this time, in London, where I've been spending a few days with my Californian friend, Mary.
Let's start in Whitechapel Road, near the surprisingly smart apartment we've called home for the last few days. Here's an interesting archway to whet our artistic appetite.
with a map, to get our bearings.
First stop, The Womens Library, to visit a fascinating exhibition about Feminism in the '70s. I take so much for granted but am grateful to those women who worked so hard to ensure that I am able to do what I do today. Equally interesting for me is the styling and design of the exhibit itself as well as one or two particularly eye-catching pieces
"Setting a table is a form of Art to a Woman" - an embroidery by Berta Freistadt, c1975
Next stop, the somewhat apropriately named Petticoat Lane market area, looking a little forlorn today and highlighting the huge contrasts in this area, between the new and shiny and the faded, down at heel.
Working our way through the old streets in and around Aldgate, we pay particular attention to the walls
Let's turn down Fashion Street and head for Brick Lane. As we walk along, we'll notice how the old facades hide altogether different structures behind them and how the old traditional buildings are accomodating new, technology-driven business.
Here, at the junction between Fournier Street and Brick Lane, the barriers around some roadworks provide a canvas for art.
All around us is evidence of the many layers of community history. Does it provoke similar curiosity with you? We want to learn more about the people who have lived and worked in the area, to find out about what they did and how they lived.
Let's step inside this shop full of marvellous things we are so happy to own - and yet more that we covet. Polly George's ceramics, gorgeous letterpress cards and intriguing jewellery with hidden meanings. A conversation about lovely things is a delight and it's hard to leave but we must move on.
Before we do, we'll spend a while admiring the shop next door, the Brick Lane Gallery.
then we'll offer a reminder to "look up!". When art is all around, it's easy to miss all kinds of fascinating sights.
Crossing Commercial Street, towards Spitalfields Market, we're starting to feel a little hungry. Shall we look for somewhere to eat lunch?
Something tells me that this is becoming quite a smart area now.
and yet around every corner, there's a surprise. Once inside the market building however, we're spoiled for choice - pasta, noodles, wholefood, Spanish, Indian, Mexican or...
We'll sit and take a break over lunch. Join me again in a while and we'll continue our journey.