2 February 2013 (Saturday) - The British Museum
I had a particularly vivid dream last night about pushing a pram around a council estate in order to find a janitor who might repair a gangster's broken doorbell. Were I unable to find the janitor, I and the pram would be "dead like curtains". Being woken by the alarm came as a blessed relief.
I went on the scales this morning. One week of dieting again has shifted a couple of pounds. I'm pleased about that. Twenty more pounds to go. I had a quick bite of brekkie whilst Fudge barked incessantly. A burglar could smash in the window and he wouldn't care, but he went mental because someone came out of a house a hundred yards down the road.
And so to the station where a dozen of us congregated, got tickets, and set off to London. It would have been nice to have had seats together, but we weren't that far apart, and we could holler down the carriage to each other. I had this idea to use my scrat-nav to see just how fast the high speed train did actually go, but the app didn't have a speedometer, so I mucked about downloading one. We reached a maximum speed of 139 mph. I was impressed.
At that speed it didn't take long to get to London, and from St Pancras (patron saint of abdominal organs!) we walked through Kings Cross and posed for photos at platform 9 3/4. I don't think we upset the normal people too much. And we then moved on to Cafe Oz in the Caledonian Road for a rather good bit of second brekkie. You can't beat a good fry up.
Once breakfasted we got on with the main business of the day. Geocaching! Well.... not exactly. We had gone up to London to have a look round the British Museum, but the route from Cafe Oz took up past two caches so it would have been rude not to have done them. And with logs signed we were all soon in the museum.
From experience we know that trying to do anything mob-handed is akin to trying to herd cats, so we agreed to all do our own things, and to meet up in the foyer at 2pm. I set off with Chip, the birthday boy and the Rear Admiral. I could have bought a guide book. But in a fit of inspiration I had a look on the app store and downloaded the free British Museum app. It was brilliant. A map of the museum, a guide book, detailed information on many of the exhibits. And didn't cost a penny. We used it to find where we'd been as we wandered round. We had this plan to do the ground floor before meet-up, and the rest after.
We found we'd done the ground floor stuff by 1pm, and Steve and the Rear Admiral fancied a fag. You can't smoke on the museum grounds, so they stood outside the Museum Tavern whilst me and Chip went inside where it was warm. And where they did beer. A pint of "Old Peculier" slipped down very nicely, and we then went back into the museum to see more exhibits.
At 2pm we met up, and Matt joined our contingent as we moved on to the Africa and Japan galleries. We had hoped to see the Roman stuff, but that was closed for renovation, which was a shame. Instead we giggled at the rather dreadful haircut sported by one of the curators, and sniggered at the ruder statuary until the late afternoon at which point we went back to the pub to meet Terry.
It was good to see Terry - we'd not seen him for ages, and we caught up over a couple of pints. We then moved on to Covent Garden. Some moved there directly; others (me included) went a little slower via three more geocaches. One of which was one of the best I've ever seen. But I can't spoil it by giving the game away here.
Whilst we were out we had a minor disaster. As we walked there were lots of people giving away free samples of their wares. I chose a lemon flavoured cube and to the horror of the merchant I scoffed it before he could stop me. I was not supposed to eat it. It was soap! Yuck! The poor chap giving out the samples was horrified, and his relief was tangible when he realised I thought it was funny. Fortunately the chap giving away samples of pizza saw what had happened and fed me well.
And so on to regroup with the rest of the party at the Essex Serpent for a crafty pint, and then we moved on to Ed's Diner; an American themed diner. Rather touristy, and rather cheesey. Some people would hate it, but I loved it. Peanut butter milk shake and blue cheese chicken-burger. Very nice.
Unfortunately, once we'd had tea it was time to say farewell to Terry. We then made our way to the tube and went underground back to Kings Cross, St Pancras and home.
I'd eaten and drank far too much today, but today was excellent. In previous years the first Saturday in February has been spent at Dover beer festival. Whilst I've enjoyed those events, today in London was better. Must go to the wicked city again soon...
And, as always, there are piccies of the day on-line.