Tuesday, 10 June 2014

In London

London, a city in springtime filled with verdant green, a light breeze coursing its way down the narrow streets crowded with the vibrancy of life that only Samuel Johnston could adequately capture when he said "A man who is tired of London is tired of life." We are well ensconced in our hotel, a well equipped handicap room with a shower, including a seat, plenty of grab bars and easy reach to the sink.

The flight last night was, somewhat, uneventful. The flight, the plane, the crew, all did well. Alas the ten month old twins in the seats behind us did not do so well, at least not for the first third of the flight. They, in stereo united, were awake and not afraid in the least to let those of us sharing the plane know of it. I suppose the journey from Australia to London via Toronto was as difficult for them as it was for their young and somewhat enthusiastic parents, both children and parents blissfully unaware of what lies ahead.

I, of course, took a self-medicated approach to the problem, beginning first with a double Gin and Tonic, plus wine with dinner. Amidst the pitter patter of tiny feet kicking the back of my seat, I caught the eye of the flight attendant, who, sensing my need for additional sleeping agent, brought me a second double Gin and Tonic. As that one slowly settled in, a third, this time a single, magically appeared before me. With it came success and I managed to sleep for the final two thirds of the flight. I would say that my night was moderately more successful than Cheryl's, however her approach to sleeping assistance was more moderate than mine.

Having left Toronto at 8:30 PM, we, in the complete perversity of eastbound air travel over the Atlantic, arrived at 8:30 AM here in London. The flight crew and gate agents for both Air Canada and Heathrow Airport were terrific, helping us not only de-board but assisting us with luggage pickup and taking us all the way to get a wheelchair accessible cab, driven, as one could only expect in London, by a Cockney who regaled us with chatter and stories all the way to our hotel.

Where we are staying, the St. James Court, is a stately, classic Edwardian hotel, filled with long, twisting corridors and rooms overlooking the central courtyard. While a classic beauty, she is clearly well kept, with a lovely lobby and patio bar, plus three great restaurants covering all of English culture - an English styke restaurant with classic English food, an oddity in London; a European style bistro with lattes and a full English breakfast; and, of course, the obligatory Indian restaurant should we need a spot of curry for dinner.

We are up, we are ready to explore. All London awaits. I hear a latte calling my name. Life is good.

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