Saturday, 16 April 2011

London the fourth

I went into full-on tourist assault mode today - assaulting tourists left and right and seeing some sights along the way. Out of deference for my feets and in order to get many places, it was a day of Underground taking. The tube map - that is a work of high-functioning art. I'm usually quite terrible at things that require some understanding, but I managed to grasp it quickly enough. Highly disorientating though, not being sure which direction you're facing and where you're going to emerge at street level.

My first stop was Notting Hill Gate again, where, armed with surer knowledge, I found and duly documented the house of the author my mother likes. So this was the home of Monica Dickens. And is now home to some guy who is at leisure on a Friday morning to stay home and wax his Mercedes. Unless that was a butler. 

Portobello Road, you so gaudy.

Look Normal Abbey, it's Westminster Abbey! Picture taking inside forbidden, but yes, it's suitably impressive. Crammed everywhere with tombs and plaques and markers and whatall. Marked out for Lord Byron and Charles Darwin. Even after I left I was still checking under my feet to see who I was walking on - mostly just City of Westminster sewer hole covers.

Dong! I got there just about the same time as The Undertaker.

World War Two for you Winston Churchill! You go Winston Churchill!

Dome of St Paul's Cathedral. St Paul's makes Westminster Abbey look like a waistcoat covered with flair. It's still full of memorials, but they're more well considered and harmonising. Plus it's just prettier. I could have gone up into the dome, but I had one of my mental lapses - I was down on the crypt level looking at the tomb of Horatio "Haw-Haw" Nelson and followed an exit sign assuming it would take me  back up a level, only to be flicked out onto the street instead. 

I suppose this is St Paul. I imagine he's hailing a magic carpet, at that height.

Tower of London. Complete with inexplicable stone lions.

Highlight of the Tower of London experience - daily show of Catapult vs Cannon: To The Death.

Dudes, look how still he's standing! This guy thinks he's guarding the Crown Jewels, but what's actually guarding them is bulletproof glass and state-of-the-art security. No picture taking inside the Jewel Tower, but I can assure you they were delightfully sparkly and gave a good insight into the pointless pomposity and wastefulness of royalty. However, I was quite taken with the Coronation Spoon, used for anointing the monarch liberally with oil before simmering over a low heat.

Oh, this was my favourite part of the Tower of London - memorial for the Tower Ravens! Quoth Cedric, "Nevermore."

Traitor Gate. For all you jackholes who started liking John Cena.

Tower Bridge. Also: I'm on a boat! 

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...designed by Alexander McQueen. Heh. This part of the river, Docklands, is lined by exclusive apartment buildings. Call me crazy, but if I was going to drop six million pounds on an apartment, it would have to do better than a view of a grey-brown river and other apartment buildings. Also, there's a railing because I'm on a boat!

Greenwich. It's like, always 12 o'clock here, or something. Also, it's slanty because I'm on a boat! 

Also today, I ate some crisps. They're kind of like potato chips, except they're called crisps. And now I must descend once more into the lurid underground of the Underground, in an attempt to meet up with a friend for frivolous frivolities and the highest of jinks. 


  1. This one time I went to the Tower of London and got beheaded. True story!

    You should go to Mayfair and visit Berkeley Square where all the ladies have heaving bosoms and the men and lordly and domineering. That's what my books say at least!

  2. Yessss. Berkeley Square is on my tomorrow agenda. Along with a visit to Madam Bosom's Heavery, est. 1771.

  3. Heh heh, Cedric.

    Did you fall out of the boat despite the railing?

  4. No, but I almost fell into a moat trying to take that photo of the raven memorial. Despite a railing.