so, London. it is quite possible that some - not the majority, look you see, but all the same - might be wondering why exactly i elected to take another brief sojourn down to the capital. for the regular reader here, there is something of an obvious answer to that in the shape of the lure of Spiros, a gent of good standing and with whom i have engaged on many splendid an adventure.
whilst seeing Spiros is always a good reason to go to London, in this instance the timing was at the behest of our friends in America. well, the one friend in America, i suppose. a lady whom i had befriended on the internet but had not actually met before suggested that i travel many hundreds (well three or so of them) to come and meet her. and so, i did.
the above picture is indeed taken in my beloved Fortnum & Mason, and the lady with me is the one who requested my presence there. say hello, dear reader, to my dear friend and somewhat distant relative, Dory. oh yes, you saw the title of the blog post and so perhaps had presumed her name.
i know what your most pressing and immediate concern is, and the answer is most decidedly yes. yes, of course Dory loves and is as charmed by Fortnum & Mason as i am. one would not expect me to speak so fondly of someone who did not appreciate this most finest of establishments, would one?
with respect to your second pressing question, have i made a habit of befriending ladies across the internet and travelling many a mile to meet them in person? over the course of my life i would have to say yes i have, and mostly it has worked out all well and good. i did, after all, end up marrying one such lady.
Dory and her equally wonderful daughter, who you can see below in amongst a Lego variation of our Royal family, are on a trip or if you like sojourn around the better parts of Europe. not the best part of Europe, alas, although they did offer to travel up to Yorkshire. i felt, however, that the pressures of time would make it fairer on them if i travelled to London; a sort of "meet me half way" thing.
what is it that Dory does when she is not in London meeting strange men from Yorkshire? i am glad you asked. it would please me greatly if, should you be a parent and reside in America, you were to consider visiting the Mombies website and look into obtaining one of these brilliant emergency kits. yes, that's right, click the text in yellow and off you go.
just what exactly did the three of us do for five or so hours in London? pretty much what you would expect. Fortnum & Mason was a priority of course, for to visit London and not visit Fortnum & Mason is not to visit London at all. also Hamleys, as per the lego picture above. and Harrods, which is not pictured. and Buckingham Palace. and the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace (as opposed to, for instance, the Royal Mews where i park my horses), where we saw this on display.
oh, how quaint. Dory and her daughter were positively thrilled to see that Barack and Michelle Obama had spent their tax money on their behalf getting a set of some sort of cowboy spurs for Her Majesty The Queen to bung onto the legs of the specially bred horses that have the honour of pulling her carriage. "you know, Liz, me and Mich got to thinking about how all those parades you do are just great, but just don't evoke a sense of the barren wilderness of the frontier. here, stick these on them horses you got, they'll look all shiny in the sun; if you ever get any sun here.".
how was it that i came to meet, or if you like connect with, Dory in the first place? her brother. as her brother has the same surname as me, he reached out across the pond and over the internet to connect. by a strange quirk of fate, our surname being the same isn't just a coincidence; due to the history of the name and a fairly straightforward lineage trace of some 500 years to the origin of it, we are in all likelihood (and i am talking 99% certain) going to be related, albeit distantly.
i would not wish to bore you with the full details or story here - another time, another place perhaps - but in short we all stem from someone who had to "escape" from the court of King Charles II (or maybe I). this he did, changing the name, i believe, from Richards (or Richard or Ricard orsimilar) to Ricketts. that's the point at which our name came into existence.
as for how we got as far as America, some of the family some 200+ years went west. one of them, of whom you can read here, made quite an impact on a certain George Washington.
the inevitable Finding Dory reference? but of course. the boys were thrilled to learn that i was to be off finding Dory in London, and all the happier when i found Dory in the Finding Dory section of Hamneys.
after five hours of marching around London and seeing the sights it was time for us to part. me towards Spiros in the Wharf; my friends and family from America towards another aspect of Europe.
sleeve on heart and hand on heart, i was genuinely affected with sorrow and sadness to be saying farewell so soon. whilst i can only trust this is reciprocated, it was an absolute pleasure, delight and honour to meet. we got on in that way that perhaps only family, whether actual or just feels like it, can, to be honest.
i very much look forward to the next instance or occasion where i can meet Dory, her family and whomsoever Dory would like me to meet. and oh yes, very much at the upper end of the very top of that is the gentleman who put it all together. i speak of you, Brent. if you're reading, i am very much looking forward to meeting you. especially as your tape collection has always indicated it will be a meeting with a soundtrack of the right music played at the correct volume.
more of my London adventures soon, i promise. now, rest, i must......
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!