I spent the weekend in London with my wonderful girlfriend. Doesn’t that sound much nicer than a weekend with my long-suffering girlfriend? We stayed at the Grosvenor which is a very swanky 5 star hotel on Park Lane. Better than that was that we were staying for free! You just can’t beat a free stay in a flash hotel surrounded by people wearing dinner suits while I’m just dressed in my Gap-esque wardrobe. Of course, as the poem goes, you’re supposed to be able to walk with kings and never lose the common touch.
Anyway, you may recall if you’ve been a long-term reader of my ramblings (the one or two of you that are), that I spent a couple of months working down there. I wasn’t overly keen at first but soon found myself to be having a great time, due in no small measure to the fancy hotels I was staying in and the great food I was eating in some superb restaurants. So returning to London took me right back to a year ago. And after a few days I’m reminded why I like living where I do and how I can’t understand why people would want to have such a way of life.
However, it was nice to catch up with some friends and family. That’s the trouble when you meet people at school and university and then move to other ends of the country / planet – it can be tough to stay in touch and it never feels like you’re doing enough. This time we didn’t take the tube very much (a good thing too considering the crash on the Central line), instead walking around the city a bit. We went to the Natural History Museum (below), which I’ve always wanted to see. Dinosaurs were a fascination of mine from an early age and I guess it was a pilgrimage to see so many fossils and recreations of the beasts that ruled the world for many millions of years. I could have spent hours in there. And did.
We walked around places like Chelsea where the rich and famous live (can’t see the attraction really, pretty poky houses) through Hyde park which seemed full of people trying to run themselves into shape (for the record I only saw one guy that I would consider to be in decent shape). We also paid our generic visit to Harrods to look at expensive watches (they didn’t have mine) and get lost in its vastness. We saw a guy starting a fight with another guy and lots of people living on the streets (I stress that we’d left Harrods by now). We were also reminded of the “Somebody Else’s Problem Phenomenon” that people seem to have (in that everything is everybody else’s problem, so eveybody ignores everybody else). I swear that if a person exploded and an alien popped out, nobody would even give them a cursory glance.
The most amusing thing that happened was a knock on our door at about 12.30am. I answered it to be presented with a tall, very attractive Spanish woman who looked amazed that I was standing there. Clearly she was expecting someone else so I pointed out that she must have the wrong room. I went back to sleep and the phone rang half and hour later for the same woman to ask for Rafael! Once again I pointed out that she had the wrong damn room and to leave me alone. Fortunately she did. But it was a fun trip and as always London has a lot to offer the visitor. But I couldn’t live there. I just don’t like being in cities for longer than a few days. And there were too many tourists for my liking!
Oh, I’m afraid I didn’t catch the James Bond or Star Trek exhibitions. Two nights just weren’t long enough to do everything. Maybe next time…