Sunday, November 13, 2011

London, day one

It was, without much blushing, a golden day. Like those amazing days in Melbourne in autumn. A blue sky and a sun that you could feel in your eyes even when your head was turned away.
We woke at 1am and sat around watching TV and eating. Nicci did gymnastics across the tiny lounge room. Zelda and Paris decided to watch a marathon of unsolved mysteries. Myles and I did daze work.
As soon as there was any sign of life in the sky, we left the house and walked down to the local tube station. We are in Fulham (which really still means nothing to me) but it is really nice. Somehow I have always managed to stay somewhere in London that is crowded and busy and annoying, but this is a tiny suburb with shops everywhere and people who leave their houses at 7am in the morning (with us) with their soccer gear on ready for an early morning game.
Fulham Broadway is the local station. Some bloke helped us with tickets ('Don't pay for kids ten and under; the young lady is under ten, isn't she?' and then a wink.). And then we walked along the Chelsea Embankment and into London. I was hoping to see something that might resemble Linda's house in The Pusuit of Love at the great bend in the river, but it was all apartments. The parks were full of leaves and we had leaf fights and ran though them. Nicci collected them.
When we got to the city, we discovered it was rememberance sunday. There were military parades (the soldiers wear boots that look surprising like clown shoes. Clearly no plans for fighting ...). And then to Buckingham Palace. Thousands standing around. And a strange assortment of things going into the palace. First, a posse of horses and riders followed by what looked like the Starship Enterprise on wheels. Then a Rolls Royce ('The Queen!' Myles cried.). Then another Rolls Royce. ('The Queen!' Myles cried. 'What? The other Queen?' I said.). Then another Rolls Royce. ('The Queen?' Myles said. 'Stunt Queen,' said Paris.) Mini vans, police, more mini vans. ('The Queen,' said Nicci. 'In a mini van?' I asked. 'Yes,' he said sternly.) I suggested we leave. 'I saw someone wave,' said Myles a little sulkily.
So we decided to do a monopoly tour of London. I was desperate for Old Kent Road (only my siblings would understand), but we settled for Pall Mall. Off we went for Trafalgar Square; lions and toilets. Nicci conquered the lions. The rest of us; the toilets.
And then to Covent Garden and opera singers, ice cream and the beginnings of very sore feet. Paris was desperate to buy a tee shirt with 'We offer you this fish in exchange for your silence'. Who can blame him?
Here are some happy snaps:


  1. Wow, sounds like a perfect first day. Good stretch of the legs, English pageantry and some quirky sightseeing. I didn't know you were a Mitford fan. I stayed (years ago) in the Hotel Montalembert in Paris where Fabrice installed Linda. Was wonderful. Will enjoy following your travels.

  2. Dear May Family,so glad you're having fun. your defs having more fun than i am. got cold at the mo. where to next

    from patrick collins

  3. i looooooove the puffy jacket tour !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    sounds like sooooo much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not fair!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wish i was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! looooooooooove using lots of 'o's and shouting marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!