Saturday, 2 January 2010

Having fun in London Town - Part 1

Happy 2010 fellow bloggers!! Hope the new year is treating you well so far. I am slowly getting round to catching up with all your blogs. I just might need another couple of days so bear with me please?
I'm back in Hull now, having gone down to London to meet The Americans and spend new year down there. They are still in London, where they will remain until Monday when they toddle off to Paris for a couple of days before coming up north to sample the delights Hull has to offer.

Which rather conveniently leaves me with time to tell you about what we got up to down in the Big Smoke!

I promise I'll try and keep this as brief as possible although there's just too much to tell you. Let me know if I'm getting boring!

The Americans were staying with a friend down in London which left the boyfriend and I trying not to shell out for a hotel and asking if anyone had room to put us up. I asked someone that I used to live with in Manchester if he could put us up.

LIFE LESSON NUMBER 1: If it seems like someone doesn't really want to have to round to stay at their place chances are....they don't want you to stay at their place. Do. not. go.
The boyfriend and I arrived in London on 29th December and made our way to Heathrow to meet The Americans. I barged my way to the bar and waited. And waited. And. Waited. I waited so long I'd almost given up hope. Then the boyfriend tapped me on the shoulder,

"Isn't that them?"


"Over there"

"Where? I can't see?!"

"Over there"

At which point I saw them and went running like a lunatic across Terminal 5 arrivals hall. God even knows what I looked like. THEY WERE HERE!

We followed them to Parsons Green, where they were staying, and ended up staying there having fun, drinking, talking and eating. I then figured we should get back to where we were staying in the rather swanky Kensington & Chelsea borough. Seriously. Those houses. Unbelievable.

HOW TO BE A GOOD HOST LESSON NUMBER 1: Do not have a massive party in the living room where your guests are supposed to be sleeping. Or at least give them some warning that that's going to happen. They probably want to go to bed before 2.30am.

Things got off to a slow start the first full day in The City. A combination of jet lag and the fact that it was constantly raining meant that no-one was really in the mood to get going. Eventually we ventured out to the Tate Modern. We ventured inside The Big Black Box Installation by Miroslaw Balka which was very big and very black. And I did indeed crash into a wall. It's a very disorienting space. The rest of it? I've got to say, I'm not a big 'arty' person and a lot of modern art I just can't get my head around, it leaves me a little cold.
We then took a little hop, skip and jump across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul's Cathedral. You know what? I've never been there before, and I was more than a little over-awed. There was a service going on when we got in there and the singing was beautiful although this unfortunately meant that we couldn't see a lot of it. It's definitely going on the list for next time I'm back down there.

HOW TO BE A GOOD HOST, LESSON NUMBER 2: Actually be in when your guests come home in the evening so they can get in your flat.

New Year's Eve saw us take a wander through Parsons Green. Lovely place, want to live there please. We also looked for places to cash traveller's cheques for The Americans.

LIFE LESSON NUMBER 2: You need your passport when trying to cash travellers cheques. Small Post Offices can't do it. HSBC can't do it. Barclays can do it but will charge you commission, you need to try and find a Lloyds TSB. Or. Find an American Express place which will allow you to cash them without your passport.

We then took a visit to the Marmite Shop. A friend had told me about this when she had been down to London and it was the only thing I wanted to do on this trip. All we knew is that it was somewhere down Regent Street so with eyes peeled we set off. Just when hope was failing, I spotted it! And even better news was to come. Turns out it was a pop-up shop that was just there for a limited time and New Years Eve was its last day. AND. Consequently everything was slashed in price as they were trying to get rid of it all. I was in heaven. And may have gone slightly overboard in there.


And I shall stop boring you there.
More tomorrow! (You lucky, lucky things)


PinkCat said...

Happy New Year! Sounds like you had a great time in London. I used to go to school in Parsons Green and I agree, it's a lovely part of London. However, it's so expensive I can only ever dream of living there!

Mmm - marmite, yum! I saw the shop when I was on the bus on Christmas Eve. Very disappointed that I didn't get chance to go. Enjoy all your purchases. Will you be doing some creative Marmite cooking this year? x

miss*H said...

Happy New Year! Sounds like you had a fab time. I can’t wait to read more!

Ooh a marmite store. That sounds like my idea of heaven. I’m a marmite lover not hater x

The Curious Cat said...

oh dear...this host...what was their problem? Sounds bad...but I guess seeing the Americans made up for it? Lucky you knowing people who live in these parts of the city...and yes, Parsons Green is rather lovely isn't it? I have some relatives and friends who live there...what did you get from the Marmite shop?! xxx