Random Ramblings

End of the weekend

Most theatres in London are dark on Sunday, so I spent the day rambling about the city. After breakfast I strolled down to the National Portrait Gallery and had a look at the Tudor and Stuart galleries. I'm always amazed at how life-like really good oil portraits look.

On the way out I noticed a sign for The Original Tour sightseeing tour buses and thought, Why not? I've seen most of the sights, but I travelled to them underground. A look at the surface might be interesting. And so it was.

Although I haven't had to use my brollie yet, it was really, really cold riding in the open air on the top of a double-decker bus. In fact, for the second half of the tour, I changed seats to the covered section of the upper deck, out of the wind at least.

In the evening, I ventured down to Clapham to see Pam Ann, a comedian about whom Bret and Patrick raved after they saw her on their cruise before coming to Palm Springs. She was performing in a pub — very appropriate for a drunken, cocaine-sniffing, first-class (not economy; the horror of it all, 'poor people') stewardess. She does for flight attendants what Lilly Tomlin did for telephone operators. They were right — she is absolutely hilarious.

And, I learned something new: piccadilly is what you call that big ruffle thing the English of olde wore around their necks.

Assorted snapshots

Breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon on (not with) toast. Love that bacon!
I swear, half the population walks about with a phone attached to their ear. Note that each member of the couple has their own phone!

Bylaws, set in stone
Favorite Bylaws

"20. A person shall not in the open space sort rags, bones, refuse, or matter of like nature."

"22 A person in a verminous or offensively filthy condition shall not lie about or lie upon or occupy any seat in the open space"

I've seen most of the sights in London, but always traveled to them underground. The open-air double-decker tour bus gave me a chance to see what the surface looks like.
Assorted pedestrians on the sidewalk in front of Planet Hollywood near Piccadilly Circus

The remains of the wall the Romans built around London
The river Thames with a view of the Millennium Wheel

Prince Charles was right to criticize British architecture
A demonstration near Hyde Park involving a great deal of chanting and chest slapping

Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park where, on Sunday, anyone can speak on any subject they like, as long as they stand on a platform to do it. Hence the expression about being "on a soapbox.
A genuine double-decker city bus

The London Exchange, with a new bank building in the background (rocket-shaped building)
They do love their Christmas here

As I said, practically every restaurant, with the possible exception of Burger King and KFC
A whole street was blocked off for performances of living statues, music, and mimes

Roasting chestnuts on an open fire...