This week saw me brave the Big City once more. I had been invited to accompany some friends to see the wonderful Caro Emerald play at The O2. We decided to make a whole day of it and fit in some sightseeing and girlie shopping too. How could I resist?
The pre-visit planning session took place in a pub and was not much use. Two of us turned up, we couldn't get WiFi and neither of us had brought maps or could visualise what London looked like other than a vague recollection of the shape of the Thames from the start of EastEnders. Cue conversation along the lines of “I think the O2 is about here” (points to beer stain on table) “So, we get off the bus here” (indicate dry roast peanut to left of beer stain) “The best place for lunch, then, is here” (slightly bent beermat somewhere in the middle). We decided to go with the flow and delegate all responsibility to the lady who hadn't turned up for the planning meeting!
It ended up being a relatively stress free day. I drove to Oxford and we took a coach into London, starting off in Covent Garden. I had never been here before and thoroughly enjoyed it! They even had a Moomin Shop! A whole shop dedicated to all things Moomin, I was in heaven! I only bought a pencil as that is all that would fit into my stupidly small handbag...
After this we had a very grown up lunch in an Italian restaurant. I’m quite glad I was designated driver for the day and had an excuse to avoid a glass of wine with lunch as this normally results in having to have an afternoon nap.
After Covent Garden we strolled along the Thames Path towards the Tower of London. I wanted to visit the Poppy Garden exhibition there and the other ladies were kind enough to indulge me. I am so glad we did.... It was simply breathtaking. If you haven’t heard of the art instillation, check it out here. Basically they have created 888,246 ceramic poppies to represent those who died in WW1 and they are being planted around the moat at the ToL. It began in August and will finish with a ceremony on 11th November. I can’t even describe in words the impact that all these poppies have. And when you stop to reflect that each one represents a person then it becomes even more mind-blowing. Truly moving.
Following this sombre moment we continued on our journey to The O2. The gig was pretty awesome too. Caro soon had people up and dancing and we forgot the prospect of the epic homeward journey that still awaited us and got caught up in the music!
I finally crawled into bed at 2.15am – It had been a day of contrasts, fun and sombre reflection. And Moomins :)