As you would hope in a hotel like this, I slept really well. The blinds are amazing and when they're down you would have no idea what time it is. Which is just as well since the sun was already rising when I peeked out at 4:30am this morning. I stayed in bed until 7:30am but I'm still feeling very tired.
I headed down to breakfast overlooking the city. The sun was bright and warm through the windows. People were remarking on the weather so I assume it's not been so good lately.
I was undecided on what to do today. My original plan had been to visit the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. They have a great collection of planes and it's been on my "to do" list for sometime. Luckily I checked their website because there was an air show on this weekend. That didn't appeal to me for two reasons: 1) it would be super busy, 2) I get a bit freaked out even when they do the fly pass for the Clipsal 500 so I don't think I'd enjoy it. I will leave it until later this week or save for another trip.
In the end I decided to do a bit of retail therapy. I'm running short on a few clothes. I looked into using the hotel laundry service but realised it would almost cost the same to buy new items. I don't mind spending the money on the laundry service, but if I can get some new things for the same price then I may as well. Arriving in the hotel last night I also noticed the city lights and thought it might be fun to try some nighttime photography. The monopod I brought is OK, but it's not going to keep the camera still enough for long exposure shots. So my plan was also to either buy an extremely lightweight tripod or a cheap one I can afford to leave here.
I wandered towards Oxford street. The city was quite busy with lots of tourists. The tide was way out on the Thames. As I've noticed on other occasions there were people fossicking around the banks.
From this point, on the Millenium Bridge, I could also get a good shot of The Shard. By my calculations, my room is somewhere around the red dot.
Oxford Street was very busy. For a long time I was indecisive but finally dived in and found a few things I liked. I popped into the Muji store and spent a while trying to dream up legitimate uses for the array of perfect boxes and containers. And finally, I found a camera store with a great tripod that folds into a very compact size but still has good stability.
By this time it was starting to rain so I decided to catch the tube back. I caught the Central Line from Tottenham Court to Bank and then the Northern Line from Bank to London Bridge. From there it's a couple of minutes walk to The Shard.
By this time it was nearly 5:00pm so I fluffed around for a bit and played with my new tripod. I had also originally planned to go to Horse Meat Disco tonight. I've been a couple of times on previous visits and have always really enjoyed it. But last night the rain looked as if it had set in and I was feeling tired and introspective. I decided against it.
I ordered some room service dinner to avoid having to sit in a restaurant alone. The view could be my company. Of course, it didn't just arrive on a tray, did it.
After dinner I had a brief feeling of revitalisation and reconsidered going to HMD. It didn't last long though. Instead I utilised my new equipment to get some better quality night shots of London. With the new tripod I was able to take photos with less noise and sharper focus. I'm very happy with the results and will try to get out to do some at street level Monday or Tuesday night.