After last night’s mammoth blogging session I think I’ve caught up on all the gigs I went to during my week in London but I did lots of other things too and thought they deserved a quick round up.
I had been staying at my brother’s in Essex (it might be Essex but it is still handily on the Central Line) until Sunday but seeing as he was away in France and I had several late nights planned I had decided to splash out on a hotel for the remainder of my trip. So on Sunday I went and checked in to the hotel which was conveniently situated between Holborn and Russell Square tube stations. To kill some time before seeing Mark Watson that evening I went for a bit of a wander round the shops and to scout out a location for the following day’s iPod handover.
After the Mark Watson gig on Sunday night I went back to the West End to meet up with some fellow Twitterers (Audrey: @aMeady, Jason: @mixmasterfestus (who I had met before), Louise: @magicnose and Charlie: @Charlie_w_). Meeting up with people I’ve only spoken to on the internet is becoming quite a common occurrence for me now but what was a bit unusual about this meeting was that I didn’t actually follow Louise and Charlie on Twitter so I hadn’t even spoken to them online before! However, they were all lovely and we had a few drinks before heading home.
Monday afternoon was the iPod handover, but with some time in the morning I actually managed to make it to the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A which I’d attempted to go to the last time I was in London, but it had sold out. I’m never to sure whether the exhibitions you have to pay for are going to be worth it, but it was only £4 with my (luckily still valid) student card. The exhibition is really just displays of Grace Kelly’s clothes, and a film showing old news footage, but I liked it. I also found a new bit of the V&A that I hadn’t seen before; the Theatre and Performance gallery, which I really liked. So a morning well spent.
After handing over the iPod that afternoon, I hung out with my friend Simone for a while which was lovely. I often go to comedy gigs with Simone but there isn’t always much opportunity for talking so it was really lovely to have a proper chat. And we went to what is fast becoming my favourite place in London; Ed’s Easy Diner, for milkshake and cheese fries. I can’t wait to go to America at the end of this month just so I can find a genuine diner to satisfy all my milkshake cravings!
So that was Monday. On Tuesday, I made a bit of an error of judgement. We’d been having lovely weather, but Tuesday was grey and rainy. I decided to walk to the newly refurbished Museum of London but I had forgotten one vital piece of information; this week is half term. And it seemed half of the country’s parents had decided that the Museum of London was an ideal place to take their noisy, rude, ill-mannered children on a rainy Tuesday in half term. Suffice to say my patience wore thin fairly quickly and I didn’t spend quite as much time at the museum as I would have otherwise. Still, it looks like they’ve done a good job with the new galleries, and I might make another trip sometime…just not on a rainy day during the school holidays! (Although, seeing as I’m going to be a teacher, I’m pretty much going to have to do everything during the school holidays from now on. Arrgghhh!).
Anyway, after the museum, I walked down past St Paul’s to cross the Thames at the Millennium Bridge and had a quick look in the Tate Modern. I walked from there right down the Southbank to Westminster Bridge (only stopping on route for some of my favourite apple crumble ice cream, which I’ve only ever seen at a little café under the OXO tower). From the Houses of Parliament I walked through St James’ park, past Buckingham Palace, up Constitution Hill and right up the edge of Hyde Park to Marble Arch where I got the tube to White City and TV Centre. Walking all over London is something I’ve taken to doing on my last few trips and I really like it. That walk on Tuesday was 6 miles, and not only do you get to see lots of things you miss on the tube but that 6 miles goes some way to burning off all the milkshakes, ice cream and cider that I seem to consume on my trips to London. It’s also really interesting when you start realising where places are in relation to other places. On Monday night I walked back to the hotel from Highbury and Islington, which as it turns out, isn’t that far, and I never knew that before.
I continued the walking theme on Wednesday by walking up through Regent’s Park to London Zoo. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to London Zoo before, I think maybe I did when I was really little but I can’t remember anything about it if I did. Now I know going to the zoo on a sunny day in half term perhaps seemed a little foolhardy after the museum experience but the difference was this time I was mentally prepared! And the zoo is big and outside so there is much less chance for the charming children to be annoying. So, the zoo was good – I especially liked the penguins and the meercats. And I was a little bit scared of the butterflies – pathetic I know, I just don’t think I like flying things very much.
After the zoo I walked to Primrose Bakery where I bought….cupcakes of course! I couldn’t resist trying the different varieties so I ended up with four, two of which became my lunch and two of which I barely remember eating when I was a little bit drunken after the Los Quattros Cvnts gig (I know, and so will you if you’ve read my blogs about being fat and the rest, that I’m meant to be controlling my eating and not binge eating…but with the walk to the zoo and back through Camden, and walking to the LQC gig and back I walked 8 miles on Wednesday and after the 6 miles on Tuesday I think I’m allowed a little cake. Perhaps not four cakes…but we’ll work on that for next time!). Anyway, they were delicious!
So finally to yesterday; I’d originally booked my flight for 20.50, thinking I’d be staying at my brother’s and he’d be able to take me to the airport after work. As it turned out I was tired and hungover and had to check out of my hotel at noon. So I decided just to head to Stansted and see if I could get on an earlier flight. With EasyJet, if you want to change a flight in advance, you have to pay any difference in the fare you paid originally and the current fare, plus a £25 amendment fee. However, if you just turn up early at the airport as long as there is room on the earlier flight, you don’t have to pay anything at all! So I managed to get on the 15.50 flight which was much better and meant I could take a detour on the way home via the Tempting Tattie in Edinburgh to get a delicious baked potato for my tea. There seems to be a lot of talk about food in this blog, but seriously, if you’re ever in Edinburgh you should definitely go to the Tempting Tattie on Jeffrey Street. Their potatoes are just about as good as baked potatoes come.
And now I’m home. I’ve got three weeks before I go to America and apart from a couple of jobs (painting my bathroom for one) I’m looking forward to doing not much of anything. I need to make sure my batteries are fully recharged because once I go to America I really don’t stop until I start back at school on the 16th August. It’s going to be one hell of a summer.