Monday, July 4, 2011

Therefore not tired of life

It's really pleasing to see the daughters, who began by rolling their eyes at a programme of sight-seeing historical buildings when they could be shopping in Oxford Street, surprising even themselves by being interested in the sights and amused by the guides and enjoying the open-top bus ride round London today. It helped that the commentaries were genuinely funny ("The man on top of that column is the Duke of York - 'The Grand Old Duke of York, he had ten thousand men' - but enough of his private life") though who wouldn't be impressed by the history and the stories and the name-dropping that any look at London involves? The only downside is that Auckland is coming to seem like such a lightweight in comparison.

As well as the tour and the Tower and the Thames, there was also shopping of course, in battle with the crowds and the sales and the choice: a stressful business. And yesterday at Camden Market there was more, though different, amongst all the stalls of crafts and funky fashion and tat and food, where we managed to find a guy serving bbq ribs who comes from ChCh, so in amongst all the Sarf Lunnon accents by the canal lock there we were talking about Cathedral Square.

And then last night there was a West End musical, Betty Blue Eyes, on Stephen Fry's Twitter recommendation, which was funny and cleverly staged with some great swing-dancing and even some history - as well as an amazingly good animatronic pig. All that and a pork pie, too.

PS Post title of course referring to Dr Johnson ("When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life") and nicely connected because we're staying at the Inner Temple in Dr Johnson's Building - tucked away in total peace right beside Fleet Street, to which the journo First-Born has her own connection.

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