London Day 1: An Enchanted Evening

15 Aug

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Previously on The Laughing Housewife:

Tilly and Spud spend some time in the Tower, like many of Royalty’s once-favoured; then they spend some money in the Tower shop – as much as £6.97.

And now, the conclusion:

DSCN1674After our busy and happy afternoon, I needed to sit down.  The Tower is sited next to the Thames, so Spud and I found a vacant bench and feasted on cake and water as we watched the boats.  Once rested, Spud expressed a desire to walk across Tower Bridge.  I’m ageing but game, so off we went.  Call me slow, but it was only when I saw Tower Bridge is close by the Tower that I realised where its name came from.  Does that sort of thing ever happen to you?

Trying hard but failing miserably not to look like tourists because the Hub said we must not be mugged or it would spoil our trip, we kept stopping so I could take photographs, including a photo of a photo shoot which Spud spotted taking place below us.DSCN1685

Once across the bridge, we kept eyes peeled for a Tube station.  Isn’t ‘eyes peeled’ a horrible saying?  Like something that might be done to me in the Tower.  

Spud saw what he thought was a sign for the Tube but which was actually for the buses.  We sat to check the map (London is generous with its seating) and Spud noticed we were on a street which appeared on the map and the distance to the B&B was only that  [……..] far, so how long could it take to walk?

Tube Sign, London

Tube Sign, London (Photo credit: DanieVDM)

London Calling

London Calling (Photo credit: paul_appleyard)  Can you see the difference?  A thin blue line, that’s all.

Almost an hour, as it happened; but we won’t discuss that unless you want to put me in a bad mood.  We went the long way round, though we didn’t know that until the next day.  When we arrived at the B&B to book in, with me holding on to Spud for support for the last half-mile, the poor receptionist couldn’t get a coherent word from me.  I think she believed I was foreign.  Spud booked us in; all I had to do was sign my name.  Lifting my arm took a while but I got there in the end.

The room was on the second floor, close to the lift.  I made it. After a revivifying cup of tea (provided), I showered.  Once clean, I could breathe (remember my little armpit problem) and felt more able to not waste a precious minute of London Time.  We headed down to Reception and asked the same receptionist for directions to somewhere cheap to eat.  She was surprised at how much my English had improved in thirty minutes.DSCN1707

We left the B&B and less than four minutes later we were at the Globe!  The Hub could not have selected a better B&B location (at a very reasonable price).  We took photos and admired it and then wandered off we knew not where to find some food.  DSCN1694We just walked until we found a place which looked affordable and which prepared food we had heard of.  It was a chip shop.  No fish, but massive hamburgers.  Spud had one; I had a bowl of chips (no paper, just polystyrene: how very southern); they were generous portions and I couldn’t finish mine.

We meandered back towards the Globe, admiring a trio of musicians who played classical tracks from their CD – Reminiscence, which I first read as Remini Science, to Spud’s great amusement.  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard popular classics played on a keyboard, violin and accordion combo.  Bizarre but lovely.

Back in front of the Globe, a couple of cyclists were doing tricks on steps to a violin accompanist.  Not sure if they were all together but somehow, it worked.

DSCN1713Since the year 2000, one of my fervent desires has been to walk across the Millennium Bridge.  I don’t know why; it’s just something I have always wanted to do.  So we did.  It is close by the Globe and in line with St Paul’s on the other side of the Thames.  It took us about twenty minutes to cross (I was sloooooow by this time) and, as we were so close, we walked up to St Paul’s, pausing only for a girl in heels who was with two young men, playing American football (badly) outside a restaurant; to admire what looked like three huge stainless steel balls, randomly placed and for no good reason that I could think of but, hey, this is London, so who cares; and to take a photograph of a scooter which had fallen onto its side like a stranded turtle.  In retrospect, the side-on scooter probably had nothing to do with London, but the fever was upon me.DSCN1754

I took some photos of Spud in front of a fence at St Paul’s because I thought it was the same spot we had visited about twelve years ago, but it probably wasn’t. We were at St P’s back side but it was now dark and I was tired so we turned around to walk back.  I was shuffling by this time.  It took ages to get back to the B&B but the trip was enlivened by a lone flautist below the bridge.

It took an even longer time for me to fall asleep because there wasn’t a bit of me that didn’t ache (I wrote the day’s events in my notebook while lying flat on my face because I couldn’t lift my arm enough to write without support) but it was totally worth it – Spud and I had a packed and fun day and I don’t regret even one painful body part.

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Thank you, Hub, for the hurt you caused; I loved every minute of it.

 

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25 Responses to “London Day 1: An Enchanted Evening”

  1. Al August 15, 2013 at 14:36 #

    Great story telling, Tilly. Touring is hard and dirty work, but someone has to do it. Thank goodness Spud was there for moral and physical support.

    Like

  2. laurieanichols August 15, 2013 at 14:49 #

    Fantastic storytelling Tilly! Your poor feet and legs, when you get home perhaps the Hub can massage them for you. The picture of you on the Millenium Bridge deserves to be blown up and framed it is absolutely beautiful, you and everything in the background. I am so happy for you and Spud.

    Like

  3. slpmartin August 15, 2013 at 15:01 #

    Sounds like a wonderful time in London…but wouldn’t push for that foot massage when you get home. 🙂

    Like

  4. Elaine - I used to be indecisive August 15, 2013 at 15:03 #

    I can’t believe how much you packed into your day. I’m looking forward to the next installment. 🙂

    Like

  5. SchmidleysScribbling August 15, 2013 at 15:09 #

    Keeping a notebook is a good idea, especially as you age. I too spent my 50th in London, and if I had not written something every day plus taken photos, I would probably not remember a thing. Dianne

    Like

    • The Laughing Housewife August 15, 2013 at 18:05 #

      That’s so true! I wish I had kept a notebook from a young age and I have encouraged my boys to do so.

      Like

  6. jmgoyder August 15, 2013 at 15:31 #

    You have given all of us the most wonderful vicarious experience, Tilly!

    Like

  7. gigihawaii August 15, 2013 at 15:32 #

    I spent 2 weeks in London in 1969, but did not have a camera so no photos. Darn! I would love to go back.

    Like

  8. adinparadise August 15, 2013 at 21:13 #

    There’s so much to do and see in London. Glad you had your sidekick with you to prop you up when necessary. 🙂 I’m wondering what nationality that receptionist thought you were. 😀

    Like

  9. kateshrewsday August 15, 2013 at 21:35 #

    Tilly, it sounds magical 😀 This is one of my favourite places in London. Cardinal’s Cap Alley and all. So pleased the hotel is good, and that feet-falling-off feeling is a badge of honour…slap on the plasters and proceed to conbquer more of the capital tomorrow! All the best! Don’t miss the Russian propaganda section of the Tate, or the Shakespearean wardrobe workshop at the Globe, or the Wren staircase at St Paul’s, and a dear favourite of mine, Temple Bar in Paternoster Square http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Temple_Bar_ILN_1870.jpg
    But you probably saw all these today……

    Like

  10. bluebee August 16, 2013 at 12:21 #

    What did you say to that Banger boy that he is grinning so?

    Like

  11. Grannymar August 16, 2013 at 14:31 #

    I’m exhausted with all that walking and I am sitting down reading it. Are your legs much shorter now?

    Like

  12. Musings August 17, 2013 at 03:37 #

    I’m just loving your photos and traveling with you vicariously.

    Like

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