Day 1 London

<Ding> “your Ryanair crew will be passing through the cabin with scratchcards momentarily.” Maybe it was the 5.30am wake up, or the lack of breakfast, or maybe I genuinely was flying to london in a very small supermarket. It was a supermarket atmosphere on the flight, a constant stream of adverts meant then when I closed my eyes in a futile attempt to sleep I was half expecting to hear the beeps of the tills. My tummy rumbled loudly due to its lack of breakfast, either that or Ryanair have very effective subliminal messaging techniques. But I couldn’t complain about flying at all. For one thing I don’t get travel sick on planes. Somehow my mind finds being hundreds of feet up in the air at over a hundred miles per hour far less nauseating than driving down the M1. And second of all, the flights were £20, including all taxes. Amazing, I can get to London for only slightly more than it costs me to get to school! Unfortunately once i got off the plane the frugality could continue no more, I did avoid a £50 train and got a £14 return bus fare instead. It was just after 8am so I realised I wasn’t in too much of a rush to get into London anyway.

I met Camilla at Liverpool street, where I wandered around for about 10 minutes looking for a bin until she pointed out that there were none since 7/7. We went to covent gardens for breakfast. Being early on a monday morning it was very quiet, but a string quintet had still turned up to perform which was nice, and they were great as expected.

Covent Gardens
Performers at Covent Gardens at an unearthly hour of the morning

After walking around Covent Garden we took a walk down Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus and Bond Street. Time was made, of course, for a visit to that spectacle they call Abercrombie and Fitch. Camilla and I donned our gas masks, lit our torches and ventured inside. We posed at the door with the semi-nekkid model, he was clearly a mild homophobe because he clearly was not comfortable, but Camilla suggests now that it may have been because I was wearing Hollister, a brand that must bring bile into the mouths of these Aberfitchies.

It was coming close to lunch so we headed to Hyde Park, parched with all this hot weather, for our lunch. This was the day after IB results, so there was much drama surrounding who had got their points and who hadn’t. I feel I may have just gotten a taster of what I’ll be dealing with in August in a years time and I had the rather unpleasant sensation of suddenly recalling those AS level results in August that I had so successfully put to the back of my mind. Camilla, being a genius, had got 44/45 (and the lost point, in French, was widely considered a travesty by all) and so easily made her offer for History at Oxford, Lincoln college. Camilla also had to buy a dress for a leavers ball, so after taking a walk around Hyde Park we went to Selfridges. While I was waiting on Camilla in the fitting rooms one of the shop assistants asked me ‘Are you waiting for something to try on?’
‘Uhhh, sorry?’ I was pretty confused, had she actually just called me a transvestite? I’d thought that my clothing of Jeans and a long sleeved shirt made my lack of transvestite enthusiasm quite clear, but apparently not.
‘Oh right you’re waiting on someone! We get lots of men in here who do [try on women’s clothing]’ I also got to enjoy a bored little 5 year old boy natter away to what looked like a very upper class older woman, her heavy makeup barely concealing how much contact with the child made her squirm!
Exhausted, having been awake early and carried around a heavy rucksack all day, we headed back to Camillas on the tube. Just outside the doors of Selfridges we met Safiya, one of the Bahrainians from GYLC. Such a coincidence, as Camilla and I had been talking about how to get in touch with them. We exchanged numbers with her and headed on home. I got to meet Camillas lovely mum and nanny Elaine. Elaine was Irish, proper Irish, rather than the half-baked northern variety that she considered me to be! As well as getting a comfortable and real bed (I had been sleeping on an inflatable for three weeks) I was ridiculously well fed, both in quality and quantity. Camilla’s mum had decided that since “we have a man in the house” I would be catered as though I was a rugby player! Growing boys, growing boys, growing at the waist I suspect.

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