Bill Nighy Kicked My Endorphins

6 Sep


The last of London, at last.  For you, that is; I would move there tomorrow.

Spud and I were turfed out of the Globe at five-thirty by a staff member who insisted that yes, we really did have to leave.  We had been there for eight hours; he felt it was time.

Spud and I sat on the steps next to the Thames while my legs recovered from standing for almost four hours (queue/play/interval).  We planned our next move.

DSCN1881We had three hours before our train left Euston and two determined people can do a lot in London in three hours.  Spud fancied the British Museum, which meant the Tube.  We headed off in that general direction but we passed a small alleyway and there, in all its historical glory – somewhat bizarrely squashed in between office block and restaurant in a channel about as wide as my old waist – was the Golden Hinde II.DSCN1873

The Hub had printed off information about local sights (and eateries; that man really looks after me) and TGHII was one of them so I had no compunction in bringing out his credit card again.  Actually, it only cost just over £12 for two, so it was pretty reasonable.  Spud made sure we got every penny’s worth.  He went over every inch of that ship and made me go with him (sometimes, I don’t like Spud much).  He had me on my knees to traverse the gun deck, because it has the lowest ceiling I’ve seen outside of a storm drain.  He made me go up ladders and down ladders, forwards, backwards – sideways at one point, I think.  or that may have been when I tried to sidle away.  Unsuccessfully.  That kid is strict.

It was incredible to think that the real Golden Hinde had sailed across seas and oceans and made it back to Blighty: it was tiny.   I’d like to have seen Sir Francis Drake’s ad in the Loot:

Wanted: Intrepide Sailors withe ye nerves of steele.  Shorte men only neede apply, laddie.  

Thate means ye, Hub, Ye scurvy doge withe an ungratefule wife.


The ship was rather sad.  Not in its history or size, but in how neglected it was: cardboard boxes and junk piled up at one end of the bottom deck; signs and portraits hanging askew; old information sheets that needed replacing.   I guess you get what you pay for.

DSCN1891We knew we wouldn’t have to pay to enter the British Museum; we gave the Hinde back to its careless owners and headed for the Tube.  One change at Elephant & Castle and we were at Piccadilly Circus.  I took a photo of Eros but he was smothered in tourists so I won’t share it here.  We could see Shaftesbury Avenue on one side and Regent Street on the other (strangely, no green houses or red hotels; that was a surprise) but we headed up (or down; I’m not sure – the map was side-on) Piccadilly towards the British Museum.

We walked for what seemed ages but the trip was enlivened by Spud’s whisper, ‘Hey, Mum!  Isn’t that that actor?’  What an eye for detail.  No wonder the boy did so well in his exams.  I turned to look…and it was Billy Nighy, crossing the road in a navy suit.  I don’t know why that matters, but I, too, have an eye for detail, you know.  

Ever the sophisticate, I pointed and yelled, ‘That’s Bill Nighy crossing the road!’ Perhaps he studiously avoided turning round to acknowledge me because I forgot to mention his outfit.  I’ll never know because traffic passed behind him and Spud dragged me off, red-faced.  Spud, not me: I had been hungry, tired and aching up to that moment but Bill Nighy kicked my endorphins into action.

English: English actor Bill Nighy.

English: English actor Bill Nighy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We couldn’t find the British Museum.  We asked a smiling security guard – she stopped smiling and sighed.  Apparently, our up-to-date, 2013 guide-book (free from the B&B) has a map seven years out of date.  Seven years ago is when the British Museum moved to Russell Square, as security guards across the borough are tired of telling the guide-book makers.  She was apologetic but it wasn’t her fault: if a guide-book publisher didn’t notice a whole building move across town, what hope did one little security guard have?DSCN1921

She smiled and waved us on.  I’ll say this about London: people (northern) complain about how rude southerners are but Spud and I were treated with friendliness and courtesy the whole time.

Spud and I decided to head to the station and get something to eat, as we were running out of time.  We had an hour wait at  Euston but I was glad just to sit.  

DSCN1964We travelled back First Class.  Hub had tried to get us First Class tickets (on sale) both ways, but it would have meant another day in London.  I was game but his credit card complained.

First Class is nice.  Served at the table with food and drink and smiles from the Virgins, it was worth the extra £4 per head.  

Two hours later we were home, keeping the Hub up until late with our tales – The Globe is awesome! (Spud) We saw Bill Nighy crossing the road! (me).

Dr Johnson was right: when a person is tired of London, they are tired of life.  What he didn’t mention was just how tired a person can get in London.  I didn’t get out of bed until my legs woke up, three o’clock on Saturday.

Totally worth it.

Happy soon to be my Birthday me, and thank you to the best husband in the world.  

What am I getting for Christmas?


33 Responses to “Bill Nighy Kicked My Endorphins”

  1. Al September 6, 2013 at 16:03 #

    Avast ye hardy, ye looks right at home at ye olde quartermaster helm. Now take that wheel and turn ‘er 5 points to the starboard quarter and set your course at so-sowest! We be headed for the Hebrides, mate!


  2. September 6, 2013 at 16:11 #

    Happy soon to have a birthday to yooooooooo!!!


  3. laurieanichols September 6, 2013 at 16:21 #

    I love Bill Nighy, I actually find him very sexy. I don’t know what I would have done if I had been standing next to you, probably nothing, but still just to look at him crossing the street, I might have swooned. Sigh…. What a wonderful trip 🙂


    • The Laughing Housewife September 6, 2013 at 21:24 #

      At least you wouldn’t have been Most Embarrassing Mother In Britain 🙂


      • laurieanichols September 6, 2013 at 21:34 #

        Depending on the baby girl’s mood, I am the most embarrassing mother around. I think that it is part of our job description 😀 Spud and the baby girl should compare notes 😉


  4. slpmartin September 6, 2013 at 16:28 #

    Have only been in London once….really enjoyed my time there…the museums are just marvelous…glad you enjoyed your trip there.


  5. Elaine - I used to be indecisive September 6, 2013 at 16:37 #

    I’ve really enjoyed reading about your London exploits – I’m sorry they are over. The photos are great – you look so happy to be there. 🙂


  6. September 6, 2013 at 17:06 #

    Vicarious enjoyment of your Capital exploits won’t cloud the fact that – born and bred Londoner that I am, I should loathe to live there again! But the pleasure your account has given me more than compensates for the fact that I must be on the way out!


  7. Terry September 6, 2013 at 17:23 #

    fascinating! I would have really enjoyed this part of your trip!


  8. jatwood4 September 6, 2013 at 17:24 #

    What a tremendous time to spend with Spud. When he is eighty, and talking to his great-grandchildren, he will remember this time with you, and find the same happiness you each had while you were there. Lovely! 😎


  9. Grannymar September 6, 2013 at 20:27 #

    That whole trip was special, a treasure to relive in quiet day dreams for years to come!


  10. benzeknees September 6, 2013 at 20:49 #

    When I first read this I thought you were referring to Bill Nye (the Science guy).


  11. Hattie September 6, 2013 at 22:47 #

    The Goooooolden Hind!
    You need a rich American to restore the GH, but I guess it would not cost much to haul away the trash.
    I’m jealous. I’d love to see it.
    Glad you had such fun in London!


  12. Rorybore September 7, 2013 at 03:45 #

    Would loved to have explored that ship! I saw some Tall Ships in Halifax, Nova Scotia one year — never got bored of touring them. was amazing.
    speaking of amazing – LOVE him in Love Actually. so cool that you got to see him. It’s a rather surreal moment when you are face to face with someone famous.
    I still wake up grateful every morning weeks after meeting Norman Reedus and not saying “udkdjehhjeefk…you’re sexy…….can we….er….babies?” 😉


    • The Laughing Housewife September 7, 2013 at 08:24 #

      I Googled NR and I’ll be honest…I don’t see it…but I AM glad for you that you didn’t embarrass all womenkind 😀


  13. SidevieW September 7, 2013 at 08:10 #

    a day with an intelligent youngster, so invigorating, so exhausting


  14. jmgoyder September 7, 2013 at 11:22 #

    Loved the vicarious experience (and the pics!)


  15. mairedubhtx September 7, 2013 at 14:47 #

    What a grand adventure!


  16. Musings September 8, 2013 at 06:42 #

    It’s so wonderful that you had such a fabulous London trip. You are so much fun!


  17. colonialist September 8, 2013 at 22:08 #

    Wonderful! I wish I’d known Ye Golden Hinde was there. I also would have explored from stem to stern. Distressing that it isn’t kept in ship-shape condition, though. Noises should be made.


  18. lanceleuven September 9, 2013 at 18:01 #

    “Served at the table with food and drink and smiles from the Virgins”

    I’m not sure which train company you’re referring to but I’m pretty sure they’re breaking the equal opportunity employment laws.


    • The Laughing Housewife September 10, 2013 at 15:53 #

      😀 I always forget when I refer to Virgin staff that not everybody gets the same train service 🙂


  19. bluebee September 10, 2013 at 11:36 #

    Bill Nighy, you missed your chance to become a hero by dancing with Tilly on the streets of London!


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