this might be overtly ambitious of me, and indeed for a limited audience, but no matter. i have milked my rather short trip to London for a number of posts here already, look you see. the time has come just to slot all the rest of the pictures into one post, and recount those stories i can recall.
the quite exciting elements of my journey commenced before they even began. why's that? well, after my family had dropped me off at the train station to commence my sojourn, i was confronted with a message advising me that my train had, as point of fact, been cancelled. oh, bother.
how so that i made it to London and, indeed, back? an enquiry at the ticket desk left me informed that "cancelled" is an ambiguous term, apparently, and it was not so much cancelled as it was deferred to a fellow train station. i simply had to get on one other train to catch the service. and so, i did.
oh yes, there will be quite a few images of me here in this post, so you may well feel much better about skipping it all, i suppose. for those enthusiastic about my appearance, go wild.
rather than mind my own business, for outside of one minor rock opera i composed about a train signal booth employee and the rise and fall of his "on the sick" scam i know little of how the railways work, i suggested to the people at the ticket desk that maybe, or indeed perhaps, sharing this information on the "all things are relative" definition of cancellation with a wider audience might benefit those who had, in the greatest of fairness, paid them considerable coins of money to do such a job. they did.
some video of the world passing by as the train motored, or whatever it does (rolled i suppose), towards London? sure, here you go, just for the handful of you who can actually play the videos on this site.
how did the train journey go? after the panic had fallen away and i could relax a bit, most splendid. i was able to read a fair chunk of that Dying For Christmas book, which i reviewed for your pleasure over on this post here. and now i see that in that review, of sorts, i forgot to draw attention to the fact that poor editing has cursed Dying For Christmas - the hideous oxymoron of a phrase "revert back" features in it.
one knows that they have arrived in London, ostensibly the King's Cross area of London, when they are confronted with a massive portrait of the lean, tight, pert, engaging, well toned and quite exciting backsides of several (four) Arsenal players.
why the backsides of the Arsenal players? there are several theories concerning this, with the overwhelming majority of them involving potentially libellous statements about the sexual proclivities of the players and fans alike. quite often together, but let's not go there. my theory would be that if Arsenal just show the backs of people wearing the shirts of certain players then they don't have to pay any image rights to the actual players suggested at being depicted.
my own views on Arsenal? i have no quarrel with them. sure, they attract the odd bad fan that they'd probably rather not be associated with - Piers Morgan, for instance, and also Osama Bin Laden - but they can hardly be held to blame for this. if anything, i have nothing but empathic sympathy and understand of Arsenal's plight. as a sexual magnet, i also attract many, and have no say in such matters.
i arrived at Kings Cross, then, some 30 or so minutes later that i was scheduled to, but no matter. as in, no matter where you go, there you are. and where i was turned out to be a place where i could have a cigarette after going some three or so hours sans one.
what are them people in the background doing? no idea. messing with mobile phones, looks like. either they are booking one of them Uber things, which London Black Cab drivers reckon is little more than paying someone to interfere with you sexually, or they could be doing all that Digimon Go stuff.
as you have seen the image of my reunification with Spiros at his house previously, we shall skip that. also, you have seen my adventures with Dory and her daughter, so we will skip that too. although the bulk of the next pictures are off of that day.
here is, if for some reason you are interested in it, a picture of me going down one of them fancy escalator things what they have at the tube stations in London.
i think this is in Canary Wharf, going back down to the platforms to make my way to Piccadilly Circus after travels with Spiros, but i could be mistaken. it won't be at Westminster station, that much i can assure you. with all them armed coppers around, no way was i going to pull out an exceptionally Brazilian looking phone.
if you're a fan of the works of that Roald Dahl bloke and all his fantastic books, then rejoice for you may well like this. whatever it actually is.
this image, and indeed the one that follows, was taken on the walk towards Buckingham Palace. it is placed before an unspecified arch of some consequence and, well, that's the limit of my knowledge. sorry, folks, evidently i am not quite as familiar with The BFG as i might need to be to know what this is.
but still, if you are a fan of The BFG and all that, surely this will make sense to you and my lack of knowledge, or if you prefer your spades to be shovels ignorance, makes little difference.
i just recently mentioned Buckingham Palace, so that allows me to quite nicely include here a picture of me with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. no, not the actual one, but a reasonably respectful one what they have made out of Lego in Hamleys.
before my next trip to London, right, one that will be in the future rather than in the past, i must do some digging and find out on which floor exactly it was in Hamley's that Stanley Kubrick filmed the final scene of Eyes Wide Shut. theoretically, and i don't know that it was filmed in sequence, it would be the last thing that the great one ever did direct. i'll see what i can find online, or perhaps just watch the film to work it out, and have a picture taken of me upon that spot.
onwards, then, towards quite early on the Saturday that i headed home. very early, in fact. whilst New York is known as the city that never sleeps, London surely does like a bit of a kip or a snooze. very little, if anything, happens in London on a Saturday morning between 6:00am and 8:00am. the trains, for one, do not run as smoothly as they should.
if i am looking somewhat distressed in that picture above, it is because i was. that's me on the escalator at King's Cross, having finally made it to King's Cross. i got there some 20 minutes later than i had planned to be, owing to three tube trains on the bounce simply not turning up at the time they were supposed to.
some people think tube drivers are twats. others, i have observed, consider them to be total and utter bstards. i'm not sure if this is harsh or not. the basics, so far as i am aware, is that a tube driver gets paid some £50,000 a year to sit in a box at the front of a tube train, and be ready to press a massive button saying "stop" should for some reason the automated stopping system not work. in theoretical terms they work some 20 hours a week, refuse to work more for it would "interfere with their social lives" to do so, and have an ambivalent approach to working those hours.
my view is that the London public transport system is the best, most amazing thing ever, and it is a disgrace that we in the rest of the country have to put up with an unreliable, inconvenient and ludicrously overpriced system. public transport should not cost more than a car to use. the point, surely, is that it is there for those who can't drive or cannot afford to?
at King's Cross, then, and more literary / cinematic things for you.
i have only ever seen the Harry Potter what Ian Brown is in, as well as Gaz Oldman. i think there was this train platform in it, and i am fairly sure it would feature in all of them. anyway, this platform is quite the attraction at King's Cross, as many fans of this little boy who plays with his wand wish to stand and have their picture taken by the display.
it's that JK Rowling woman what did Harry Potter, isn't it? she's another one that has that same affliction what Rod Stewart has. neither of them seem to grasp that being born in England makes you English, no matter who you are related to or how much you want to be Scottish. i mean, Scotland is amazing, man, and i very much hope to visit there once again soon, but you can't just go around pretending you are from there because you like it. nationality can, after all, make some Scots slightly tetchy. just ask that Scottish bloke who deleted all his illegally downloaded Bowie songs after Bowie had the temerity to express an opinion, followed by the poignant statement "i am glad the unionist c*** is dead" earlier this year. the latter was, i take it, an action designed to bring comfort to many.
oh, the actual Harry Potter display thing at King's Cross? sure.
again, i may be mistaken, but i believe the idea here is that you hold on to the handle of the trolley and act like you are ramming it through the wall, all magic style. perhaps i will have a look at the films of it all that didn't have Ian Brown in them, but i doubt they will be as smart.
yes, you are quite right - to my knowledge my frequent visits to King's Cross means that i have indeed visited every single train station what the Pet Shop Boys have named a song after.
here i am, apparently a little after 8 in the morning, enjoying a cigarette before getting on the train home.
if i don't look to be enjoying the cigarette, i assure you that i was. any look of disdain or contempt about me is down purely to the fact that i, out of desperation, had a bought coffee off of a London shop. coffee shops in London seem unable, or simply not prepared, to make decent coffee.
whilst the coffee i got at House of Spiros was smart, every purchased cup was awful. back in the 80s, there was a massive trend in London to fill the gearboxes of cars with sand and gravel, as this was cheaper than fixing them before sale and it was all prior to any sort of consumer rights or laws existing. for some reason the coffee establishments of London seem to think this is worth reviving as part of their trade.
who knows, if they could get their hands on some decent coffee rather that the awful, hideous stuff Costa and Starbucks sell, perhaps everyone would not look so miserable and anti-social on the tube.
and, finally then, after some reading and some listening to the vibes, home.
yes, home to blue skies, lovely weather, and a brief wait whilst my family came along in the Family Truckster to collect me and all the fancy wares i had collected whilst in London.
and, phew, that's that. i would seem to have got an awful lot done in one evening, one full day and one brief morning in London. it is quite an amazing place, and i look forward to my next adventure a great deal.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!