Monday, June 24, 2013

London Day 1– In Which Air Canada Serves up Nastiness, Clive is Unimpressed, and Everything Comes Up Roses.

Today was a bit ridiculous. It started at 6am and included a car ride, ferry, bus, skytrain, 5 hr flight to Toronto, a mad sprint to meet our connection, another 7 hr flight to London, where of course the trains weren’t running so, instead, we enjoyed 19 stops on the underground, and then finished up the whole thing in a bit of a daze wandering around Islington trying to find our apartment.

I am going to go out on a limb here and blame some of my lack of brain power on Air Canada who contributed to my low blood sugar levels by serving an almost inedible dinner on the flight to London.

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What is that, you ask? I don’t know. It’s unclear. The flight attendant called it ‘chicken’ but I like to call it “MeatStuff in a Blood Sauce, with Pasta Dots". It was as nasty as it looks and we didn’t eat it.

Good thing Jacob had a tube of Pringles.

At any rate, the plane was packed with a rich cast of characters including the fascinating We-Don’t-Travel-Much Family from Portugal which consisted of Mum, Dad, and 14 yr old, 180lb Paolo who didn’t understand how to use headphones, and was wearing his shorts on inside out, a fact of which I became aware after noticing his label hanging out the back of his shorts as he speed walked up and down the aisle looking for somewhere for his family to stow their SIX carry on suitcases. (Dear Air Canada, maybe don’t let people bring two huge suitcases each on to the plane. Maybe they could, oh I don’t know, check them? Just a thought. Oh you thought of that too? You’re going to turn off the plane and let us all wait while you take the suitcases out of the cabin and stow them in the baggage hold? Oh good, glad I could help you think that one through.)

And then there was the large Englishman (I’ll call him Clive) who fancied himself a member of the upper class who had fallen on hard times and was left with no choice but to mix with the unwashed masses in economy class:

Me: smiling at everyone as they file past me to their seats

Clive: (lumbering past me with some difficulty) Well, at least you’re sitting down.

Me: Mmmmm yes

Clive: Bloody Air Canada have us all in here like pigs to the slaughter. I’ll not fly them again.

Me: No…not if we’re going to the slaughter…

Passenger just ahead trying to stuff a HUGE suitcase in the overhead bin: Do you mind if I just put this here for…

Clive: You can do whatever you like as long as you get out of my way, my man.

Passenger: oh…well I was going to try and fit this violin in here…

(Violin falls out of overhead bin in front of Clive)

Clive: Well done well done lets hope that’s not a Stradivarius.

Passenger: Why is there NO ROOM ON THIS PLANE.

Clive: are there any stawf on this plane? Stawf? STAWF!

Me: I don’t think they can get through…

Clive: Bloody HOPELESS. (stomps off in a huff and hurls himself into what appears to be the closest available seat

Another passenger, to his wife: It’s alright he can have it.

Once we got off the plane, it was good to see my mum waiting for us at the airport. All this travel had somehow taken 24 hours, as well as taking most of our ability to observe anything, it seemed, and so by the time we did eventually get to our apartment we were so out of it, that we didn’t even notice that we were walking right through the middle of a movie set. At one point, I did wonder what all these people with all their equipment were doing in my way on the sidewalk but I did not seem able to put the pieces together and had to be told by the owner of the apartment that it was actually a movie set.  He rattled off the name of the director (David Hare) and the TV series they were filming (Worricker) all of which meant nothing to me until I googled it and learned that Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes, and Helena Bonham Carter were all in it. I especially love Bill Nighy for his role as Philip in Shawn of the Dead and was looking forward to seeing him. Unfortunately none of them made an appearance, but I did get to see several other actors in action on the set. Or rather, inaction, sitting around for long periods of time, and then repeating a 20 second scene eight times over. I guess I would put up with that if I was getting paid ridiculous amounts of money too.

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Standing around…

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Filming the “getting in to the car” scene for the 100th time. I felt like opening the window and yelling HURRY IT UP I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY.

I went back inside and checked out the apartment instead. Nice.

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Zoe was SO TIRED.

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After all falling asleep for several hours, we woke up hungry and went in search of groceries. Our awesome apartment is in the Borough of Islington, which is about 10 minutes out of London on the tube. It’s a beautiful cool, leafy area full of gardens and flowers. It’s the height of rose season around here and the garden walls were overflowing

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Once again, London is fabulous!

More tomorrow.Thanks for reading-



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