Had a long day in London via the Caledonian Sleeper. Drank several of those shitty little bottles of Gordon's in the club car and had a pleasant conversation with a financial guy, (quite high up) who said we are all fecked and the worst is yet to come. Entered my shared economy berth to find a large smelly bloke who looked like Stelios from EasyJet. Took a plastic cup from the shelf and poured myself some water, only to find that my cup not only runneth over, but was split. Wet bed. Steward relocated me to empty berth. Problem solved. I didn't sleep a wink as the heating was off and anyway, calling it "The Sleeper" contravenes the Trades Descriptions Act.
London is a bit of a shock to somebody who goes every two years. It was mitigated by many things, including a stellar Martini Cocktail (Stolly based) at Le Méridien in Piccadilly (service impeccable), followed by a great evening at the Pizza on the Park in the company of Sir Richard Rodney Bennet and Claire Martin. ( I would recommend the gig, but it is mostly sold out). The coat check girl was very nice to me.
Came back on the Sleeper, with a cabin to myself.
London smells of coffee. In my day it was Patchouli.
I walked everywhere because I never had enough change for a bus ticket.
Most irritating thing: Having dozens of gits leaping into your path and trying to foist free newspapers onto you. They are very agressive and they should be stopped. It happened to me about 12 times in Picccadilly.
Best thing: Quite a lot, but enjoying the National Gallery for free was great.
Not recommended: The London Transport Museum. Run by and for embryos and filled with overmodulated "sound experiences" that made me want to flee. Also not particularly informative. Also, they want all your personal details including a DNA swab, and they add a stealth charge to the ticket of £2 as a "charity" donation. Altogether a negative experience.
Very recommended: Wagamama. I was a Wagamama virgin. Not anymore. No wonder people are saying it's better than the Ivy. Sat next to two delightful old ladies who discussed bra fittings.
Purchases: Some magic from Davenports. A book from Waterstones. A rather jaunty french beret from Bates' hat shop in Jermyn Street.
Greatest relief. Hanging around Piccadilly but being too old to be mistaken for a rent boy.