This time last week Mrs B and I were in London, having travelled down on the Friday very early as Mrs B was on a course which started at 10am in Islington. We had booked tickets on the 6.48am train from Nottingham which should have brought us safely into St Pancras for about 8.30am but, you guessed it, the train was late. We arrived at 9am and then found a taxi which took us to Mrs B's destination. We got there with a few minutes to spare. The course was on filial therapy and Mrs B is now throughly au fait with the whole thing and will be spreading the gospel back at her place of work.
Now whilst Mrs B was soaking up all this new knowledge I decided to soak up some culture and I determined to visit a couple of places I had never been before - the first being The British Museum.
So, on the Friday morning, after depositing our cases at the hotel, I walked from Islington to Great Russell Street in Bloomsbury and stood in front of that massive and impressive facade - I had to stand for a while as the forty minute walk had left me a little tired plus you couldn't move for Japanese tourists.
|The British Museum - with a few Japanese stragglers|
You could say it was like a tidal wave of tourists or even a tsunami, but that would be in bad taste so I won't.
Once inside, I managed to fight my way to the information desk to ask advice as to the best way to navigate the various collections, the very charming and helpful young man behind the counter said "my advice Sir, is to buy the audio guide and then avoid everywhere it tells you to go". I took his advice and spent the next three hours having a good old poke around the place.
One of the most famous exhibits is the Rosetta Stone and I did eventually get near enough to see it, but I enjoyed seeing the Lewis Chessmen, the Sutton Hoo treasure and many other artefacts, some that had even been found quite near my home on the hill...
The beautiful torc, found near Newark, looks very similar to some jewellery Mrs B lost on a shopping trip and I asked if it could be returned but the security guard declined.
Anyway, I enjoyed my little look around the museum, I want to go to the Natural History Museum next time.
In the evening, after collecting Mrs B, we met up with the Dog Daughter, her fiance and mother - and together we strolled through the West End on a very wet evening but you could hear laughter in the rain as we went looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat. We managed to get a table in Jamie Oliver's restaurant, even thought there were massive queues - thanks to having an inside man! I don't want to blow his cover so we will call him 'Don'.
We had a great meal, we had a great waiter and we had a great time and it certainly was a highlight of the trip.
The next day, Mrs B returned to her course and I returned to street walking - well London is a city for walking - I didn't have much choice actually as the Tube was in pieces that day!
I did manage to get as far as Oxford Circus before it broke and then walked down to Trafalgar Square where I had a date to meet one of the stars appearing in West End Live. I was a little nervous about meeting such a world famous lady but when the time came Angelina put me at my ease, she gave me a little kiss and a cuddle and proved to me that she was a complete star - I will be her biggest fan forever, we even had our photo taken and I will show it to you at the end of the blog, a treasured possession.
I then walked around the tourist infested heart of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, South Bank and so on and returned for a quick lie down before the evening session - which entailed going to the Gielgud Theatre to see Lend Me A Tenor - The Musical.
It was brilliant, an old fashioned farce with songs and tap dancing and camp as a camping festival in camp land.
Matthew Kelly was probably the only well known cast member but to regular theatre goers, the name Joanna Riding assured quality - we laughed a great deal and I cannot wait for the cast album to come out. As an aside, Connor Mcallister is in the show, a friend of the Dog Daughter from her panto days - he's a ray of sunshine and quite obviously enjoying working in the show far too much!
Goodness, this is a long blog - perhaps we should have a break for a cup of tea?
Before we do though, let me tell you that London at night is a scary place - the Gielgud Theatre is right on the edge of Soho and I'm telling you the sights you see down there are amazing! There were more people there in one night than I see in Mansfield in a week! And there was no fighting, no swearing just people having a good time, and we joined in.
So that was London, we returned to the ashram - but only for one day because on the Monday we returned to see the John Barry Memorial Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
This middle class life is wonderful and I hope you poor people are enjoying hearing about how we live our lives whilst you queue up for your out of date humous at Tesco.
We ate an exquisite meal in the restaurant before strolling to our seats and with great anticipation awaited the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, David Arnold, Dame Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Rumer, Sir Michael Caine, Sir George Martin and the brilliant music of John Barry. Sadly, Mr Boe was ill and he was replaced by the 'Go Compare' guy...no comparison.
Now this was an evening of legends and it was very nice to find sitting next to us Sir Peter Blake and his very pleasant and chatty wife. If you don't know who Sir Peter Blake is shame on you!
I'll give you a clue...
Anyway, the concert was fabulous except for the moment when Rumer screwed up her words singing We Have All The Time In The World - she may have had the time, but not the timing!
The show ended with Dame Shirl belting out Goldfinger and it was one of those never to be forgotten moments, and I was there!
Later in the week we travelled to Wales and had a nice time visiting Cardiff, we did all the tourist things and went to look for Torchwood but in a week of memories, which included the 27th celebration of our wedding day, Mrs B and I have showed you all that life is something we should strive to enjoy and in that enjoyment is produced the magic of moments which we can pack away in our memory forever...the highlight of highlights was meeting Angelina, she is beautiful and talented and to think she took the time to pose for a photo with me - let me show you what a real super star is....