Southbank, London

Starbucks and Stolen Art

by Holly Truslove

I’ve written about London before, and I’m sure I’ll write about London again – I love and hate it in equal measure. The intense crowds and constant movement can be a reassurance, or an anxiety; the loudness a comfort or annoyance.

Today, I was meeting an old friend in London. There’s something beautiful about running out of a train gate and into someone’s arms for a hug. There’s also something beautiful about going to Las Iguanas for lunch when you haven’t eaten all day. The warning the waiter gave me about the fajitas being hot – which I could hear as the plate literally sizzled – fell on deaf ears, as I shoved as much of it as I could into my mouth. It might have burned my tongue some, but in the end, it was very much worth it.

We didn’t fancy any of the desserts, so my friend and I went for a walk instead, heading for the Southbank Centre, as we weren’t too far from it, and there’s always something worth looking at. Stalls were lined up for the WOW – Women of the World-event, and it was lovely to see such a diverse range of women supporting each other with such glee. To top it off, my weak little eyes fell on the shop belonging to the Moomin exhibit, so I made my way out with a notebook to boot.*

A market of food stalls was just outside the Centre, and who am I to resist the call of food? Soon we were looking (and sniffing…) around, taking in all the amazing food, and agonizing over what to get. I was very restrained and bought only one oversized cookie to devour. With a cookie and a notebook under my belt, I had one item left – my lighter for the Journal. In the end, I chose a bright red one in remembrance of my day in London: the cookie I’d eaten had been red velvet, and once again, I’d chosen to wear my red shoes. It seemed like a red sort of day in compliance with the brightness of London, which itself has red running through it as a visual theme, from the iconic double-deckers to the telephone boxes.

Having circled back around, we decided to take another look at the Southbank Centre’s Moomin exhibit. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get in, as the tickets were sold out a week in advance – book early folks! – but we did head down near the river to peruse the book stalls that had been set up. Disappointingly, some of the prints on sale were stolen, and so we ended up leaving in outrage, going instead – like typical millennial girls – to Starbucks.

I love the Southbank. I love London. But don’t buy stolen art, folks.

*I did not leave with the Moomin half my size. Go me!

Editor: Malin Lillevold



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