Now the Olympics are over, the Monks are able to reclaim the bit of London that we would otherwise have visited.
An early start and we made our way to Tate Modern. We needed to see the Edvard Munch show and also check out the new basement space otherwise known as the Tanks.
The Tate bound journey was painless, but nevertheless we found ourselves pointlessly avoiding the notorious Olympic Lanes. Fear of the Olympic Lanes has to be a genuine psychosis, even now the Olympics are behind us.
This was not on the mind of Edvard Munch but he might have had in mind the high anxiety felt by Mrs. Monk whenever she enters the Tate Modern Turbine Hall..
We call this affliction "cathedral syndrome," or the fear of large enclosed spaces when looking up from the terra firma, but also with the additional anxiety of vertigo when looking down upon same from high places..
In this way the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern would seem to be designed to trouble Mrs Monk, who today wandered off to take photographs of innocent bystanders, and then became anxious compelling her to let off a Munch like Scream that might have stopped a train. "MONK!" filled the hall.
Having made her point, and to avoid further anxiety, we took the elevator from the ground unto the fourth floor where we met the esteemed work of Edvard Munch.
As we made our way through the chronologically displayed works, I pontificated and Mrs Monk saw it her way. We both liked the biographical information and particularly the photographs that informed his work. I looked for clues in the titles of the works that were new to me. The Murderess, for one example. Mrs Monk confronted the work directly as always.
"All this work is leading to the Scream," I said.
"What?" said Mrs Monk as if I had made no sense whatever.
In fact there was no "Scream" featured in this show unless you include the illustrated cup and saucer in the gift shop at £20 per cup and tacky saucer.
It was time to move on to the newly restored Tanks in the basement, but before that we decided to take a break in the members room. We took the lift for all the aforementioned reasons and we were delighted to find a quiet lounge with none of the usual crush. I had it in mind that a desperate man had recently thrown himself off the balcony of the members lounge. I kept that thought to myself and allowed Mrs Monk to confront the minor dichotomy of the Tate Modern charge for a green salad.
While Mrs Monk assessed this dilemma, we then faced the annoying sound of a smoke alarm. This was clearly set off by a barbeque on the adjoining roof terrace. A door was propped open and a prevailing wind drove the barbeque smoke into the lounge, thereby setting off the alarm. This was clear to us Monks and a wise member's lounge waitress who explained that she, "told them so." At this point I should point out that during the ensuing mass evacuation of Tate Modern, the elevators and escalators upon which Mrs Monk relies, were disabled.
Munch-like high anxiety, had already kicked in.
This building was not burning, and of this we had first hand knowledge, but then we had just seen a Munch painting which featured a burning building.
Thousands of evacuees from Tate Modern were obliged to use the narrow stair well, most of whom were obliged to overtake the anxious Mrs Monk on the decent.
The proud boast of the Monks is that we were the last of thousands to leave the unburning and unsinking ship.
We are left wondering what Munch would have made of the high anxiety on the stair well, and about the means of escape from the Tate, for the disabled, and also whether the upcoming paralympics will exclude the Monks from further access to London, and whether the Paraolympians will be excluded from the Tate.
Did not get to see the Tanks.