The bad weather continues, we are all heartily sick of it but I think it is here to stay when you look back at the last half dozen years or so. It is dark again, the last time we saw sunlight was in October, it is wet but not raining, although that is on its way for this afternoon, nothing stirs as I am early today. A house at the side of mine has been sold so at some point we will have new neighbours, it used to be two houses, a barn conversion, very popular around here, it is very quirky as although it is one building the inside still looks like two house joined together. A previous owner used to make longbows, I was promised a shot but it never happened. Elsewhere the village is still suffering from the floods with houses uninhabitable.
I went South for Christmas to Chorleywood on the outskirts of London, no doubt in the next few years it will actually become a part of London, a great drive down which surprised me, I also used the M6 Toll which cost £5.50, but well worth it as there were only a few cars on it and we zoomed along at 80+.
On Boxing day the missus and I went for a wander as my son and his family went to Disney on Ice, as we have already seen it or a similar version we now carry cards that inform anyone in the event we lose our minds that we do not need to see it again. The centre of London, the touristy bit doesn't seem to have changed much since it was my stomping ground back in the 70's, apart from possibly looking cleaner. What was noticeable was the seeming lack of a native Londoner, I know there were a lot of tourists but the accents in most of the business establishments and pubs etc. were Eastern European, just like the Lake District, even in the Irish Pub and Italian restaurant.
We had lunch in Chinatown which is larger and more noticeable than I remember and looked around Covent Garden, it was almost impossible to find a toilet anywhere, the one's in Covent Garden were signed but strangely hard or impossible to find, and when I found one it was closed! I asked Security and in a Polish accent was pointed to a public toilet which cost me 50p. We stopped to watch some 'Street Theatre', an Australian Houdini who performed an incredible escape and kept a large crowd entertained for more than an hour. He was a bit of a comedian and informed us near the end that he had given up touring to give something back to people, well done that man, he also did not have a steady wage, so if we could remember and fold up our five pound notes as we dropped them in his hat he would be obliged, as I said, a comedian. Yes, I did drop something in his hat, but you would have trouble folding them. He actually deserved it, wearing a leotard standing in the cold, inside a tennis racket and wrapped in chains. We had a terrible meal later at an Italian, refusing to pay some of the bill and leaving literally with a bad taste in our mouths.
My son and I on the 27th went to Greenwich for the day to visit the Maritime Museum, the highlight for me was Nelson's bullet torn coat, a couple of his letters and the whole Trafalgar exhibition. On the way we passed a street food market, it was too soon for us to eat but it looked and smelled like the best food we had never eaten, I would go back to Greenwich to try some and have a few pints. I saw Star Wars in the O2, I was daft enough not to realise that the O2 was the former Millennium Done, it is an incredible venue, busy and obviously doing very well indeed. I was never a fan of the original plan but am reminded at how incompetent our MP's are who sold it off cheap as a white elephant and in comes private business who make a fortune out of it.
I was expecting London to be horrendously expensive, to me it seemed that the pubs etc. were fairly average for a big city, I could be wrong but that is the impression I got, but anything else I wanted I always looked up and expected to see the person wearing a mask and brandishing a pistol. I have to drink a lot due to one of my pills and I spat blood everytime I passed a wad of cash over for a simple can or bottle of juice. Why should these items cost a fortune, there is simply no reason, they are not hard to get the transport infrastructure is sound and in more difficult to get to places they cost half. The Maritime Museum asked for donations of £3, do you remember when they were simply happy to get anything, a bit like our escapologist, anyway, we decided to have a little break before we toured the museum and went into the cafe, two biscuits, a packet of crisps and two cans of juice came to £10.40, I decided they had had their donation from me and was tempted to put the receipt in the collection box as I worked it out that they had rooked me for at least £5.40 on average prices. There you have it, the London issue, I will be going back now that I
have a base and there is a lot on my to do list in the Capital.
I will leave you with a typical View, what about the guy who complained to Apple that his seven year old son had run up a £4,000 bill playing a game on his iPad and it was their fault. Like me you are probably wondering how the kid got his dads password, how he managed to hide the fact he was on the iPad for several days, how the father missed all the warnings from Apple about this sort of thing, and how he thought it was Apple's responsibility rather than his. He even complained when Apple said they would refund the money but it would take ten days! He would have got nothing from me, it was his fault along with this son, how many seven year old's do you know that are computer dumb?