Chopped Liver – Streets of London

Life Is ... Sweat

Shame it wasn’t Streets of Liver-pool – at least then it may have been more topical – but it wasn’t – it was London.

I used to work in London – for many years – in I.T. – used to hate the daily commute – like cattle in the trains – getting upset as the sweaty armpits brush against you as you crammed yourself into the throng – no chance of a seat so you had to stand with an arm holding the dangly thing – trouble was, that meant that you had a sweaty armpit in your face whichever way you turned.

Anyway – enough of the past. I don’t visit London much these days – but when I do, it’s usually with Weedy – and what a difference – the place becomes magical. And you just couldn’t buy the smile on that wee boy’s face.

So B, Weedy and I took a tube to Waterloo – and the moment we got into the station, we could see it was full of colourful, flambouyant, bohemian people – simply not ashamed to look different, eager to stand out, to show off their style, their youth, their beauty.

We saw pirates – walked past them like they were dressed appropriately. We walked along the South Bank – past the endless array of eccentric entertainers, past the graffiti-splattered skateboard complex filled with youngsters given the freedom to express themselves in a way that would be shunned upon outside this zone, but who looked positively skilful and artistic within it. And you know what? Not one piece of Graffiti was visible outside of the designated zone – what does that tell you?

And on and on we walked, past the famous bridges, through ancient tunnels, around legendary ships, to the top of towers to get aerial views – every step a new adventure.

We stop off at a bouncy place so that Weedy and I can engage in a bout of jousting – with inflatable bananas (I beat him to a pulp, I hasten to add).

And the inviting sight of Tower Bridge looms ever closer – and when we get there – oh the joy – something I have never seen before – the bridge is in the process of opening. We run as fast as we can up the steps of the old monument, onto the pavement and watch the tall-masted ship sail through and eagerly await the road descending and the barriers re-opening – simply breath-taking. And matched ONLY by the look of sheer joy and excitement beaming acroos the face of my 5 year old.

We then took the old Routemaster Bus – not many of those left – from Tower Hill to Trafalgar Square, where we watched another display of traditional olde England – a mass “posse” of Morris Dancers performing for literally thousands of tourists (I was one today) – what a colourful and historic setting.

To cap off the day – and we had walked many miles already – I suggested to Weedy that we walk down to Buck House. I never go to that place – cant stand all the pomp etc – but today everything was just… different… we saw the funny sentry soldiers marching up and down in their ridculous uniforms – with hats they cant see through and shoes with no grip so they slid constantly – very very funny – for two or three minutes.

Asian Elephant (not a real one)

And finally a walk through Green Park to the tube – and back through dozens and dozens of what we had seen all day scattered throughout Central London – innovatively designed fibreglass-ish models of Asian elephants – to highlight their plight – and not one of them looking out of place.

Because in London – anything goes!

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2 Comments on “Chopped Liver – Streets of London”

  1. David Fernando Says:

    I did almost exactly the same thing with my 5 yr old Max about two weeks ago (didn’t see the bridge go up though). Magical.

    I commuted to London for 22 years. Didn’t mind the first 20, believe it or not. Then again, at 6ft 4inches, mine was mostly the armpit you brushed against I guess.

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