Day 27 – London Town – Thursday 6th September

The Waifs sang a song called “London Still”, a great song and we’ve only been here a few days but the words I can sort of identify with, and I think if I’d have spent a year or 2 in a misspent youth then it might apply;

Wonder if you can pick up my accent on the phone

When I call across the country, when I call across the world

I see you in my kitchen, I can picture you now

As you toast to your small town when you drink the happy hour

I’m in London still

I’m in London still

I’m in London still

I took the tube over to Camden to wander around

I bought some funky records with that old Motown sound

And I miss you like my left arm that’s been lost in a war

Today I dream of home and not of London anymore

But I’m in London still

I’m in London still

Yeah, I’m in London still

Well we’re only in London for another day, then we’re on the big jet plane home. I’m looking forward to getting home into my own bed and to see few friends over a coffee or a beer, but I’ll miss the feel of the foreign environment, the challenge of another country and a few other things.

So what happened today, Genelle and Mark headed out at 8.30 this morning to take a bus to Bath and Stonehenge, it’s late at night now and they got home about 7.30pm. I think a long day and very enjoyable, apparently the weather was a bit breezy and a bit drizzly, but well worthwhile, I think Genelle felt Bath was ok but you don’t need a lot of time there.

Well, my day was all London. I had a lazy start, finished the washing, got the tube into town and a short walk to the Imperial War Museum on the south side. While walking there I finally caught up with Allan Cameron, an old Farrer mate on the phone and made a time for lunch. Meanwhile I enter the museum, entry is free, but they ask for £5 for a guide, which is fair and I spend about 2 1/2 hours there. The floors are divided up into WW1, WW2, the rest ( Ireland and Middle East), a Holocaust exhibition and a floor with Hero’s Gallery of VC and George Cross winners, lots to see and in very good condition. For me the best bit was a German R75 BMW with side car with machine gum mounted used in the invasion of Poland, boy what a bike! A boxer engine drives the rear wheel and the sidecar wheel, it looked like a shaft drive but I couldn’t see to be sure.

The Holocaust bit is very interesting and very disturbing, areas we’ve covered in our travels like Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin’s KristalNacht the night when 80% of Germany’s synagogues where torched. There are a number of real planes hanging, a Spitfire, a Sopwith Camel ( Biggles flew them!), a V2V German rocket, all sorts of weaponry, a big section of WW1 on the Somme and Flanders battles. Well worth the 5 quid I reckon.

I walk back to Westminster to meet the Cameron’s, and we lunch at the Red Lion in Whitechapel, big meals washed down with a lager. Al and Jenny are visiting their son and have another week or so to go and are doing a bit more exploring than we’ve done around the south, they’ve already been to Scotland and Ireland. It’s a good catch up, last time was in Port Macquarie early last year.

After lunch I head up to the National Gallery, catch up with some paintings I’ve seen before and like to see again, my favourites, the Constables, Czanne, Gaugan, Vincent van Gough plus a few others. Trafalgar Square is humming so I wander up the hill to Piccadilly Circus, then down Regent Street until it starts to rain lightly, a steady light drizzle so a coffee at Starbucks breaks the walking and gives me a little rest time to think, do I stay or do I go – I vote go and head back to Piccadilly and get the tube back to Gloucester Road, walk to a little barber shop in Kensington for a haircut. £9 gets me a no 2 and a chat with a Lebanese barber, a Christian Lebanese man in his 60’s who met and married an Irish woman in Greece 20 odd years ago then ended up in London. It’s the old style barber, a real back to the future moment, I haven’t been to a barbershop for probably 30 years.

I wander back to Earls Court on foot, then back to the flat with a few supplies for dinner. The travellers have just arrived back so we’re all a bit weary. There nothing that interesting or funny to recount about today really, so it’s a pretty boring old post.

The plan tomorrow, 9.30 Mark is going to a upmarket barber for a clip and a cut throat razor shave, the rest of the day is easy. At 6pm we’ll wander out to Heathrow Terminal 4 for our 9.55 pm QR016 flight to Doha, 6 and a bit hours then 14 hours to Sydney. We’ll be home in Dubbo Sunday midday looking like something the cat dragged in and feeling worse.

Cheers for almost the last time on this trip

Paul

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3 thoughts on “Day 27 – London Town – Thursday 6th September

    • Thanks Sharron -? The knees have held up really well, the feet get sore with the walking but no stopping every 5 minutes to sit down, and a bit of soreness in the ligaments around the knees if it’s been a big day. The bend isn’t brilliant but still fit in an economy seat easily.

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