Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Day 7: Wapping, London and the Wives.

Corinna has the weekend free so last night we worked out what we wanted to do today.

First up, after a very leisurely start to the day, which I much appreciated, we went for a walk along the canals in Wapping to go to a small local market.

Along the way, she entertained me with tales of Wapping during lockdowns, when Whatapp groups would form and sometimes big drama would unfold. People would be messaging each other, “ Have you seen what’s going down on the Wapping tennis group??”

Here’s the view from over our shoulders. The Shard seems to pop up everywhere.

Corinna loves living here, and I don’t blame her.

The day was already getting very hot. We got to the market, which is a tiny little local one, tucked away in the midday of the suburb by the canals. We looked at watercolours, and I successfully avoided buying one because I spent so much money on my picture the day before.
Corinna bought an iced latte or something and we sat on the water’s edge in the shade, people watching.

“They play a type of water polo here, with men in canoes,” said Corinna. “It’s bizarre, seeing these burly men all trying to tip each other’s boats over and hitting the ball with their oars.”
She also said that there are a few deaths every year in the canals, probably drunk people light-heartedly jumping in and then getting snagged.

We then took a different walk home, along the river. Here’s our old friend the Shard again.

Look at this! In a couple of days time I’d be riding over Tower bridge in a double-decker bus. How lucky can one woman be?

We took a snap to send to the Antarctica group. It’s amazing how often we’ve seen each other since then.

A little place called the Tower of London was along our route home. God, how I loved the tower when I was here last time in 2015. I think I dragged Scott to see every last brick of the place. And then I saw this:

The Traitors Gate from the outside! I was so thrilled.

This weekend was boiling, with temperatures in the low thirties. Even I was starting to feel it, but poor Corinna was dying. We decided that chasing aircon was going to be the theme of the weekend.
so off we went to Somerset House, to the Courtold Gallery, to see some art.

I loved this one. It’s’Cupid and Psyche’ by Reynolds, where Psyche first catches a glimpse of the young man who’s been visiting her at night.

I felt sorry for this girl. Here’s what the information card said:

George Romney (1734-1802)

Portrait of Georgiana, Lady Greville

Around 1771-72

George Romney painted this portrait around the time Georgiana Peachey married the politician Lord Greville. It was the artist’s first aristocratic commission. The sitter wears fine outdoor clothing and a fashionable headdress that express her wealth and high social status. She looks away modestly, as was thought appropriate for a young noble woman. Georgiana died on her first wedding anniversary, aged 19, a few days after giving birth.

The gallery currently has an exhibition of fakes and frauds. It’s worth reading the explanation for this one.

It’s a thrill when you see the actual originals of images that you’ve seen your whole life. This is Renoir’s ‘La Lage’ ( the theatre box).

Both people are wearing black and white, but look at how the woman stands out so much more than the man.

I love a Rodin sculpture.

Ah, the ballerina paintings! The info card reads:

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Two Dancers on a Stage


Edgar Degas was fascinated by ballet, producing over a thousand works on the subject. While this work appears to depict a performance, the presence of a third ballerina at rest indicates it may in fact be a dress rehearsal, to which Degas was often granted access.

The painting’s side view is unconventional. It is as if we are observing from a box at the edge of the stage. The lines on the floor, which may represent tracks for sliding scenery, emphasise Degas’s dynamic composition while evoking the staging of ballet.

I loved the feel of this one.

Of course, everyone knows who this is. The bandage over the cut-off ear is a dead giveaway.

There were other paintings that I loved, but Deana and I are heading out soon so I’ll cut it short.

Once we came out of the gallery we headed out into the quadrangle of Somerset House. This place is HUGE.

The quadrangle has a water feature of many jets of water shooting upwards. The place was alive with children, all having a wonderful time getting wet. The place was alive with the squeals and laughter of happy kids.
Corinna and I grabbed a table in the shade and sat here for ages, just watching the kids and chatting. It was lovely.

We were off to the theatre, but first we had a delicious meal from Nomad’s pre-theatre menu. We loved the aircon here! It felt absolutely freezing when we walked in, but it’s amazing how quickly the body gets used to things. Within a couple of minutes we felt utterly comfortable.

Then it was off to the theatre!

When ‘Six’ was in Melbourne, Jenna urged me to go and see it, saying that I’d love it.

Of course, a musical about Henry VIII’s wives certainly hits all my buttons. It was terrific.
What I really enjoyed was that they didn’t muck around with the actual history of the wives. All of the information was accurate. I could relax and enjoy the show without being pulled out of the show by jarring lyrics.

Definitely going to be adding these songs to my Spotify when I get home!


  1. Jayne Hogan

    Am loving reading these posts – looks like a fabulous holiday!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’m running a few days behind. I’m in Dublin now!

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