Thursday, 24 September 2009

Dirty Old River Must You Keep Rolling, Rolling on Through the Night

So, after an early call, a short taxi ride and 4 hours on the National Express we arrived in 'The Smoke'. Almost a perfect run up, I've always considered NE about the best way to get to town, with only one 20 minute delay when a Maserati decided to check out the 'stern tube' of an artic which sliced his bonnet of right up to and including the windscreen. No Claims Bonus - wot No Claims Bonus??

The Travel lodge at Southwark was no bother either, just a 5 minute walk from the tube station bearing the same name and we were checked in. We retraced our steps as far as Waterloo, then journeyed on to Tottenham Court Road to check out any gigs that may be on at the Mean Fiddler - No. We then walked the length of Charring Cross Road to visit China Town, Soho and Piccadilly Circus, I well remember the days when you could hardly have walked it for the rubbish. The Chinese community are still keeping it relatively spotless, oh and of course it was great to see the Porcupine again, an old stomping ground. My most memorable moment there was when I went to check out Pure Reason Revolution at the afore mentioned 'Fiddler' and seeing a few faces stayed for more than the intended 'one'. At the gig I presented my ticket, had my cheese rolls confiscated and arrived just to hear the MC announce, "a big hand then for PRR, excellent set" and just caught sight of the drummer leaving the stage.

We continued to Trafalgar Square and paid a longer than intended visit to the National Gallery. Content with some of the 'old masters' in the first room, we soon hit the Immrpessionist and found we couldn't leave. Ille was most interested to see Alfred Sisely and Picasso, while I headed straight for Manet and Odilon Redon (the latter's work 'The Boat' adorns my bedroom). After that we visited an old shipmate of mine, someone I taught everything I know. There he was full of all his glory atop that great column, and as we used to say "look how high he got, and he's still being shit on"!! Our final port of call was the Sherlock Holmes, just a few metres short of the Embankment, and we can report the fish, chips and mushy peas are as good as they ever where. We crossed the bridge at Waterloo, me crooning that Kinks classic to my girl, and I haven't seen her since! Yes I have we walk back together along the South Bank admiring The Savoy, Royal Festival Hall, The Hayward, St Paul's Cathedral and The Gherkin, sticking out of the financial district, from a distance ready for a shower and good nights sleep. Roll on tomorrow.

Ille in China Town

The Porcupine - a few stories have been told in there

Ille at the Shirlock Holmes - an old stopping off place on my way south from the rig

Did someone say Erso? He's the God of Love isn't he?

The 'Fourth Plinth' occupied by some woman doing her washing up!

Horatio cocking a 'blind eye'

and mortally wounded - there I told you he come to a sticky end!