If the wife is at work and I need to get out of the house, I know the best way to spend a few hours. And that's what I did today.
After an hour long run around Wimbledon Park and a quick shower, i head up to London town and make my way to the National Gallery. A few Titian's later and the hunger pangs from the run take hold.
Near Leicester Square, on the edge of Chinatown, is the Tokyo Diner. This unpretentious little eatery is perfect for the lone diner and I timed it right today and bagged a table for four. The Word magazine had plenty of room to spread out and I flicked through, at my leisure, until the Katsu Don and cold spinach in sesame sauce arrive.
The simple rice. pork and egg dish and vegetable side fills me up nicely, all washed down with endless free green tea. The bill is just £12 and they don't accept tips. the best way to 'tip' is to keep on coming back and to tell your friends.
After the scran, I had back towards Charing Cross to visit the amazing National Portrait Gallery. this is my favourite gallery and could do the guided tours. I know the place so well and always make sure I go to see the John Singer Sargent and Sir James Guthrie canvas's of important people from the Great War. They sit opposite each other and evoke incredible feelings. especially the face of a young Winston Churchill gazing through the amassed politicians straight at you.
Other highlights on offer are Jillian Edelsteins' photographs including Blur; Julian Opie's Blur quadriptych; Andrew Tift's stunning depiction of the Kinnocks at home; Pete Postlethwaite by Christopher Thompson and the massive, ingenious acrylic image of a photograph of Sir Paul Nurse.
But the treats are endless and as I gaze into the eyes of the great and the good it truly humbles me. It is a remarkable place and a perfect way to spend an afternoon on your own in London