London, United Kingdom
Our morning started at 4am. We’d both had about 9 hrs sleep by then so further shut eye was not on. I had a quick look at emails and other things before we set about planning some items for the day and we also Skyped the kids. We downloaded some free apps from Rick Steve’s travel site. He has lots of free walking tour guides for various places around the globe. We’ve got a few for London, Edinburgh and Paris lined up. We had one ready to go for today for use at the British Museum.
We found that Bondi was featured on the news here this morning as it was raining there too apparently. Hence, the news readers thought, it’s ok to be raining in London too. So, our first stop once we headed out the door was to buy an umbrella. Now I’m not complaining, rather, I’m just making a general comment. I bought an umbrella here a few years ago and it was the best little umbrella that I have ever had. It was strong and sturdy and made to last, and did so until I lost it some years later. I didn’t find this at all surprising given the environment this particular umbrella was designed to function in, wet and dreary London. Now, fast forward 5 or so years and, the umbrella I bought today has essentially just died on the apartment floor here now. It didn’t even get much use, just up to British Museum and back! Now, this lack of endurance and commitment to task is kind of symptomatic of what I see as wrong in the wider economy. I believe that businesses need to focus on their job or function and, then, fulfil that to their best of potential without continually looking for economies of scale or ways to maximise profits at the expense of compromising their output. That is, give up looking for the quick buck and plan to deliver quality product or service and be there for the long haul! Well, that rant is out of the way now!
So, once at the British Museum with our iPods and Rick Steve in tow, we started our self guided tour. I can highly recommend this to you all as a productive method for getting the most out of this massive Museum within a reasonable time frame of about 90 minutes. Our jet-lagged bodies probably couldn’t have managed for much longer than this anyway.
We tried to fit in a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral following on from the Museum but, on arrival, we found that it was closed for a special service. So, I headed back to the apartment and Mark headed on to Paddington Station to catch the train out to Slough for a business meeting.
Mark then went straight on to dinner with some old work colleagues and I met up with some of my Forex trading buddies. I have cyber known some of these guys for a couple of years so it was lovely to finally be able to put faces, rather than avatars, and voices to the names. We shared drinks at our apartment before heading out, once again, to the Crown and Two Chairmen where I had booked a table for dinner at 7pm. We had a great meal and even better chat for quite some hours. There was one funny incident though and it rested with the gentleman sitting just to my right, along a bench style seat. He was not alone but had a dining companion of a dog. Yes, you read correctly, a beautiful cocker spaniel (breed correct I think) sitting up right alongside him for dinner. I kind of found this amusing given my view on dogs but I’m not sure that the others we too impressed. Anyway, after a while I asked this gentleman if we would take a photo of our dining group. He very kindly obliged and took the photos but, then, mild panic set in on him when he looked down and saw that his dog had escaped. He jumped up rather quickly given his advanced years and ran off to look for the pet. Luckily, the dog had only headed off a short distance and was under some other tables but, the ensuing confusion was very surreal and rather amusing. As it turns out though, the gentleman was minding this dog for a friend so I could totally understand the panic he felt when he looked down to find his companion missing. Mind you, his face, frozen in horror, is firmly etched in my mind and brings a smile to my face when I recall this event.
We eventually spilled out of the pub at about 10 and two of my buddies walked me back to the apartment where we also found Mark arriving home from his night out too. So, the one set of keys, didn’t turn out to be a problem for us at all.
Sadly, only a couple of photos from today L