I woke before my alarm yesterday so by the time I had breakfasted, got the Tube to Gloucester Road and found the conference venue, it was still only 8.30am. The sessions covered a wide range of topics relevant to today’s general psychiatrists and it was great to catch up with colleagues from other parts of the country and to see how well some of my former trainees are doing. One unexpected good thing that really drew my eye, was a glass screen outside one of the auditoria. It consisted of parallel glass sheets equidistant from each other but with the outer edges curved. It did look a little like a drawing of sound waves and later I saw someone drawing his hands across them, as if he was playing a harp.
In the evening I had a lovely time over dinner with a very dear friend I had not seen for several years who serendipitously just happened to be in London at the same time as me. We resolved to not leave it so long before our next meeting. By late afternoon on the second day and after a very stimulating session on ethics, I was ready to venture outside and my back had had enough of sitting in those chairs. A short Tube journey and I was once again in the Oxford Circus crowds and heading to one of my favourite shops, Liberty. In addition to looking for Christmas present ideas, I am still hoping to replace the black pashmina I left at the airport two years ago. I have still not seen one quite like it. Liberty had them in every colour except black. However, it was not a wasted journey as I can never resist looking at the carpets, Japanese prints, Arts & Crafts furniture and the fashion even if I am not buying. Back in the street and heading through part of Soho and Bloomsbury, I added another two independent shops to those I already know about. I could have bought some music for our next choral society concerts at the first but until I know which version of the score we are using I had better wait. The bookshop specialises in anthropology, religion, mythology and all sorts of other beliefs. It even sells wands and is worth investigating further when I am not quite so tired as anthropology is a particular interest of mine.
Wandering through the university I noticed filming was taking place. This is something I often see in the Georgian part of Liverpool near the hospital. Here is an almost abstract shot of a university building in the evening light. It is still very warm even for early October.
Now I am just waiting for my train and will soon be home again, away from the crowds for a while.