London Part V

London Travel Blog

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Our little home for 2 months,at the top front corner of the Thistle Marble Arch looking down over Oxford St & Hyde Park.

My most humiliating (in a humorous way) moment in London I think was when a very rough looking, bad smelling homeless person approached me on the street and asked me if I had a fag to spare -- you see at the time, to save money, my ever frugal Scotsman husband purchased loose tobacco and taught me how to make my own "rollies" as he called them, and I'd roll a few in advance and keep them in my backpack in an old Benson & Hedges box. SO, anyway the bum must've observed me taking out my shiny B&H pack and decided I looked an easy mark, and of course I was, so I obliged and generously took one of my hideous lopsided rollies out of the B&H pack and offered it to him. He reached for it very hesitantly, rolled it around a few times in his hand and examined it from end to end, gave me a sympathetic look while I was proudly explaining that I was just learning how to roll my own cigarettes... then politely refused, handed it back to me, and disappeared away back into the crowd. Well... I... never!

brownh27 says:
BLess :)
Posted on: Jan 01, 2008
postaltiburon says:
Very cute story!
Posted on: Dec 06, 2007
lovely_lori88 says:
lol too funny! aww
Posted on: Nov 30, 2007
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London Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast

And the horror moment, the only really bad memory I still shudder when I think of, was the afternoon I was out strolling by myself exploring Leicester Square when a gang burst out of a restaurant or nightclub of some sort and started bashing one of the guys to a bloody pulp, they beat him down and kicked his head repeatedly into the curb and then even when he stopped moving and his arms fell away from the protective position around his head and there was blood coming from his nose, mouth and I think even his eyes and ears, yet still one of them continued jumping up and down on the man's head with his entire body weight. A crowd had gathered around and most of the people just ran up and gasped, or stood and gaped at them in stunned silence, but then one older man came to the front and repeatedly screamed "stop, police! stop, police!" to no avail, but shortly after the police did start pulling in and running in from different directions.

Trafalgar Square
I was so stunned I didn't even notice the police cars arrival until one car parted the crowd and slammed on his brakes so directly in front of me that I actually put my hands out onto the car's hood to brace myself against what I thought was the coming impact, which I can tell you well and truly snapped me back to reality.

And then the gang fled and scattered into the crowd and I couldn't tell you what went on from that point, I simply turned and walked away, all the way back to our hotel dazed and in tears, calling my husband at work from the mobile phone and he was able to calm me down a tiny bit but it was all so terrible and surreal and I couldn't wait to get back "home" and to my trusty bartender at the Thistle. The next day I felt terribly depressed and stayed in our room but I knew I soon had to shake it off and get back out there, and I did, but somehow it was never the same after that.

postaltiburon says:
Awful! It amazes me how some people put no value on human life. :(
Posted on: Dec 06, 2007
lovely_lori88 says:
omg that is so horrible!! im so sorry that you had to witness something like that :(
Posted on: Nov 30, 2007
sylviandavid says:
What a terrible thing... there are good people and bad people everywhere.... I am sorry for everyone who witnessed this horrible scene..... people can be so disapointing.... I think you were very brave to get back out and walk again.
Posted on: Nov 29, 2007
Me & Billy having a laugh together

In the evenings we'd go out scouting for a new place to try for dinner, quickly passing on quite a few places boasting brains and stuffed grape leaves on the window menus, sometimes not feeling very adventurous at all and settling for the KFC next door, browsing the shops and checking out the night life from a distance without really getting too involved. And on weekends in the city (we sometimes flew back home to Aberdeen for weekends) we'd go out together to the places I was too afraid to ride the tube to alone.

We really enjoyed Madame Tussaud's, and the Planetarium (although I got "motion-sickness" from the simulated spaceship takeoff, hyperventilated and nearly fainted out of my seat but after that part was over it was all good). Sherlock Holmes house was good for a laugh, the Aquarium was excellent as well as the Zoo, the art galleries & museums, a Thames cruise to Greenwich & the Cutty Sark which we found to our delight decked out in sails and with a movie set being built around it for the movie The Four Feathers starring Heath Ledger. Westminster Abbey was stunning, absolutely brilliant, do not miss it! St Paul's Cathedral took me back to Di & Charles televised fairytale wedding. There was so much more but I can't even think of it all right now. The highlight for us I think was Westminster Abbey, we'd love to see it again and take more time than we did.

sylviandavid says:
How sad to find you will not be able to tolerate space travel..lol.. Loved this blog!
Posted on: Nov 29, 2007
The Queen inviting us to tea

Andy and I were both also amazed to find that we barely met anyone in London who spoke English in the entire two months, outside of his job at Dresdner. Very frustrating in restaurants when you never got what you'd actually ordered -- even pointing at it on the menu when ordering didn't always get the job done.

The bartender at the Thistle Marble Arch quickly became my best friend and the hotel bar my safe haven to come home to at the end of each day of touring, and that's where my husband soon learned to find and join me coming back from work, sitting there chilling with my cold pint of Heineken which after the 2nd day, the bartender never to failed to have poured out for me the instant he saw me step off the escalator into the adjoining lobby -- in fact once or twice when I came in off the street I was tired and actually planning to head for the elevator and our room, but then spotted him settling that sparkling mug down with a flourish at an empty bar stool and grinning and waving in my direction so I didn't have the heart to let him down and quickly changed directions, oh he was good.

Diana in wax
But I never did tire of his interesting tales and juicy gossip about people I'd never met. And hooray, we spoke the same language!  :)

And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the city -- although I'm just a smalltown girl and it was all so new and different to me I actually have very fond memories of London. During the days as I've said I walked by myself for miles and miles, not really knowing where I would be going this day but usually just sort of stumbling across the sites I'd heard about and wanted to see and feeling very proud of myself. I spent countless hours in antique markets, and picking up fancy baubles here and there on Portabello Rd, and on the worst weather days -- it was afterall January and February so only heavy rain & wind kept me indoors or I'd have missed everything! -- anyway on those days I stayed in our room listing my antique trinkets for sale on eBay until Andy came home from work, or I'd lose myself in a 10p book I'd picked up from the Notting Hill Library sale shelf.

I haven't got a clue

lovely_lori88 says:
I love your London blog so far! I too didn't run into that many people that spoke english hehe. Hopefully I'll have better luck when I'm living there!
Posted on: Nov 30, 2007
This journal entry is a draft and has not been published yet. Please check back later!
Our little home for 2 months,at th…
Our little home for 2 months,at t…
London Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast
London Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Me & Billy having a laugh together
Me & Billy having a laugh together
The Queen inviting us to tea
The Queen inviting us to tea
Diana in wax
Diana in wax
I havent got a clue
I haven't got a clue
Big shiny Ben
Big shiny Ben
Ben from the Thames cruise
Ben from the Thames cruise
London
photo by: ulysses