...we thought we had better push the boat out, just one last time...
Our 21st anni was just over two months ago. We were just getting used to London and Jess was due to arrive for her visit. Unsure as to how we would like to mark the day we settled on eating, drinking and being merry (which continued for several other nights over the month or so that we were in and around one of the best cities in the world). As a little extravagance I had also booked on open dated Champagne afternoon tea for us to look forward to.
Over the last week or so we have drifted out to London's extremities having attended the IWA's national bash in Watford, we were now moored just over two miles from the furthest tube station from London whilst still being walking distance from the canal. Watford underground is nearly all over ground, and over canal in a few places. As it is in zone 7 it's a little more pricey to get back in to town, about £11 for day ticket all zones through the oyster card.
We didn't leave quite as early as expected but by just after 9.00 we were strolling towards Cassiobury park heading for the tube, we couldn't have been much earlier as we would have snuck into the peak charge time and incurred further traveling expenses.
We had been over charged on a tube journey a few weeks before (don't know how) and had been offered the opportunity to reclaim the money by swiping our cards at the Edgeware station. Not one to look gift horses in gobs we made our way over to collect our money. Oyster cards topped up we walked over to Paddington basin for a coffee and croissant in the M&S head quarters/staff canteen. Sat outside the on the basin side the clouds started to part and we started to roast. I had planned our trip for Wednesday as that was the coolest on offer according to the Met office, a mere 25 deg C was expected after the previous days rather warm 33C. Deb wasn't too bad, she had her 'Bongo dress' on, so called because it is small enough to easily fit into the glove box of the old Mazda Bongo without displacing any of the other essentials. I on the other hand was getting a tad warm in my jeans (first day I haven't warn shorts since 22nd of June) and my poshest shirt, cuff links and all, I even took a jacket which spent the whole day draped over my arm.
|How come the Ozzy's can take a simple name, simplify it further and still get it to sound better? Us back in 'PADDO'|
|Pre-Tea in the park|
|Trafalgar filling up|
Salt beef, egg and chive, smoked salmon and pickled cucumber sandwiches arrived in thick, crust-less fingers. The three tiered cake stand had scones (yes plural, two each fresh from the oven) with preserves and clotted cream, fruit loaf, chocolate covered strawberries, fresh fruit tartlettes and butter iced fairy cakes! All in full portion sizes. Deb tried to battle through the last of it but eventually the cakes won. After more tea and coffee we watched those that had come in after us leave before us and waddled our way back into London's heat. We needed somewhere to sit, cool off and digest. Deb did mention once or twice that she was 'so full up'
|A nice strong coffee|
|And a bowl of tea, I told you that cup was as big as your head!|
|Beaten, no more room for even the merest crumb|
|I recon it was only a foot or so off today, don't know what it would have been like further up river though|
Earlier in the day we had noted the setup of cameras and lights for a premier, we presumed it would be at the odeon and all happening whilst we were enjoying our show but it was at a cinema just around the corner - the Vue cinema premiering Steve Cougan's new Allan Partridge film Alpha Papa. There were barriers everywhere and as soon as you slow down to try and look, ushers did their best to keep you moving, one chap shouted over to Deb to keep moving but of course she couldn't hear, as soon as I told him 'she's deaf mate' he promptly opened the barriers and ushered us in!
Rob Brydon completely ignored my best welsh greeting of 'Shw mae butty' maybe he's one of those Welsh that doesn't speak any. Anna Maxwell Martin looked like she could have done with Debs left over scones and Cougan hadn't turned up by the time we had to head for the theatre. There were loads of celebs that I wouldn't have recognised if I had fallen over them but Sir Chris Hoy and wife drew the crowds and I think Alan Carr would have spent the evening chatting to everyone if he had got the chance.
Luckily we didn't have far to go to get to the Wyndham's Theatre to see Relatively Speaking that is all about, well..... here is the right up - Greg and Ginny are in love and planning to be married. Greg finds a strange pair of slippers under the bed and is too besotted to believe they might have been left by another man (which would also explain the bunches of flowers and boxes of sweets filling Ginny’s apartment).
|Allan heard my shouts...|
|...but then got kidnapped by a little person!|
|Anna thingy whatsit, in need of a Maccy D and some sun|
When Ginny goes off for a day in the country—supposedly to visit her parents but actually to break things off with her older married lover, Philip—Greg decides to follow her.
Showing up unannounced before Ginny, Greg asks for her hand from the man he thinks is her father, while Philip mistakenly believes that the strange young man is asking permission to marry Sheila, Philip’s exceedingly befuddled wife.
Once Ginny arrives, she convinces Philip to play the role of her father. Meanwhile, Greg still believes that Sheila is Ginny’s mother. The situation is further complicated by a series of hilarious misunderstandings until no one (including the audience) can be exactly sure who’s in love with whom.
Felicity Kendal was fantastic in the lead and Kara Tointon so much better than all those years in Eastenders. Incidentally Felicity's on screen other half in the Good Life - Richard Briars, had his big career break playing Greg in the original 1960's production, spooky eh.
The Wyndham is air conditioned and leaving the theatre at about 9.30 ish London was still warm. I suppose all that concrete must act like a gigantic night storage heater and carry on building it's heat up. Well by now we should have been making our way up to Soho for something to eat. Soho was as busy as ever and by the time we had walked another mile or so we just weren't in the mood for dinner, both still full up from the afternoon tea. I did however have another wowcher voucher that I had bought though for half price gelato at a little patisserie/icecream emporium just off Goodge Street. We sat outside enjoying the gelato that was made on the premises all for a few pence more than a Mcflurry! By now we were getting weary, our feet were aching and we still had to get across London and walk the two miles back through Cassoibuty Park to LJ waiting for us just past Grove Mill.
As much as I love being in the middle of nowhere, banging my pins into grassy towpaths and waking up to the wildlife, I think any boater who doesn't make the most of London and the free moorings in other great city centres are missing a treat.