The website of the historical fiction writer.

One Day, Three Exhibitions: Interlude

After strolling around the Victoria and Albert Museum until it closed for the day, I went out to stroll along Kensington High Street, rubbing shoulders with a load of tourists and some wealthy locals. I had two and a half hours to kill and hanging around the streets didn’t seem that appealing. Instead I went to the least expensive cafe I could find and ate a cheese and ham toastie, a slice of cake and a smoothie, which was quite nice (just as well as it cost over eight pounds!) and crossed the road to explore Harrods.

Harrods is not so much a shop but more than an institution. I strolled into Mr Al-Fayed’s emporium of expensive merchandise  and was most impressed at the presentation and how polite all the staff are. There is every fragrance known to man and a very substantial bookshop. I didn’t see any famous people that I recognised. I could have walked around holding a copy of Heat Magazine and held it up to customers’ faces but probably would have been asked to leave if I did.

The other thing Harrods is famous for is being one of the most expensive shops on the planet. I saw a pen that would set you back three thousand pounds for instance. What does this pen do? Does it do your writing for you via a telepathic link-up? Does it serve champagne from a separate cartridge? Launch laser-guided missiles at a target of your choice? Anyway, I didn’t buy it and instead went around the little art gallery they have displaying work by Andy Warhol and Ronnie Wood. Still, a very nice shop. I thought about having a cup of tea from the cafe but did not fancy the six pound price tag no matter how posh their teapots looked. I went to the National Geographic shop instead, where they had some very interesting photography on display.

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