Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Jolly Day Out In London Town

Firstly, I should like to say that Her Maj the Queen keeps a jolly good gaff. Bit ostentatious, bit bling, and too many gold snakes creeping out of the top of what would otherwise be a jolly nice pale blue vase, but hats off, Buckingham Palace is a top crib and I guess HM doesn't have that much say over the day to day interior design.

Anyway, I should now like to report upon the Day as a Whole, so excuse me for a second whilst I place my tongue firmly in my cheek...

'We alighted on the platform of the small countryside railway station, having deposited five and one half of our finest English pounds for the honour of parking our horse and carriage for the day. Already the station was bustling with fellow travellers - business men, elderly ladies, young women with their many, many off-spring who, despite the earliness of the hour, were already giving full vent to their lungs.

The train arrived at three minutes past its due time, but what is three minutes in the aspect of time, unless one is boiling an egg? We climbed aboard, receiving only mild jostlings from the gathered crowd whose ebullience we put down to the excitement of a visit to our glorious Capital City. Alas, it soon became clear that the train of eight carriages was fully seated, mostly, it transpired, with the school children of our Continental Friends, Les Francais. I remarked to my Husband that maybe it would have been wise of the train company to make the train of more carriages, it being rush hour and the season of general holiday. But then I remembered to add, 'What do I know about manly subjects such as trains, since I am a mere lady?' and so we resigned ourselves to a bracing hour and ten minutes standing in an increasingly crowded corridor, by the lavatorial facility.

I attempted to distract myself by the Reading of a Novel, but then, what better entertainment could there have been than the Jolly Party of French Children taking it upon themselves to sing loudly and vigorously a goodly medley of obscure French ditties, interspersed with snippets of Abba, Justin Beiber and One Direction? Again, I remarked to my Husband that perhaps this could be the reason why our Gallic Neighbours never win the Eurovision Song Contest, and why their poetry is so lacking in scansion and finesse. Yet immediately I realised the unkindness of my comment, it due solely to my feeling of discomfiture at travelling standing, by a lavatory, with a stranger's armpit in close proximity to my nostrils. And for this honour a mere twenty English pounds a ticket, a bargain when cheese is so dear.

Later, as we approached the vicinity of London Bridge and its delightful array of local graffiti art,  a young couple standing nearby struck up a conversation about the demise of a family cat. Such sad occasion seemed to cause much mirth to these young people, and brought threat of a tear to my own good eye, the conversation raising as it did memory of the recent demise of my own dear Pandora Kitten. My wish was to shout 'Shut up, you heartless, arrogant b*****ds!' but my Husband, who is wise and devoid of confrontation, counselled me against this course of action, declaring it to be both unladylike and inviting of verbal retribution from the aforesaid couple, and so I contained myself and in due course we disgorged from the train and into London itself.

It seemed the Whole of The World was visiting London! Pavement space was at a premium and queues were lengthy. I confess to being mightily shocked at the price of refreshments, their cost being more than adequate to cover our annual household electricity bill. We had fancied to dine well in one of the finer local eateries, yet time conspired against us as we made our way to the Palace, and thus we sufficed our appetite with an egg and cress sandwich from (keeping up the French theme) Pret a Manger whilst standing in the queue for our entry to the Palace. 'Tis lucky,' I quipped to my Husband, 'that I am well versed with standing today...ahahahahahaha!' 'Indeed, Wife,' rejoined my Husband, 'and think of all the calories we have spent by standing and walking and dining on a sandwich.' 'Are you saying I am fat?' quoth I? 'Heaven forfend,' said Husband, taking a quick step backwards.

Our Palace visit over, we began our lengthy promenade back to the railway station for the journey homewards. I confess, dear reader, that my demeanour was not at its fragrant best at this point in the day, but justified my uncharacteristic crabbiness by having worn my second best comfy shoes in favour of my first best comfy shoes, having previously been assured that standing and walking activities for the day would be kept to a minimum. Nonetheless we boarded an earlier train than anticipated thus securing ourselves of a seat.

Our journey home was comforted by chocolate and relative peace. Our arrival home was comforted by banoffee pie and relative pizza. 

Whatever that is.

And thus, as the dusk drew on and I tucked the hens to bed, weary from the Exertions of the Day (me, not the hens - they had spent the day crocheting antimaccassars and drinking elderflower cordial) I declared NEVER to visit London, ever, EVER again.'


Countryside Tales said...

Ditto that dear friend. I can usually summon up the necessary energy to visit our illustrious capital about once every two years and do enjoy it but am always very glad to come home! (and have a bath).
But- how were the robes? You have not mentioned them at all- were they in fact there? I told my mother you were robe staring and she was extremely envious.

Denise said...

Ah, well - the robes were absolutely exquisite. Really, really beautiful and soooo petite. The Queen is clearly a very tiny lady with minute waist and apparently no rib cage! And the tiara, earrings and necklace she wore at the Coronation were incredibly sparkly!

I think what impressed me most was the dress that was worn during the anointing. A beautiful,simple, white gown with very fine pleating and lovely elegant neckline. I didn't realise HM wore a different dress for that part of the ceremony - all symbolic, of course.

It is one of those exhibitions that, as someone who enjoys needlework, I didn't want to miss. Excellent!

LynneFtWorth said...

I am so glad you enjoyed the trip and the robes. I am sorry you were reminded of the loss of poor kitty. I lost my cat of 22 years back in November 2012. It is still very close and painful to this day. I will keep you and her in my thought so healing will be easier.

Countryside Tales said...

Actually, now you've described them I can see the appeal. It was the idea of "robes" rather than "gowns" or "dresses" that put me off. I'll bet the workmanship (if that's the right word)was exquisite. So pleased you enjoyed it.

Olly said...

As one who travels into the great Wen every day, you have my sympathies! great post though - I couldn't decide if it was Pepys or Pooter but it made me laugh either way!

Denise said...

Deanna, thank you. I am a big believer in healing energy, so your thoughts will be very precious. Gosh, 22 is a good age for a kitty, isn't it? Our Phoebe is 17 and Tybalt is 10 so they have a long way to go to reach the grand age your lovely lived to.

Olly, you have my sympathy and admiration! Every day??? Wow! Glad you enjoyed the post. I was thinking Pepysish when I wrote it, but looking back I can see Pooter, too! I read 'Diary of a Nobody' last year and was highly entertained.

Vera said...

I remember well the jostles of London, and am pleased that it shall never again be part of my life experience....I hope! But glad you enjoyed your adventure, and those robes must have been awesome. Might it inspire your creativity?

Denise said...

Hello Vera! Hope you are well. The robes and dresses were stunning. True craftsmanship. And yes, I am exploring the possibility of starting a City and Guilds in Textiles. As you know, I like making things, but feel I need to have a more grounded and guided training to help develop my creativity. Change of career time!