This post was supposed to go up yesterday (Tuesday 10th June), but I had so little concentration after travelling through London all day, proofreading a bit and knowing I had to get up at half 5 the next morning, so I jotted down what I wanted to write in my notebook so I wouldn’t miss anything.
Yesterday my mum and I were meant to be going to London to see a filming of the programme Q.I.. Unfortunately, I got an email the night before saying that the recording had been postponed until today. I have a feeling that the death of Rik Mayall may have had something to do with it, so even though it was frustrating (as we had booked the train tickets and couldn’t make it to today’s recording), I completely understand. I wouldn’t want to go to work the day after the death of a friend either.
When we found out about the postponement Mum phoned up the train company to see if she could get a refund on the 40 quid that had been spent on the tickets. However, due to ridiculous refund charges Mum would only get back a whole…wait for it…75p. This is because the train company charges £10 each way for a refund. My tickets cost me £8 each way. There was a heated discussion between my mum and the person on the other end of the phone which meant that we pretty much had to go to London the next day. There was talk of changing the tickets to another day but we had to leave both home and London at the same times as were on the purchased tickets.
I phoned my friend when Mum was on the phone to ask if she wanted to meet me in London. She agreed, but couldn’t make it until about half 2 because of her having to go to an excavation site to clear up after a few weeks of digging and discovering pottery and skeletons. Mum booked an earlier ticket back from Liverpool Street because she didn’t fancy staying in London all day.
We got the train at about half 10. We both thought that the the tickets were for half 10 but then a ticket inspector told us they were for 10:33 and that we should make sure to get the train that our ticket allows us to get on. He didn’t fine us or anything like that, but it was a little frustrating, especially after the hassle with the tickets the night before.
The advantage of getting the train that we did was that the train went straight to Liverpool St with no stops, not even to Stratford. We were sat opposite a couple with a very cute young baby girl. She was so well behaved throughout the entire journey and was perfectly happy being entertained with a crisp packet (which she eventually yanked and got crumbs everywhere) and a packet of Polos. There was a younger guy sitting across the way from me reading a book. I had a look at his hands and saw that his nails were incredibly long. Long as claws. Not a look I would personally go for but he didn’t go out that day with the intention of impressing me.
The front page of the papers were covered with the image of Rik Mayall, following his death. There was a quote it one of them from his comedy partner Adrian Edmonson, calling him a selfish bastard. I loved what I saw of Mayall’s work (Bottom, The Young Ones and Drop Dead Fred). I found him so eloquent and just simply ridiculous. He died suddenly at 56 and was found by his wife. At first they were unaware of what it was that killed him but I heard today that it may have been something to do with an accident he had 16 years ago which left him in a coma. I’ll link an article here and you can also read his obituary.
Mum and I arrived in London about 45 minutes after leaving the station. I paid for both our railcards so that my friend could have one when I saw her later should she need it. We got on the tube to Marble Arch where we saw a homeless man with a large beard and pungent aroma sitting a few inches away from the entrance. We went to M&S and looked around the womenswear department. We looked at a few maxi dresses and Mum was after a scarf to go with a white dress. I’ve tried on a few maxi dresses, but the shape of my body does not allow them to flatter my figure. I am relatively slim with wide hips, meaning that maxi dresses just don’t look the way they should on me.
We got some lunch and then walked over to Hyde Park. I didn’t realise how close it is to Marble Arch. Between the area of the Arch and the grass there was a long line of horses. There was one that was having its feet “sorted” (sorry I am not informed on horsey lingo). Here’s a photo so you have more of an idea of what I’m talking about.
I’ve done a bit of Googling but still can’t pinpoint what this was was. If you know more about this then feel free to leave a comment and enlighten me!
Having lunch in Hyde Park with my mum was really lovely. There is a stack of deck chairs there which you pay to sit on, so we just sat on the grass in the sun. There were a few strapping young shirtless men going for a run as were so many other people…except they had all their clothes on. We were sat near a place called Speaker’s Corner. Mum said that it used to be a place where people could sit and speak their mind about anyone and no one could stop you. I think I might need my own Speaker’s Corner.
At about quarter to two Mum and I got back on the train to Liverpool Street. I could have stayed in Oxford Street but I needed Mum’s travelcard. I said goodbye to her then jumped straight on the tube to King’s Cross. Admittedly, I killed a few minutes before getting on the train playing Farm Heroes Saga. I had about an hour before my friend arrived, so lingering around aimlessly wasn’t hurting anyone.
When I got to King’s Cross I sat and read Wild by Jay Griffiths. After reading Eat. Pray Love. I was interested in travel writing so picked up a copy of this book from Selfridges last Summer when I came to London with my then boyfriend. I had read a few pages, but always ended up back at the end after putting it down for too long.
After getting confused as to where to meet her, I eventually found my friend. I asked her what she wanted to do but she wasn’t fussed so we went to the Natural History Museum. I noticed that the Piccadilly Line is actually quite handy because it has South Kensington (for the museum), Knightsbridge (Harrods), Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
Anyway, when we got to the museum we saw outside in a white tent that there was some sort of butterfly house which was about a fiver entry. We walked around the museum looking first at the dinosaurs then at the mammals, followed by human biology. I suggested going to the Sherlock Holmes museum next because we’d both never been before. There was a bit of tube confusion, naturally, but we got there in the end.
The museum itself was a little smaller than I imagined and exists in an old house that is protected by the government. It has two floors (three if you cound the ground floor as the first floor) and a gift shop in a tiny building next door. There is also what we thought was a coffee shop next door, but we realised that it was being used for storage.
We were both quite hungry when we got out of the museum so went to Pret that sat just opposite one of the entrances of Baker Street station. I had never been before and was impressed with my caramel latte. We sat outside and talked for a bit. Then we talked about people watching and wondering about the ordinary people that we cross. We pointed out people (not in the literal sense) and made guesses about them. For example, the man in the tweed jacket, waistcoat and denim jeans worked at a museum and the lady who walked in to Pret had just been to the gym straight from work and was going to then go back home and watch television in her pyjamas with her cat.
My train was due to leave at about ten past seven. On our way back we picked up a copy of the London Evening Standard each. I wanted the stories, my friend wanted the puzzles. The paper was filled with news about the Stop Rape in Conflict campaign.
We spoke on the train on the way to King’s Cross, where my friend was due to get off. My stop was only a few after her’s. I’m seeing her again next week when she’s home for the weekend. When I got off at Liverpool Street I saw a couple that I work with. They got an earlier train to me because I was not going to risk getting an earlier train than my ticket allowed and get fined, so I got on my train and started reading the paper. Very few pages were without articles on the campaign.
There were several stops on the train before it stopped in my town. I then had to get on another train to get to a stop that was closer to my house. I don’t fancy walking forty minutes back to my house when someone was murdered a few weeks ago along the route that I would walk.
I was so tired when I got home and still had to proofread some work for my stepdad and have a shower and get my uniform ready for my 7am start. I managed it, though, and was not a zombie when I got to work the next day.
Thanks for reading!