This week London has been hosting the World Travel Market (WTM) at ExCeL London from November 1 to 3 . Incidentally ExCeL , owned by Abu Dhabi was a centre for overflow Covid hospitalisations in London.
A great idea in London is what’s called ‘Boris’s Bikes’, the bikes can be hired by the hour from numerous locations and left at any other. So it was a nice reminder to see how many Cambridge has always had, here parked outside one of the colleges.
Flying from the green of an English Summer into Muscat on Oman Air
The rain of a typical British Summer has kept trees in early summer leaf (except the Horse Chestnut which, where we live, has been badly affected by the new fungus which creates an Autumn brown off in early July).
I managed to get back and see the Hadrian exhibition at the British Museum. The reading room in which it is held is of course an appropriate venue as Hadrian’s Pantheon inspired its dome. Timed tickets should have been a warning – the space was probably full to its designed capacity and it was a struggle to move at my pace and see the exhibits.
For me the outstanding impact was the representation of Hadrian throughout his rule – each artist created a sculpture of a man whom the “vir in via” must have been able to recognize has they walked past him. It was wonderful that among the marble, the curators included a written plea for support, from a foreign civilian living in northern England, to the region’s governor.
Perhaps the same man had touched a large amphora, found near Hadrian’s Wall, which was displayed along with an image of a shard mountain of 26million amphora. Later, walking along Bond Street, I was surprised to see a familiar shop name. ‘Bateel’ a shop selling Dates and Date products has a branch in Muscat. Amazingly they had set up close to where a company I was general manager with 25 years ago had a shop. My surprise was not really in seeing Bateel but, with a rental of probably GBP300,000+ per year, the extraordinary volume of dates they must sell to cover costs – probably Arab Embassies are ideal clients.