Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just across the channel-->

The Eurostar terminal moved from my old, familiar Waterloo to the new St. Pancras station in London. Pulling in was visually pleasant, I loved the light pouring in the glass roof, the bright colours.... and I was almost not upset at leaving what I had always known at Waterloo...until I needed a loo (WC)! As usual, someone was slacking in the design department and the restrooms that had always been in the pre-exit arrivals area...were gone! akkk...so I became reacquainted with my fellow Londoners while waiting in line for 20mins out in the main hall....wonderful.

I next made my way to the tube to head to my hotel....and again, why is it that in an international train terminal they have so many stairs? I realize they're cheaper then escalators, but I'm getting old and as my luggage donkey was lounging in the Sarthe a girl is forced to lug her many rain outfits up/down/up/down...you get the picture...and I don't glisten folks, I sweat! After paying the extortionist tube fare to get to my destination (did our salaries jump 30%?)....I happily offloaded my things and quickly set out into the city to do what I do best in London....people watch and atmosphere soak!! I don't mean to sound so negative, I absolutely adore London, thus why I love to get away there.

It provides me entertainment people watching....that's not to say that people watching in France isn't interesting or fun, but for some reason it's not entertaining. I love to listen and look at the variety in London. Take this for example (see photo on the right), I had such a chuckle at M&S that I had to take a photo...it's juvenile yes, but I can't even imagine some cheeky french jokester hiking the boxers up to geek levels on a mannequin in a store in Paris....chuckle chuckle. Or, sometimes the brit formality just makes me smile....again, I was walking down a neighbourhood street near my hotel and saw this polite way to say...pick up your dog's poop...in France it's just a sign with a line through it of a hunched over dog pooping with a turd coming out the bum ....

So, I happily munched creative food (yes, France is my mecca of gourmet, but a change of pace and creativity is nice), drank my cider, ate a salt & vinegar crisp or two...had scones, jam & cream (even the fast food version is unbelievably delicious)....even enjoyed a glimmer or two of sun--are the weatherpeople right in any country?....as I wandered through Selfridge's food hall I came upon the 'American' isle and thought to myself as I viewed the symetrically pleasing rows..."good God, is this really what they think is American food?"....I ate Fluff and peanut butter sandwiches one summer when I was ten, but don't know a single other person who has it in their pantry...and ok, I'll give you the pancake mix/syrup & popcorn...but otherwise we are apparently a nation of ridiculous sugar consumption....with some beans & weaners thrown in (has anyone ever seen weiners in a jar in the U.S.?) for salt....ah well, we all have our stereotypes!

I rounded out my London sojourn with a meeting of my friends Nika & Brett's little chub of love--baby S--born last Halloween (is she going to have cool parties or what?) and finally got my wish to pinch those adorably rosy cheeks in person :)...and her Grandmother N is great company! Moving on to Haslemere to visit my friend Janet in her oh, so UK surroundings I finally ate my obligatory fish 'n chips at a fantastic pub...meet Mr. Fox from above the fireplace--> (see what I mean about humour?)...we zipped around in her sporty Audi (I won't show you my face as the passenger....just kidding J!) to visit the beautiful West Dean estates & gardens (see scenery photo on left) and grilled out hubby caught trout on the terrace...all in all a very civilized journey.

A tired L arrived home after travelling all day...the train to a tube to train to a metro to a train home was a bit much, but worth the change in scenery, humour and seeing friends....already planning a return trip, this time with T--there are musicals to be seen and showtunes to be sung! Cheerio! (that's me and my tasty fancy drink at a great thai restaurant Janet & I went to in London...woohoo...hot and spicy baby...and delicious!)


scargosun said...

I like the phrase 'foul the footpath'. Very British. Your har looks so cute!

Anonymous said...

Love the cut too! But, I would like you to look in my pantry-fluff and peanut butter! However, I would prefer it on graham crackers, but the sandwich is delish! see you soon! Mom J