Cycled through Smithfield Market and the City to a place called Toynbee Hall in Aldgate for our Global Arts Managers Meeting. Inspired choice of venue: a 19th Century 'vicarage-gothic' style community centre which (still) runs social reform programmes. The large room that we were in had lots of atmosphere and a nice courtyard for breaks. A hundred times better than a hotel conference room. Good, positive Day 1 discussing everything from planning, better communications between London and overseas, quality, sponsorship, festivals, training staff etc etc.
After a quick look at the Chapman Brothers exhibition at White Cube (still trying hard to shock, but somehow seems stuck in mid-90s YBA era), I joined the gang in a Hoxton basement bar. The great by-product of these meetings is simply catching up with colleagues who over the years have become friends, albeit friends-at-some-distance. This was taken to extremes when I then moved on to a colleague's husband's birthday party at the Esoterick Gallery in Islington (incidentally showing a great Edward McKight Kauffer exhibition). The colleague in question has been with the BC for as long as I have so no surprise to bump into people I'd not seen in 10-15 years.
Given my alcoholic intake, I walked rather than Boris-bike back to the hotel. If yesterday had that perfect moment of loving film, then tonight's was about loving London. So many historically-rich neighbourhoods, interesting streets, blue plaqued buildings, tree-filled squares, bustling cafes... So much street life really. Of course it's a lovely balmy Indian Summer evening, so that helps. If it had been raining, I'd have got a bus and missed it all.