Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stepping Out

(You may wish to see the fresh up-date at the botom of this, for those of you who have already been in.)

Last time I did the London tourist bit must be well over two decades ago. Living there, you tend to get a bit blase about it all. In the seven years since moving away, being as it is only an hours flight, I still tend to slot in an annual return.

Well, it's come around to that time again, so on Saturday I'll be setting off on another little venture across. Only this time it is going to be different. For one thing, I'm not going to hold up the plane home (don't want to live through all that again). But besides that, this time I've decided I'm gonna' be taking in all the sights - and the result is I'm about as excited as an excitable excited kid held in an excitable kids holding pen!

The London Dungeon is a must, not to mention Buckingham Palace. I'll be staying in central London, and have pre-booked tickets for that and just about everything else, from The Tower of London down to Madame Tussauds. I'll be taking in the Jack the Ripper Walk, be cruising the sights by Land and the River Thames from a London "Duck" bus, and catching a panoramic aerial view of the City suspended high from a capsule in the London Eye. I plan on exploring much of the night life too, not to mention stuffing my face in China Town, and perhaps even squeezing in a night out at "Ronnie Scotts" (a well-known jazz club frequented in my youth). I have no idea if there will be time enough left to take in any of the art galleries, but I'll give it a go. It all depends on how much hat shopping I need to do in Regents Street first (it's all a matter of priority..)

Ooooooooooooooh, I can barely contain myself (I may implode at any second with all this anticipation).

Naturally, that new camcorder of mine will be put to very good use, so you might as well resign yourself to being bored rigid upon my return.

So, I hear you ask, how come I've suddenly become a born-again tourist? Well, it's like this you see - the friend I am going with has never been to London before, and it has somehow brought out the latent tour-guide in me. Showing your old home-town off to a fresh pair of eyes is always fun, especially when the friend in question is also a very dear one. We are hoping to do a "Thelma and Louise" type getaway, but hopefully without the crime and averting that icky suicide bit at the end.

So there we have it, I'm gonna' be gone for a bit, but not for too long. In my absence, be good, try to behave, and don't you dare to run off anywhere, you hear? ('Sides, I'll only track you down and drag you back again).

Be seeing ya' all!! xx

(Oh, for goodness sake! Hardly an auspicious start.. I've missed my sodding bloomin' flight. I dragged my bones out of bed at 4am this cold dark morn, only to be knocked back at the check-in. Well, not me so much as the over-the-weight-limit megga-case holding my entire essential life-support system. God, what a palaver, now everyone flying to Gatwick knows my preferred knicker size and style, not to mention the embarrassing stuff which I knew not to pack, but did. Here I am at the top of the longest queue imaginable, turfing my secrets out for the amusement of all and sundry.

Worst thing is, hubby warned me this would happen, but I was having none of it. I even saw him off, told him not to wait for me to check in, I'd be fine. The only option left if I am to still make the flight is to find Security and beg them to hold on to my stuff until someone can come claim it for me. So here I am in the middle of my full blown panic-attack, when who should come along and tap me on the shoulder?

"Told you so."

Thank heavens hubby never listens to me. He was lurking to make sure I got through. But even with his help, by the time I made it back to the check in, the loading gate had already closed and the miserable, mean-spirited, moron of a jobsworth who is responsible for putting my case on the plane refuses to open it again - despite the check-in steward doing her very best to convince him otherwise. What a b*****d, the plane still had over half an hour before take off!!!

Not only have I missed my flight, I've also had to shell out over a hundred odd quid for this privilege, can you believe it? That's how much it cost to transfer me over to the next flight out.. (which incidentally, won't be 'til well after 5pm), shower of thieving dipsticks that they are.

So what else can go wrong, I hear you ask? Humph, don't even bother to ask, I'll keep you posted.



Fireblossom said...

Omg, Shrinky armed with a camcorder! I can see the whole of the London populace scattering out of her line of view!

SJ said...

Have a nice trip (in any sense of the word trip you want).

Will be waiting for your stories and videos.

Obligatory pun: If you see Jack the Ripper, Run don't Walk.

Fletch said...

Your worth has certainly gone up, way up, in my estimation. I would never have imagined you'd take Nora on an all-seeing trip of London!

I came to this shrewd conclusion (taking Nora on a trip, that is) because she is the only 'friend' you've ever mentioned in previous posts ...

Have a good 'un!

Hilary said...

Have a great time, Shrinky. I think you'd make a fine tour guide.

Anonymous said...

LOL at FireBlossom's comment.

I've been to "The Dungeon" in NYC. It's a place where you can check your clothes at the door. (giggle) Sorta like "Jack the Stripper". (my mind wanders)

I'm sure you'll have lots of stories to tell. Don't get lost!

RiverPoet said...

I know how it is living in or around a tourist trap and not enjoying it yourself. I live near DC, but it's a pain to do the touristy thing. You've inspired me, though! I'm going to try to do the tours in the spring. There's so much to see and do. Maybe hubby and I will make a weekend of it.

Can't wait to see your London videos! I've never been there, so I'll tour vicariously through you!

Peace - D

Carol said...

I love this blog!! How funny.....
I will follow this one for sure!

Pat Houseworth said...

I'm a born again something, just have not figured what I was before.


Akelamalu said...

Crikey how long are you going for to fit all that in? We did four days in London in 2007 and have to go back again this year to see more! Safe journey, have a great time, see you when you get back!

Suldog said...

It's great to go someplace you've been before with someone who hasn't been there. Not only can you help them to see good things, but you'll see things anew through their eyes.

I envy you this trip. I haven't been to London in about 28 years. I've been there on 5 or 6 different trips, while my Dad was employed by Singapore Airlines (and other airlines) but not since 1981 or so. Possibly my favorite city on Earth (at least of those I've been fortunate enough to visit.)

Jules~ said...

Hi there Shrinky. Gosh it feels so good to sit here again and catch up with you. I have missed this visiting.
It sounds like you have a super fun trip planned out. I have never been to London and am oh so curious.
My dad did a few military tours there and would come back with lots of pictures...but to see it all up close and personal would be something. Looking forward to hearing all your details when you get back. And how lucky for your friend to get the "insiders" tour version.

Robin said...

i, for one, can't wait to see what you return with.

Alex L said...

Have FUN!

Shrinky said...

So what's new, Fireblossom? My family have already forced me to train up on stealth tactics anyway, so no one is now safe from me.

Hahaha, yes SJ, you have a very valid point there, me lad!

Dear God, Fletch, you trying to give me nightmares here? I'll have you know I do still have the odd one or two folk still prepared to be seen out with me.. admitedly, I may have one less by the end of the trip, but I'm gonna' try my best to be good.

Oh Hilary the heart is willing, but the directional capability is sadly lacking I'm afraid. It's a given I'll lose her now and then, but I live in hope.

OMG Chewy! The mind positively boggles, forget my post, I want to read this one of yours - c'mon girl, spill, we want to hear more, don't we you guys? (Laughing)

Oh Riverpoet, how fab! I'm thrilled to think this has tempted you to follow suit - keep me posted please?

Oh dear Carol, I did set out with good intentions, but as you will see, there is little to follow to date.. sigh.

Haha, why Pat, you were a handsome young GI before of course, what else?

Akelamalu, I am going for a full week (smile), but you are right, I whink we will be hard pressed to fill it all in.

My Suldog, I never went ANYWHERE outside of the UK until I was twenty.. you lucky little sod you, I feel quite jealous now. How lovely you know London, do you think you might make it back over again at any point?

Hello Jules, how lovely to see you again! Truth be told, I usually have hubby around to sort out all this side of things, Lord knows how I'm going to fare on my own, but it's sure to be an adventure, that's for sure.

Oh Robin, in light of what I'm going over with, I don't think I'll dare to come back with anything more now (grin).

Cheers Alex, I'll certainly try to!

Jay said...

Oh no! But I thought Craggy Island's airport was one of the friendliest ... ! I'm sorry you missed your flight. :(

I'm also sorry that my arm is still in a sling, and I'm still hanging on to this damn cough, or I'd be very tempted to invite myself along and join you on that Jack the Ripper walk! I MUST do that one day!

Fireblossom said...

That officious son of a witch who wouldn't let you on is going to be very surprised when the United States Marines arrive and remove him to Gitmo for the special Dick Cheney welcome package.

Who phoned in the tip? I'll never tell!

(Of course, then there will be an American military presence mired on craggy island for years to come, but oh well. Make an omelette, break a few eggs!)

Anonymous said...

Oh bummer. - Hubby was right to watch you safely off... er... not off.

Okay, lighten up... now, open the mega case and take out the kitchen sink. Whatever you don't have and need, you can get there.

Late is better than never. Your story is starting even before you get off the ground. (smile) Bon Voyage.

Carol said...

OMG.......Airports has become a nightmare but they are sure fodder
for a great blog post! I am having laughter convultions, can't wait to hear the 'rest of this story'!
Thanks for visiting my blog Shrinky!

Alex said...

Have a safe and good trip! Don't stay gone too'll be missed already! :)

Maddy said...

It's the 'I told you so' bit that always grates. Hope the weather is better than usual if and when you ever land.

*Goddess* said...

Why aren't we seeing this outrage on video? Don't tell me you PACKED the camera? LOL!

Hope you made it ok and I envy you seeing Madame Tussauds. We have one in Gettysburg and I LOVE wax museums. I've also seen the one in Atlantic City. I hope you post pics from it, if possible. (Hint, hint:)

QUASAR9 said...

Well you know what they say
"When in London do what Londoners do ... " have fun

Mmm said...

Yes, I remember when I took my wife to London for the first time. I was the happy tourist to as I had never actually botehred to go anywhere outside my routine stops at teh parks and never seen much of it. It was funny. Boy, I'd love to do that again. Enjoy, enjoy.

Sabi said...

Hi Dear,

This is my first time reading your blog.. I love reading your journey to different decribe in very detail feels like i am there. Nicely done..

God Bless YOu
Take Care

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I really think the film that would win all the awards around, would be that which just follows you around for twenty four hours! It would show on "Believe It Or Not!:)"

"I'm about as excited as an excitable excited kid held in an excitable kids holding pen!"

You should run for our Congress. With that kind of admirable verbosity, you can't lose!!:)

Marty said...

Missed some of your post and now I am going to miss more =( dang!@

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.

~Babs said...

What a TRIP,,,,the airport I mean.
I had a similar enounter:
"Step AWAY from the bag",,,,
oh well, that's another story.

Have a super great adventure,,,can't wait to hear/see all about it!

david mcmahon said...

You should have just said it was Mr Shrinky's bag.

So there!

Jules~ said...

GASP! OH NO! I am so sorry for your take off problems. They make things so very difficult these days at the airport.
I do hope your time is going along much more smothly now.

Maggie May said...

This was such a good post and well worth the POTD winner recommenndation, over at David's. Congratulations.

Sandi McBride said...

Oh Girl! To be only an hour's flight away from I envy you. But as I sit here drinking my cup of Yorkshire tea, reading your post, admiring your handiwork, I'll forgive you for taunting me with that remark!
congrats on Post of the Day!

Poutalicious said...

Gratz on post of the day..."Duck" bus, LMAO, nostalgic rememberances of the duck buses back in good 'ole Hot Springs Arkansas in the US of A. Bye-bye ya'll.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

congrats on POTD....well done...

Anonymous said...

POtD again? (shove)

Shrinky said...

Hi Jay, yes - you really MUST do the Jack the Ripper walk with me, you'd love it!

Hi Carol, aw airports suck big-time (I'm stuck typing this here as I speak). If only we couold teleport, eh?

Hi Alex, I confess I have had withdrawal symptoms being parted from my laptop for so long. I did pack it initially, then unloaded it again after missing the original flight - guess what clutz forgot to repack it again before leaving? Duh!

Hi Maddy, yeah, but I guess I asked for it, huh? (Sheepish smile). The weather was on our side too, so it wasn't all bad.

Goddess, judging from the pics, it looks like I've finally made the "A" list, girl! (Wink)

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back Shrinky!

CJ said...

Hopefully you are there by now enjoying all the sites! Have a wonderful time and don't lose your head over the delayed flight (or at the Tower of London).

imbeingheldhostage said...

OH BLAST! I wish I had known you were coming-- I would've made lunch!!!

I hope you had a good time and so sorry I came too late to invite you over (yes I live three hours away, but that's nothing).

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