Day 9 – London – R’s birthday!

London was a steambath and the Birthday Gods had clearly taken the evening off, as everything that could go wrong did. We did have a pleasant morning/mid-day though. First thing, powering around at high speeds with my iPod, I tracked down my annual Levis fix and availed myself of the usual bag of Muji container goodies. (I wear my black tech pants for these errands. This leaves both hands free for complex maneuvering but, with British currency mostly being coinage and all my usual bag gear transferred to my multiple pockets, I am remarkably lumpy and weird looking. And, I imagine, heavy. I haven’t lifted myself recently, so I can’t prove this last. Perhaps I’ll ask Easyjet if I can just hop on next time we’re at the airport. “Now let’s see how much I weigh without the hairdryer in my backpocket. Now let’s try it with the hamster. Now with the gun.”)

In the afternoon, R. and I trekked off to Churchill’s War Cabinet Rooms which were excellently detailed and affecting. You’d think that these underground small spaces would trump Easyjet any day, but I’m fine as long as there’s an available exit not manned by some perky horror with a blond braid and an orange jacket who’s out for my luggage ruin. In the weird absence of any of Churchill’s own books, we decided that the appropriate memento would be a poster of Churchill looking fierce underwritten with the huge line DESERVE VICTORY! I’ll take my encouragement where I can get it.

I will spare readers the gory details of the evening out on the town. Suffice it to say that the restaurant was located all the way across London from the hotel, that it lay on a street which shares its name with four other streets, that the staff themselves could not locate it on a map, that it had changed its name recently, that the staff was useless, that the food was only all right and that it was about 1000, say it with me, UN-AIRCONDITIONED degrees. (When will Europeans realize that we have the technology to address temperature irregularities? They don’t have to elect Bush or make any other concessions to America to get it: we’ll let them have it for free. In fact, if they ask nicely, I will personally send them a prototype model from which they can construct their very own and manufacture others for their profit.)

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