Sunday, December 11, 2005

London - 11 December 2005

Satellite image from BBC site This morning began at 6:04 when our building shook simultaneously with an enormous bang, the effect of an explosion in a fuel depot 15 miles north NNE at Hemel Hempstead. The news tonight is saying that it is the largest explosion in post-war Europe and the pall of black smoke covers our part of London.

We went into London to see the Three Emperors exhibition at the Royal Academy. There were some quite exquisite works displayed. Burlington Arcade decked out for Christmas

Following that, we strolled down Burlington Arcade, through Piccadilly Circus (you caPiccadilly Circus signsn just make out the dark smudges of the explosion smoke in the sky) and Leicester Square to Covent Garden to a restaurant which I probably cannot name. (Save to say that when it comes to cousin Max, well that’s another story.) We had a 2 for 1 voucher and Jamie Oliver reckoned that they served the best hamburgers in London. We are not convinced, but at 2 for 1 we will let it pass. We had carefully read Old style merry-go-round in Leicester Squarethe fine print that said “available Sunday to Thursday excluding 12 to 26 December”; since this was Sunday 11 December we felt we were in with a fighting chance. Nevertheless, we did check with the lass on the door as we entered and she said it was fine. Come time to settle the bill it was a different story. Street performers in Covent GardenThe manager finally got involved and he was not willing to allow the 2 for 1 deal, as Head Office had said not during the “December season.” He seemed genuinely surprised when I pointed out the small print on the advert and grudgingly allowed the saving. Clearly, they did not get a tip!

The fun part of the meal was earlier on when the bartender was Juggling Bartenderdoing his Tom Cruise “Cocktail” thing with a couple of shakers. I tried to snap him but by the time he reappeared from behind a pillar he was merely juggling two cans.

Wandering back up Regent St we came across a closing down sale at Dickens and Jones and felt compelled to buy a couple of new suits.

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