Tuesday, 29 September 2015

I fucking LOVE London


Yep I wedged my tourist hat on firmly today and took off on my absolute favourite daggy tourist thing to do and caught the ferry from Westminster Pier to Greenwich and on to the Thames Barrier.

It might have been helpful, that Steve struck up a convo with the ticket seller about an online discount that I had found cos even though we only had our ordinary Oyster cards, she charged us each about 11 quid instead of 17 ( still a bargain I reckon ) for 3 hours on the water. Bloody brilliant bargain! I reckon it helps to ask, especially if you are smiling and pleasant.

The ferry to be fair was a bit clapped out and some of the bench seats were not too firmly attached to the floor, but fuck, who cares? The sun was shining and the wind was blowing my hair from arsehole to breakfast and off we shot.

All the major London sites can be seen from the river and it is really helpful to get a sense of where everything is. What we found absolutely remarkable was the amount of development along the length of the river. There was just so much to notice.

Now if you haven't been to London before, it's cool to listen to the patter of the boat boy cos he knows some interesting stuff, but the script has not been changed fro at least a decade so I zoned out and ignored him as best as I could.

Greenwich was as it always is, bloody marvellous. We grabbed a bit of lunch and had a bit of a wander until it was time to get on board for the ride up to the BARRIER.

Now I am happy to admit that I am a bit nuts and so what I like is not everyone's cup of English Breakfast tea, but I love everything about the BARRIER. I love the idea of being able to hold back the North Sea, and protecting all of the low lying areas of London - and that's a lot of area, and I love that this is possible because of the brilliant minds of engineers who set about designing this wonderful thing. But what I love most is that unusually, the designers looked further than just to something effective, they made something truly beautiful. The little - well not so little really, pod things are just fantastic sculptures perched across the river. Their cutesy appearance belies the power and the guts of the mechanism, a bit like the hidden workings of a transvestite's outfit - all smooth and classy on the outside and all tape and booby pins and tight knickers underneath. No trip up the Thames would be complete without a little look-see at the BARRIER and if this makes me a sad old git, well then so be it.

There is no banter from the boat boy on the way back so it was lovely to just play, 'Oh wow, look at that.' So many new buildings have sprung up and if cranes on the horizon are an indication of prosperity, then it might be true that the streets of London really are lined with gold. Some of the developments are stunning and some are a bit more hit and miss, but I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder, cos sometimes Steve and I disagreed on what was good design.

I am not gonna bang on about all the sights that the ferry ride has in store. You can google it. But I will say that unless being on a boat makes you so green that you need to carry your own bucket, then this is a must-do. There are fast ferries and slow poke ferries and if little metal pods all lined up in a row don't excite you, then just pop off to Greenwich and give the BARRIER a miss.

If you live in this wonderful place, get out on a ferry cos it's just a bloody marvellous thing to do, and if you are lucky enough to be visiting, ferries are a great way to see a lot without the mad human crush.

I have all sorts of fab photos, but I have just downloaded WINDOWS 10 onto my little machine and the whole thing has gone pear shaped. Potty mouth would barely describe what the neighbours have been putting up with. Will try again another time with pics, cos for now I am FUCKED.