Evan, a friend from New Ro, was in town for work last weekend. He stayed an extra day in London after his meetings finished, and we had Grand Adventures in town.
Here he is, reading the paper (with a croissant and a cuppa). How very European!
We went an a walking tour, the Notting Hill walk, and it was excellent. We saw the remnants of the Potteries, and then Robbie Williams' house:
And we saw super-suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst's house:
This was our tour guide. He was funny, witty, full of good stories, and generally excellent.
And then, because we were on the Notting Hill tour, we saw Richard Curtis and his wife! We actually encountered his wife first - our tour guide had said "Now, Richard Curtis does still live in Notting Hill, quite near here, actually."
Then, our enormous tour (30-odd people) were crossing a quiet street while a woman in a car made a u-turn. She got somewhat stuck behind us all. So she rolled down the window, pointed to her house, and asked the guide, "Are you talking about our house?"
"No," replied our guide, "I didn't think you'd want me to!"
"Oh, no, it's fine - we figured you would. Carry on!"
And drove off.
Our guide turned to the assembled and said, "Well, that's Richard Curtis' wife (and son). And that is his house (gesturing across the road)." At which point, Richard Curtis opened his front door, looked at us, and closed it again. "And that was Richard Curtis!"
Srsly. Can't make this stuff up.
So we then went to the Famous Notting Hill Bookshop (which has since gone out of business, because all the tourists took pictures of the bookshop but nobody ever bought anything).
And then we had a lovely lunch (panini!)
And then, we got ourselves some BORIS BIKES! Love. We picked them up in Notting Hill, wove our way across to Hyde Park, then rode down through the parks to Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, where we dropped the bikes and went in search of a pub. I, naturally, steered us rather close to Liberty where we then had to make a quick visit. Who, me? Naw!
And took this picture while we were both riding. Yes, I am that clever. And no, we didn't fall off. There were a few shouts of "Evan! Keep LEFT!" Otherwise, uneventful. The whole "grab a bike when you need it, then give it back later" is an excellent idea.
HRH was not in residence but we said "hi" anyway.
Then we picked up another set of bikes and rode them across town from Bloomsbury to Paddington, where I picked up my bags, and then we walked to dinner and the tube and then home to Suffolk (or New York).
At dinner (Wagamama, of course!) we both kind of sat there, contemplating our warm bowls of noodles and our aching feet. I had been instructed to provide a fun London day out - I think I succeeded!