Emily and Kerry for a walking tour of the area near St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the south side of the City of London.  Apparently Emily has become friends with some credentialed London tour guides, Keith and Gordon, whom I had the pleasure of meeting.  It is amazing the amount of history they have stored under their hats!  These gentlemen surely have very full social calendars; they know the whole city by heart as well as most of what there is to do.  Keith gave us plenty more information than I could ever remember about the buildings in the area that had been destroyed and rebuilt, whether due to bombings or refurbishment requirements.

keith

tour statue

st. pauls

stationers

We ended our walking tour at the Museum of London.  Though it looks rather unimpressive from the outside, it houses a fantastic amount of information on the history of the city as well as precious artifacts.  The collection of exhibitions are well presented and inviting.  Currently, the museum is undergoing refurbishment on the lower level to accommodate for exciting new features.  I wouldn’t mind visiting the Museum again, less tired, less snotty, and less frozen.

Although the headache was quite prominent by this time, the night was still very young.  The walking tour group headed to the Sir John Oldcastle pub; Drew joined our group there.  Drew and I celebrated our first beer of 2009 and enjoyed a curry.

curry

We met a few more of our group and were privileged with more information about events around the city and additional bits of history before moving along to our final destination.

The Slaughtered Lamb, in Clerkenwell, is a nice place to enjoy a drink, a hot pub meal, and live music in a part of town that is rather quiet on the weekends.  Trusting the expertise of our new dear friends, we are able to recommend the chips, but can only give three stars to the fish due to it’s low crunch factor.  The portions are healthy, and the atmosphere isn’t bad, but crunch is a rather important factor to this group.

I know you are wondering how we stumbled upon The Slaughtered Lamb.  Upon the urging of Kassi Thomas, and seeing how the venue happened to be in my neighborhood, it felt right to be at Levi Weaver’s show – despite the low grade fever, exhaustion, headache, and runny nose.  It was well worth the late night to say the least.

levi weaver

If Bob Dylan, Thom Yorke, and Coldplay had a baby I think they would name him Levi Weaver.  And I hope my saying so doesn’t offend Levi at all…  Armed with a pick, a haunting voice, a drummer, a borrowed guitar, two loop pedals (one of which may have fried mid-Of Bridges Burned), a harmonica that was missing early in the set and later returned by mic b (Mike B.), and a borrowed violin bow, Levi won my heart.  It might have taken a lot less, but I think it was the fried equipment and mislaid instruments that made the night so special.  It was cause for conversation that tied us all intimately into the performance – even to the very last note of Which Drink.  Kassi Thomas’ name did come up, in fact, and Levi spoke sweetly of my dear friend.  That’s good; I’d hate to get all redneck in public.  Under the lights.  On stage.  Like the time I was on Springer.

The lyrics are haunting and intelligently crafted, riding on a voice that lifts up one of your heartstrings in an unexpected way, and sneaks in.  If you aren’t convinced by the recordings you can find on his site, I would beg you to give it another listen live.  Experiencing his candor, wit, and spirit enhances the mere poetic vibrations – which are lovely on their own – and creates a tangible connection to the universal themes of love, loss, and the peace that only comes with hope.