Ah, London town! It changes all the time and never changes. The trains run on time, the cabbies try to run you down and if you're not careful you'll run out of money faster than you can say "kidney pie."
On the flight over we were entertained by the brilliant, Academy Award nomination (no doubt), Blades of Glory staring some guys which was shown in color, dialogue in Spanish and subtitled in Greek. Hey, it's an international flight. Noting the difficulty with the sound system on our brand, spanking new Boeing 777, the plane in which we hoped the flight control systems worked better than the audio-visual systems, our Chief Flight Attendent, Brun Hilda, informed us that
a) there was a problem with the film. (No duh!) It would be shown in Spanish, subtitled in Greek.
b) it didn't matter because all the gags were sight gags and the dialogue was worthless. (Thank you, film critic Hilda.)
and c) if you think the a/v system is bad you should see the flight control system.
We all watched the film in silence.
Arriving in London it was bright and sunny. Not to last. By the next day a front had moved through the country dumping untold inches of rain everywhere. In a typical British understatement the BBC Weather channel reported that this much rain hadn't fallen on London in a single day since the reign of Flavius Octavius. Nothing like a little ancient Roman humour to brighten one's day. I always say that!
Later that evening we decided to go down to the pub to meet some friends. OK, that's not entirely accurate. It would be more accurate to say that we decided to go down to the pub to drink multiple pints of English ale and if we met anyone we knew, all the better. Or not. Whatever.
The slight flaw to our plan is that we decided to bicycle to the pub so we wouldn't have to drive back. Great plan, huh? The flaw to our plan was not considering how we were going to bicycle BACK from the pub. Slight miscalculation that went uncorrected later. For those of you who cycle for an obsession, er, hobby, did you know that there's a little balance gland thing in your brain that is highly affected by English ale, especially large quantities, that becomes totally disfunctional if bathed in said English ale? Well, it's there and it's quite annoying when this gland thing is not working and gravity is. Come to think of it, gravity always works.
Curse you, gravity!
Anyway, to make a long story short the National Health system in Britain is really good and there are Casualty Centres all over the place, especially near pubs and, well, that's all.
Tomorrow, rather, today in a few hours, the great train adventure to Essex.