Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spontaneous London Adventure (epic Geek Day Out)

Fair warning: we three are Geeks. Serious Geeks. So this day out might not appeal to everyone. Teehee. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

We braved the snow this weekend for a day out in London, suggested at the last minute by the Husband. Stowmarket was having rail upgrade works, so we drove to Ipswich to catch the train from there. Because the tickets weren't as expensive as we had anticipated (but were still eye-watering), due to some jiggery-pokery with two sets of singles between Ipswich and Manningtree, and an offer running on tickets from Manningtree that included a day travelcard (yes!), we upgraded to first class. No, we didn't win the lottery. Husband was reading the railway mags, the Boy is reading It's Not Rocket Science, while I'm plodding through The Magicians. 

::Capsule-review & mini-rant starts::

It started strong and has faded somewhat. I'm nearly done, so I'll finish it, but unless something very exciting happens I'm not going to either recommend it or read any more Lev Grosmann. I was vaguely irritated from the beginning with the main character's obsession with "Fillory," an extremely thinly-veiled Narnia. As far as I'm concerned, get the rights and refer to actual Narnia, or don't bother. Or make Fillory different enough that I don't keep picturing scenes that C.S. Lewis (who is a better writer, thankyouverymuch) created so brilliantly. Ah. I'm not the only one.

::Capsule-review & mini-rant ends::

Anyway. We visited an extremely crowded British Museum, where John and the Horus appeared to be having a fascinating discussion. I think there was nobody else paying any attention to the Horus because he decides who gets to see him and who doesn't. We're some of the lucky few, obviously.

We headed over to Chinatown, stopping at Forbidden Planet and the Orc's Nest on the way. Obviously.

Then, thanks to TripAdvisor, we hit Joy King Lau, for dim sum. The steamed pork buns were the best I've ever had. (Sorry, Nom Wah, you're a close second.) We made a suitable mess on the table.

We walked up to Oxford Street, where we stopped at the local Games Workshop, Muji, and Cloth House to admire the fabric.

We then hopped back on the tube to head down to Waterloo, where we went to Ian Allan, a specialist railway and transport book and model shop.

Added to the list of oh-my-gosh-there's-a-market-for-that? These cab-ride DVDs of railway journeys across the UK.

Shut up.

I even found the one for my commute. However, I felt no need to buy it, since I ride the damn train all the time. Who buys these? Do they make some popcorn, grab some beers, and plop down on the couch with their friends? Do they secretly watch them when nobody else is home? Do you buy ones for routes you know? Routes you don't? Routes you wish you knew? Do you buy them for trainless friends?

Please, feel free to explain (or guess) in the comments. Also, there were several browsers full of these. Different brands filming the same routes, different routes, and a whole section of the same general idea, but for busses and bus routes instead. I understand not.

Then, since we were relatively close by, we went to the Tate Modern to make fun of the "art." Ok, so maybe we're uncultured philistines (see above non-comprehension of filmed railway journeys). Or something. It was truly, truly, crap.

This was the least-crap of all the crap. At least whoever the artist was had some skill with his or her jigsaw, and the planks made nice shadows.

At this point, we were tired, cold, and hungry. We trooped across the Millennium bridge, hopped on the Central Line at St Paul's, and subsided in front of warm, savoury bowls of Pho. Back on the train, through some snow on the A14, and into bed by 10.

Phew. An excellent day out was had by all.

No comments: