London

We have been away for the weekend, staying in a friend’s house. We are back now and I have retired to the kitchen with a glass of wine and HOH is in the front room watching Bodyguard – soon to be watching someone getting their head blown up no doubt. I am writing this under great duress as someone in the know at WordPress has decided that it would be a fantastic idea to change everything around and I have no idea if this is going to work. At the moment, it seems to have decided to sign out if I take my fingers off the keyboard long enough to sneeze. I am not the quickest of thinkers at the best of times and this isn’t helping.

London was excellent as usual. It did rain a lot on one of the days which means that HOH was quite grumpy (Little known fact, HOH hates getting wet in the rain – none of your romantic “Walkin’ in the Rain with the one I love” nonsense here) The young people looked after Morecambe, who was particularly pleased to see FOW’s girlfriend and celebrated by throwing up over her. We went to the Tate Modern which is chocka full of nonsense but some of it is amazing. HOH wanted to see something about Art in Germany just before the war. It was excellent – depressing – but excellent. We thought about St Paul’s but thought again when we saw it was £18.00 each. I’m not mean but we judged that they were unlikely to have added anything else since we went last time. No more dead Kings or Queens  or anything. Best place for them is Westminster Abbey anyway. Apparently St Paul’s is free if you are going to Evensong. Contemplated singing on the door to see if we could get in. Didn’t contemplate for long.

We went to see a film at the BFI. Called “The Women”, it was made in the Thirties and starred people like Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell. No men – although it was about men really – what with cheating husbands and the like. Still, it was completely excellent and we all applauded at the end – even HOH and I am sure that it was nothing to do with being happy to be dry for the first time all day. I don’t suppose it will be showing anywhere else because only people in London have the right to something a little different. Apparently the rest of us can only just about cope with Mama Mia. 

Also did the National Gallery for the first time in years. I am old and I am going to rant now. What on earth possesses a young person – when they are confronted by a work of genius – let’s say a Van Gough, to think that what this painting needs is for them to take a selfie in front of it while pulling their tongue out and reproducing Dele Alli’s goal celebration? (You’ll have to look it up yourself – I’m ashamed I even know it) I mean, I’m a bit puzzled by people who take photos of paintings anyway; unless it’s for historical reasons or maybe as a memento, I’ll give you that Sunshine. But really!

We also went shopping on Regent’s Street (well I say “Shopping” more gawping really) and I stood behind a young woman in “And Other Stories…” (Clothes shop in case you wondered) and watched her drop £454.00 on clothes. £454!!!! In one go! Even I could see that that suede skirt was going to be very unforgiving.

We came back today and our train broke down. Can I also mention that it was dirty and none of the reservation seats had been booked. It took several of the finest minds at GWR two hours to decide that it couldn’t be repaired and that we had to go back to the previous train station. TWO HOURS! Everyone on our train was then deposited onto the next train (after being promised an empty train that didn’t materialise) This made the train behind us very late as it was already full (they were three carriages short apparently) and we stood in the aisle for a good proportion of the rest of the journey. We were all very Dunkirk about the whole thing and helped each other (as it seemed that the train staff had all locked themselves in the bike carriage – possibly for their own safety) But, as one lady pointed out, it’s the fact that we are all so reasonable about things like this that makes the train companies behave like this again and again. She resolved to immediately put a complaint in to GWR and write to the Daily Mail. This was an entirely successful endeavour right up until the moment she pressed “Send” and discovered that the train’s Internet had failed. For those who don’t know anything about the South West of England, the Powers That Be, of any political colour you care to name, do not give a monkey’s uncle about the transport in the South West. There are very few voters here and a lot of them don’t have the transport links to get to the voting booths. Most winters, the entire South West gets cut off when the line is overwhelmed by the sea. But apparently we are Chris Grayling’s Number 1 priority. Hah! I mean, anything can break down, it’s just the lack of a back up plan that does my head in. Am I claiming compensation? You bet your sweet bippy I am. Have a good week!

Mundane

Hope your week has been lovely. We have painted  a bedroom which was thrilling and we went to the pictures. There was nothing on that we wanted to see really but we wanted to go and see SOMETHING so we went to see Mission Impossible. Unfortunately, the cinema had decided to change the times of the showings on their website (not for the first time) so we missed it. We were there, and we had made an effort and had a wash and things so Mama Mia 2 it was! Hurrah! Well, I have to say that the charms of the first one, apart from a few Meryl Streep bits, more or less escaped me, so it wasn’t the top choice but I had left the house and was determined to do something wild and entertaining so in we went.

JUST A BIT SPOILERY HERE – NOT A LOT BUT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. FOW2 who has seen it several times, texted me a warning. “It’s quite lovely, but you have to suspend your disbelief for the first twenty minutes and DON’T BE SO SNOBBY!” Well – suspend your disbelief – indeed. I had to staple my disbelief to the ceiling with an industrial staple gun. Lily James, who acts with her hair a lot, drifts through life and half the men in Greece while people give her hotels and let her band sing in their cafes and even deliver her baby. Then her daughter spends the second half of the film being told how proud everyone is of her – her mum, her dads, her friends, various Greek people – she makes them all proud every day. Which is nice. To me, it does seem a little bit of a low bar because all she seems to have done is renovated a hotel. However, it is a very nice hotel and she too has lovely hair. Having said all that Julie Walters is worth the ticket price alone and there is an undeniable feel-good factor. I’m moaning but I have spent a lot worse hours in the cinema.

Aged Parent has had her plaster from her wrist removed and all is well. She has been given exercises to do which she promised to undertake faithfully just as soon as the wrist had stopped aching. She was quite put out when the physio explained that the exercises needed to be begun immediately to stop the aching. She is distinctly unimpressed with the medical profession who have joined the police on her list of overrated public services. HOH then took her to the bank to sort out her finances as she didn’t want to go with plaster on. (As usual I have no idea) For whatever reason she managed to put her PIN number in incorrectly three times, promptly blocking her card. HOH then took her to the counter to sort it. The cashier, probably unwisely, informed Aged Parent, that, in these days of scams and frauds, sometimes older people came into banks with younger people who tried to get them to take money out under duress. During this rather startling statement, the cashier was staring very intently at 6 foot HOH. Aged Parent would have to speak to a lady in Coventry to convince that all was well. The Coventry based banker offered to phone AP’s mobile phone for ID. This did not go down well as it had been crushed under the wheel of the car that attacked her. In the end she lost patience.

“I will have you know that I have had a terrible ordeal. I have been run over in a horrific car accident, I have been ill for weeks, my daughter has paid all my bills and bought all my food because I was forbidden to leave my flat and she needs it back now!” (Almost 90% of this is not the whole truth. She is undaunted) She left twenty minutes later with exactly what she wanted. HOH says he can never go back there.