So I didn’t sleep on the plane, and more or less haven’t slept since landing at Heathrow at 5am. There was maybe an hour in the afternoon before a fire alarm went off. It’s all lent the day a surreal quality.
A few trains got us from the airport to Westminster, and we dropped our backpacks at the hotel at 7am, but couldn’t check in till 2pm. Which meant wandering around for hours. More like sleepwalking.
But! Good sleepwalking. Caught some of the usual sights – Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, etc. They were fine, but it was the little things in between that were the real highlights. Opposite Buckingham is a bunch of sculptures, one of which is a big bronze labourer with a sledgehammer standing next to a lion with life-size testicles poking out the back, entitled: “Gift from New Zealand”. Possibly more importantly, today I had a squirrel stand on my hand take a nut from me.
London highlights so far mainly about nuts.
It took me a while to work out why London feels so familiar. At first I thought it was a bit of similarity to downtown Wellington. Then I realised. There’s construction everywhere. It’s annoying as all hell, switching sides of streets, scaffolding all over things. It’s like Auckland was for most of the last year, frantically preparing for a massive international event. I wonder if Parliament will have to seize control from the City of London if the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony doesn’t go according to plan.
Ooh! Also, first random old lady scamming me today. Told me she was raising money for the ‘ospital. The ‘ospital. For Christmas. The ‘ospital, you see. I gave some change and she looked me in the eye and said, “They usually give notes.” Bless her scammy old soul.
Sleep now, I think. Also, photos tomorrow.