So it was off again to the ‘Big Smoke‘ to celebrate my sister’s, and incidentally my own, birthday. I did try to pack lightly but, inconceivably, I still ended up with more bags than when I went to Norway. I blame the presents. I did feel like a springtime version of Santa. I then lured my sister to come to meet me with our magic word. We then, inevitably, ended up in Tesco somewhat a little bleary eyed. Whether that was on account of implementing our magic word or tiredness I just couldn’t divulge. However, it did feel like a scene out of an apocalypse movie as we made our way through the deserted aisles, scrambling over misplaced, misshapen cardboard boxes in search of copious goodies. We survived this obstacle course and made it to the till. It was here that we were integrated. The checkout lady realised we looked similar but insisted we were not twins. Honestly, she really insisted and kept up with an interrogation for an amusing amount of time, so the only thing for it was to pull out our driving licences and show her that our birthdays were the same, which just happened to be the following day. She still looked at us dubiously, whilst protesting that we were not twins. She then rather erratically, and a smidgeon alarmingly, shouted to her friend to come over quickly. We were then inspected like zoo animals and it was only when her friend confirmed we were twins, and not our identification, that she believed us and let us leave the store with ‘happy birthday girls’ ringing in our ears. Unbelievable. Funnily enough this became a regular occurence throughout my trip to London. Maybe we are becoming more identical as we age? I feel sorry for my sister!
We made it back to a magnificently decorated room. There were balloons, banners and happy birthday letters sprinkled everywhere. We settled down to enjoy our midnight feast. How rock n’ roll! Maybe we are getting old! However, this meant we were able to enjoy a nice run, sans hangover, and come back to a well deserved, and coincidentally, decadent breakfast of champagne, strawberries, croissants and chocolate spread. Well, it was our birthday after all. However, the weather seemed to not shine on the righteous that day, or maybe it did, as there were bouts of intermittent storms all day. Nevertheless, i pulled on a ‘retro granny hat’ and my sister slipped on her aged 3-6 year old socks and her ‘happy 13th birthday’ badge (courtesy of work and yes they did fit!) and we ventured out into the midst of London. Well, we ended up running for a bus to Greenwich. I almost didn’t make it as I had to retrieve Sarah‘s badge after it had fallen off. She didn’t seem too bothered as she had swiftly secured herself on the bus. One minute she was running next to me, the next she had moved like lightning. Maybe she dropped her badge on purpose? For one minute I thought we were about to spend our birthday alone. However, I did a fantastic impression of Usain Bolt, although possibly a smidgen slower, and it was all aboard for Greenwich.
It was here that I discovered Greenwich time was invented. Who knew? Well, probably everyone else in the universe, but still. It is good to learn something every day no matter if it wouldn’t have been a new fact for the majority of people. It was then time to explore the boutiques of Greenwich, of which there are many. As well as making a detour around the Cutty Sark. We then had a lovely french lunch before weathering a storm, literally, to get back to the flat for a cozy night in. Yes it is official. I am old.
However, we became a bit more rock n roll the next day. We went to see Rock of Ages, which was brilliant. Although I was alarmed when everyone began waving lighters until I realised they were fake ones. That explained the plastic button thing I was given before I sat down. We exited the theatre with the sound of ‘don’t stop believing’ ringing in our ears and it became our theme tune all the way to a very nice bar on Leicester square. Here we saw how the other half live. This lavish night out was helped by the free birthday drinks. Although this proved an error as I had to catch a train back home the day after. Oh well, it was a very enjoyable night and it included an accidental walk through a lovely part of london with all the old grand buildings spanning broad dimly lit, almost Dickensian streets and no, that wasn’t the drinks talking.
- Queen unveils restored Cutty Sark on Greenwich trip (itv.com)
- Queen reopens restored Cutty Sark (bbc.co.uk)