A lovely visit to see my good friend Paul this weekend. Very tricky as we usually just eat and drink ourselves stupid when we get together, and I want to lose weight at the moment; two goals which aren't that compatible! We did lots of great touristy stuff but I don't have a great deal of photos because I'm generally too lazy to stop a minute and make the effort to take them. Even though I now have a fancy-pants smart phone which I always have with me, where pictures are really easy to upload. So I only have the one photo, of a decoration at a great restaurant Paul took me to:
The picture is poor, so you will pretty much have to take my word for it, but that is Battle Cat (minus his armour), in a shabby chic hanging basket. Pretty much the best restaurant decor ever encountered ever. And the food and krazy-ass cocktails (mine tasted like bubblebath, but in a good way!) were great too . After dinner we went for a very civilised walk along the south bank, and took in the London Eye (from the outside - we didn't go on it), Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and politely uttered some obscenities in the general direction of Downing Street. We were proper tourists, except for the lack of photo taking.
All this walking about in my dinner-shoes led to a blister on my foot which meant for my second belated-birthday treat on Saturday, I had to have a one-footed fish pedicure! As it was at a random market stall in Camden, I'm not sure whether the levels of hygeine were up to scratch, but I found it hilarious for pretty much the whole half hour! In fact when I first put my foot in, I could barely control myself. So much so that the woman opposite me starting staring. So I laughed and said "Were you this hysterical when you first put your feet in?" to which she sternly replied "No". Ah. I do apologise for attempting to be friendly. She was later seen having some sort of heat mask applied to her face - a procedure which I can only assume was aiming it giving her a sense of humour.
I really enjoyed our afternoon at the Titanic Artefacts exhibition, despite getting off the clipper a stop early by accident and having to run through Greenwich to the bus stop in the pissing down rain with no jacket/umbrella. When you go into the exhibition, they give you a boarding card with a passenger on and when you get to the end, there is a memorial wall with all of the people who were saved/lost so you can see if your passenger survived! Paul's was a second class man so he had no hope, but I was a woman and, despite being steerage, survived! It was GREAT seeing how well preserved the stuff was, and some of the quotes and personal effects even made me a little bit tearful. I also got some cool souvenirs in the shape of some replica plates and a mug with the deck plan on it. So often, if I go to a really good museum or see a really good exhibition I am so READY to buy stuff from the gift shop and so often they disappoint. Yay for Titanic stuff! You could even buy, for the princely sum of £35, a teeny piece of coal recovered from the ACTUAL FACTUAL Titanic. I was very tempted, but a bit of coal is not a very pretty display piece, despite being a good talking piece.
So complete was my tourist experience that I even took in a show! Well, a play. Paul would have had to drag me kicking and screaming to a musical. The Woman in Black was ACE. It was in a small theatre so even though we were quite far back you could still see everything, and was very spooky. I have to admit to silently squealing (yes that is possible) and grabbing Paul's knee at one point! Quite how I thought grasping at Paul's leg was going to help I have no idea but it did make me feel temporarily better!
Unfortunately Sunday was not as perfect as Saturday. On the way to the station we saw the Wellcome museum's exhibition on Dirt which was quite good and then I went to get the train I had planned to get at 15.55. And so began the worst train journey ever! Got to my seat in good time, settled in with ipod and book and get an announcement from the train manager that we will have to be diverted due to someone being struck on the track near Rugby. Then another one saying there was a power failure affecting the signalling in Watford, then a series of announcements that he had no further information, when the train was cancelled (and indeed all trains going in and out of Euston) and passengers to Stockport advised to go to Paddington. I was obviously thrilled to rush off the train to catch two Underground trains to Paddington. And another two trains to Stockport. Only another four hours and I was home at 9.41pm! ARGH! So crowded.....so awkward.....so tiring.
Luckily now I am home, and will never visit London again. The End.