Even the buskers seemed to be involved in industrial action today. I can understand why the tubes were on strike, though. Poor tubes. They have a hard time of it. It must be difficult to carry commuters about all day, and squeeze toothpaste out of yourself, and be inserted in people. None of the stations I was at today were closed anyway -- the trains whizzed by all the stations that were. So I got to benefit from other people's misery.
Given that my day was to be centred around my most recent favourite Londony phrase -- "I have a meeting in the West End" -- I decided to be particularly Londony by getting up a bit earlier and heading into the centre for breakfast. I had fruit salad at a café in Soho while reading a newspaper. Oh that's right.
The building I had a meeting in had a classiness defined by the lift. The receptionist pressed the lift button for me. Classy. Later, on my way back down, I noticed a keyhole under all the buttons. It said VIP. Obviously these are in plenty of lifts. But still. I had to say something. There was someone else in the lift too. I had to say something. How could I not. But I musn't. It's not classy. "Someone needs to pick that lock". DAMNIT, I SAID SOMETHING. It wasn't even funny. And definitely not classy. Or Londony. But the person laughed. CLASSY.
It is disrespectful to listen to electronic music on your iPod in the British Museum? But with or without Gary Numan, I had to visit my old friend Hoa Hakananai'a. While I was there, I also had a look at the Cradle to Grave exhibit.
That's the amount of pills we supposedly take in our lifetime. So if you're old and you haven't had that much, you'd better get cracking.
I did some more Londony things like browse obscure art suppliers and wildly expensive comic book shops, and went to see the construction of the Shard up close. The Shard will be the tallest building in the EU when it's finished in 2012, and it's simply a big mad spike. In some future James Bond movie, a bad guy will be impaled on it. And it's made of glass. What're they thinking putting that in the middle of a city? They'll have LOADS of eyes out.
Because I don't seem to have the type of brain that acknowledges the concept of Winter evenings, I decided to spend the Winter evening walking back to London Bridge rather than taking the toob. This involved strolling through a Christmassy kind of market thing on the South Bank while leaving very little of my clothing uncovered by the very messy crêpe I was eating, then browsing the book market with lemon-and-sugar hands. Again: classy.
I spoke too soon when I said I'd managed to avoid the toob strike. Because when I got to oh-so-familiar and dependable London Bridge Station, it was closed. CLOSED. I gawked at some obscure directions to an alternative entrance into the overground station, and was confused. However, it's fairly well-known that if you are a lost Scottish person, another Scottish person will be along to help you shortly. I was therefore shown the alternative route by a kindly Edinburghian girl sent by our country, and got the train with what seemed like the entire population of the city.
Still not a single flake of snow to be seen, by the way. There is GRIT, though. Grit's always nice for that magical Christmas feel.