Monday, 23 April 2012

London 2012- Day 1

Last week I, with my Dad, visited London for the Everton v Liverpool FA Cup Semi- Final. We decided to make a weekend of it, so we went on the Friday morning. We got up at early o' clock in the morning and were driven down to the train station by my Mum.

She took joy in getting up early and taking two of her most loved ones to the train station so they could have a great weekend away, one they were very excited about... yeah right. She sulkily took us down to Wakefield Westgate and moodily waited with us for the train to come after we were all offered some breakfast food sample on our way in, about 4 blooming times. Still, credit to her for taking us, I could tell it wasn't how she wanted to spend her Friday morning.

The train came and we rode off feeling like Harry Potter in 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone' as we waved at Mum from the train on our way to Hogwarts, I mean London. Then we were pleasantly surprised at how empty the train was. We thought it would be packed but there was hardly anyone on it. We enjoyed the train journey down, taking in the famous, luxurious sites that even many foreign countries rave about in their holiday brochures; Grantham, Stevenage and Doncaster being among them. Ah, the great English lands.

We arrived at London's King Cross and St. Pancras Station, again feeling like Harry Potter as the station platforms looked a lot like the ones in the Harry Potter films, so one is suspecting that is where that was filmed. The only shame was I looked like a right wierdo when I tried running through the Platform 9 and three quarters wall and just bashed into it rather than making my way through. I got a few funny looks from the signalmen and fellow passengers, I can tell you.

We took the tube to drop our luggage off at the hotel (The Ramada) in Ealing Common, before going to Piccadily Circus and enjoying a lovely lunch at Bella Italia, one of the 715 that are situated in the London area.

We followed that with some wandering around. We wandered around Covent Garden and saw two men apparently high on drugs 'performing tricks'. They were situated seperately. The first one was messing around surrounded by a big crowd. He put down his spliff (I'm joking of course) and picked out members off the audience to pick on and/ or select as 'volunteers' to assist him in his 'tricks'. Basically, he did next to nothing, but he was OK, I can't remember exactly what he did do but I think he did a couple of handkerchief- type tricks, but that's about it. We meandered down the path and onto the next trickster. His crowd was smaller... and we soon found out why. He threw a club (yes that's right, 'a' club) in the air and caught it and looked around the audience for approval. The cheeky bugger then had the cheek to look at me and signal with his face for me to smile, or even laugh. 'At what?' I thought, all he did was throw a club in the air. I'm a Yorkshireman, I ain't smiling 'till I'm impressed pal. Cheeky pratt, I'd only just turned up and he was criticsing my facial expression. I could have criticised his entertainment skills while we were at it, but thought better of it. He then picked on Dad. 'Step forward please Sir' he said before Dad, looking embarassed and as if he just wanted to sink into the earth and crawl away from this looney toon, obeyed his command. He didn't want him for any trick or act, he just wanted him to step into the audience more rather than standing a step or two further away. Boy, this guy was fussy. If you make an enemy of the audience, the audience will make an enemy of you.

And so we did, as we walked away quickly afterwards and got some very expensive pick 'n' mix. We went to the nearby cinema's and theatres to view what our options were in terms of evening entertainment. We later elected to go to the cinema and watch 'Contraband'. It was an OK film in the end, it was pretty poor to be honest until the last 20 minutes or so, which is when it bucked up. The best thing about it for me was Kate Beckinsale (I'm sure you can imagine why). I'd give it a 5/10, not too good but not awful. The meal afterwards was lovely. It was at a place in Piccadily Circus called 'Adam's Rib' that had a lovely view of the Piccadily Circus area. The main course (Scampi and Chips) was nice, but the pudding (Strawberry and vanilla ice cream with strawberries and strawberry sauce) was on another planet. Yum.

We then went back to the hotel and I thought about the game ahead the next day. I couldn't wait to set foot in Wembley Stadium for an FA Cup Semi- Final again. Only this time, without the stench of stale beer swimming around my feet and a very loud, roudy, crazy lady behind me like the Spring of '09.


  1. Very entertaining, though I can't believe your Dad eat two meals before a big match day, how times have changed from '84 and '86.

  2. Oh yeah. The cheeky git will have a go at me as well if I'm too nervous to eat before a big Arsenal game, but he scoffed up all his nosh. He even had a big breakfast before the game on Saturday morning. How times have changed, food consumption before a big match doesn't seem to be a problem anymore for the man.

    I feel wierd talking about all the food, but it was all very nice to be fair.