This year I managed to snag a fantastic Valentines Day present. A trip to London’s West End to see Les Miserables. After weeks of planning, albeit mainly the crucial picnic items for the train journey, we finally made our way to Shaftesbury Avenue .
It was a little bit difficult getting up early and organising ourselves for the train but we made it with time to spare. It is a good job really as we had to pay for parking via a automated telephone system as Luke is a bit like the queen and never has enough change. Well, like the advert says ‘who carries change in the 21st Century?’ and implies that this telephone system is so much more efficient. I can assure you it is not. Prehaps it would be more efficient if it was a live person. However, by the time it would have taken us to pay, in change, for over ten cars we were still trying to convince the automated telephone person that our licence plate contained a B and not a V, as well as a N and not an M. I feared it was a loosing battle as the automated voice kept cheerfully repeating the incorrect letters back to us and we kept repeating, not so cheerfully, the correct letters back. Finally we had a breakthrough and our car was parked for. Next time we will make sure we have enough of our anti-21st Century change.
It was then time to settle down on the train before having one change over. I kept trying to sneak some nibbles from our picnic supplies but Luke was having none of it. He insisted we wait untill we were on the long train. It was worth the wait. Thanks to a well-known store this was not just any picnic, this was a electic mix of nibbles attempting to be a picnic and it was perfect. Nothing beats munching on ‘British’ themed sandwiches and looking out at the countryside.
Well maybe if they were home made and we were munching them whilst actually sitting in the countryside, instead of on a train, would beat it but it was a close second. I had even brought cocktail sausages, as well as sushi.
I told you it was eclectic!
After eating far too much we rolled off the train at Euston and fought our way onto a tube filled with green people. No, they weren’t all train sick. It just happened to be St Paddy’s day which we happen to make much more of a fuss about than St George. This green theme carried on throughout the day as the green people got progressively louder, friendlier and less stable on their feet. Everywhere you looked there was at least one Guiness hat standing above the crowds. We also followed a trail of clovers to the theatre.
We followed a few of these to Leicester Square and made a quick detour into the M&M shop for a quick chocolate fix , as well as looking at some other interesting shops. Yes, we went to London and did no sightseeing but I found a few quirky shops, typical! Some were almost like being back in Indiana
It was a lovely old theatre which looked a bit like somebody’s house once you got outside with lopsided walls and floors that seemed to have little hills in them for no reason.
We found our seats and it was a good job I don’t have vertigo as it was very high up! There was an amazing atmosphere and we certainly did hear the people sing, as well as some more slightly annoying rustling of sweet wrappers. It was a fantastic production and got a standing ovation, which could be a bit perilous as everyone leaned forward to see the cast and seem to forget about the steep drop!
It was then back to Covent Garden
and on to one of our old haunts before America- Wagamama’s. Think delicious noodles served in an almost school canteen layout with everyone sat on benches and the food arriving at sporadic times. It was gorgeous and we certainly made a good dint on the menu.
It was then back among the green people to work our way back to the train. I was astounded when a man came bounding down the escalator next to us and wondered why he was the only one on it who was going in the same direction as us. It was, of course, because he was running down an escalator which was meant fo going up. He appeared in good spirits yelling ‘Hola Senorita!’ at every girl who caught his eye, whilst remaining upright. I have problems staying on the escalators, as well as treadmills but that is a whole other story, when I am going the right way let alone going the wrong way. Although I did try to get on the wrong escalator once, going in the wrong direction, and stood for a while just wondering why I wasn’t moving. This was much to the amusement of the other shoppers and much to my embarrassment. Maybe I should have acted with as much panache as this gentleman and tried to bound up the escalator anyway. Although, I can envision how that might have gone catastrophically wrong. Therefore, I almost burst into rapturous applause when he bobbed all they way down to the bottom, in tact. However, I refrained, as it appeared to be a daily occurence for the other tube passengers who didn’t even bat an eyelid. Alas, I must live a sheltered life.
It was them time to go up the 139 steps at Covent garden as the lifts were overflowing. Every so often the announcement would insist people wait for the lifts as the stairs were meant for emergencies. Yet, we had joined a mass exodus of people going up, ignoring the announcements, and we were not about to turn around. I started this spiral upwards admiring the engineering of the tube and how far down they went. This admiration faded as there seemed to be no end in sight and we kept passing people who had stopped to catch their breaths. We finally arrived at the top much to the puzzled faces of other commuters who looked like they had just realised there were still staircases in the tube. Unless they were wondering if we knew of some secret passage way that no one else did. Very Harry Potter esque.
It was then onto the train, sans picnic this time but we did have chewy sweets, and we snoozed our way back to Manchester.