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:
After 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.
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?
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.
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. We 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.
Since 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.
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.
Thank you, Hub, for the hurt you caused; I loved every minute of it.