I’m sure Hol is going to have a much better description of the events that transpired over the last ten days. It’s all a little fuzzy already – like it happened much longer ago than just a couple of weeks. After my misguided decision to try Simply Sleep on the flight over – *shudder* – we landed at Heathrow and after a couple of missteps made our way to Paddington Station via Heathrow Express. That’s when we met our first of many good people on this trip – our taxi driver. I can’t put my finger on why he was such a good guy, but we were terribly fond of him by the time we got to Manchester Street and spent the entire rest of our trip looking at every taxi with an identical ad scheme on the side trying to figure out if it was our guy.
London is pretty much a blur of hop-on, hop-off bus tours and pints of Guinness. In one of my more brilliant maneuvers, I left the pattern for Giotto on the plane, so I didn’t have to worry about knitting post-stout, but then I found I had the pattern for Nautilus and I was back in danger. I have a deep and abiding love for hop-on, hop-off bus tours, ever since my last trip overseas. It’s all about the top deck and the English commentary. My first fuzzy memory of the bus tour was hopping off near Trafalgar Square. There was a HUGE stage set up towards the rear of the Square near the National Gallery – we eventually came to discover that the Scissor Sisters were holding a concert there Saturday night (we decided to pass). Even more out of place than the stage (for me) was the statue, Allison Lapper Pregnant. I don’t pretend to be a great art aficionado or anything; I’m just saying I don’t like it. With much of the rest of the Square either being cleaned or repaired, it was really the only thing to look at. Well, that and a woman that we’re positive was blogging – she was taking a picture of some strange star-shaped stuffed…something, and trying awfully hard to get artistic photos of it with the fountain.
We also spent some quality time at the Tower of London – I’d recommend the tour if you have the time. Our Yeoman Warder (actually, I think he was a Yeoman Sergeant) was adorable an chockfull o’ information. The Crown Jewels were extravagant to the point of looking phony, but there were some wonderful views of the Tower Bridge and the grounds.
Last but not least – and prolly the story you’ve all been waiting for: Hol and I headed to the London Eye to take a flight. I’ve gone around once before and enjoyed it so I definitely wanted to go play. I think we’d gone on a tour of the staterooms at Buckingham Palace earlier in the day and then headed to the big ferris wheel. Of course, we got there too late for the last guided flight of the day so we decided to sit on these nifty granite/concrete stumps set up on the grounds of the Eye to decide what to do next. I was sitting on the one on the far right with my back towards the pillar next to it. I decided I wanted to take a picture, but wasn’t lined up properly and scooted back. Off the pillar. Gravity kicked in – butt went down, head went back…and into the center granite pillar. Ow. As I chose to lay on the ground with my eyes closed for the next several minutes, I can’t tell you for sure what happened. I know there were gawkers, I know security called first aid which seemed to get there fairly speedily. I remember checking the back of my head to make sure I wasn’t bleeding (I wasn’t). I remember some woman from Dallas asking my silly questions and some thoroughly irritating woman who was just being nosy. At the end of the day, we were left with Elle and Andrew. Elle was my first aid friend who kept me supplied with ice packs and Andrew laughed at my bad jokes so clearly he was my fave. They kept recommending I go to the hospital to have my noggin checked out but I refused because I was not yet wise to the ways of National Health. Several hours, a shower, a bout of nausea, and a 30-minute run around with my health insurance company later, we ended up at the St. Mary’s ER. Anna and Waterloo (Hol’s name for Nautilus) made the trip, too and kept us busy until the doc told me I’d have a headache and to take ibuprofin. Thanks, Doc.