A few weeks ago I was standing in a cafe when I looked over to see a very stern woman looking back at me. On second glance and to my horror I discovered it was, in fact, a mirror and the scowling woman was me. I thought I had a much more pleasant resting face but no. It appears that when my face is in neutral it could be sold as a mask on Halloween. After a week in London, I’m pretty sure that stern looking woman has ended up in the background of a hundred and thirty thousand tourist photos because everywhere I turned, people were filming and photographing. A hundred and thirty thousand is no exaggeration unless it’s a gross underestimate. We ourselves took plenty of tourist photos but not many selfies. I’ve discovered my face is way too scary. *note to self, smile more in your resting face you grumpy scowler*
What do you get if you cross Orkney Beef with The Tower of London? An Orkney Beefeater……
The weather in London was uncomfortably hot. It’s a different kind of heat and something I had forgotten about until we returned there. At certain points I was so hot I vowed never to complain about being too cold ever again. We all know it won’t last….
We did lots of touristy things and one of the highlights was The view from The Shard. This comes highly recommended and at 72 floors up there’s emphasis on the highly. The lift took you 33 floors in seconds and then a quick change to a second lift and you were soon on the 69th floor. From there you walked the final few flights to take in the most remarkable views of London.
It was whilst at the Shard that I had one of the most horrifying moments to date. I decided to nip to the loo and when I went in I saw the following view.
I contemplated ‘holding on’ for a few minutes but decided that it must surely be a one-way glass or something so made it past my performance anxiety and managed to do the deed in record time. As I came out I said something to the attendant and she said ‘oh it’s not one-way glass but it’s so high up so no one can see you, and anyway there’s a blind if you push the button.’ WHAT?! Are you kidding me? NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WAS A BLIND. I was absolutely horrified and felt quite sick. I then asked her repeatedly if she was sure and even asked another member of staff whilst in the lift. I’m surprised they didn’t escort me out the building for being weird. We went on a river cruise and I studied the upper floors of The Shard whilst sailing past. ”I’m just looking to see if you can see people on the toilet” I said to Orkney Beef. Needless to say, I got some strange looks from people around me and he nearly died of embarrassment. The good news is, you can’t. Hurrah!
Amongst other London activities (two brilliant shows, one, Mama Mia viewed from the best seats in the house thanks to a Christmas present from Miss Lashes) we also had a tour of the Houses of Parliament which was a fantastic experience and we learned a lot. Big thank you to Michael for showing us around and Alistair for coffee on the terrace.
Every four years I fall in love with football again. It was great to see England, my home country, play so well in the world cup. 4th out of 32 teams is a fantastic achievement and I was encouraged to hear they are all giving their fees to charity. Walking through central London after they lost a game it was great and encouraging to see everyone was still in high spirits and having fun. I can’t imagine what it would have been like had we won!
I’ve been glued to the news all week as I watched the remarkable rescue of the Thai football team and coach from the cave. I remember as a child hearing on the news about a toddler who was stuck down a well for several days. This had a profound effect on me and when I hear of people being trapped I tend to watch avidly. It was humbling to see people pulling together and everyone found something to do. From experienced divers (one of whom lost his life as not to be forgotten) to people who turned up to wash kit, cut hair, prepare food, pump water, the whole rescue effort was an incredible thing to unfold and see. I was moved to tears to read the final group were out and the grace of everyone not to apportion blame. I hope lessons learned from this whole time will be remembered and the brave young men and coach go on to live peaceful lives. There are many pictures shared on the internet. I found this one and hope I am forgiven by the artist for using it.
Those of you in Orkney attending Stromness Shopping Week can look out for Tech Support in the ‘Royal Party’ (all will become clear to you next week if you’re reading this with no idea what I’m talking about.) I’ve been well warned not to make an embarrassment of myself as a proud mum. Yeah right, if you can’t embarrass your kids, what’s the point of being a parent at all?
Have a great week.