London 2009 – Day 0/1 – Departures and Arrivals

Pawn’s Interval. So called because in the script of Pawn’s year, spanning October 2008 – October 2009, we have reached the mid point. We have witnessed, have we not, the epic highs of the conclusion of the 2008 US Presidential election cycle. Which event, coming to a conclusion, as it did, with the triumphant election of Pawn’s candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, on 4 November, 2008. Such timing, coincided with the “reverse,” the first in a series of cardiac events of Pawn’s dear friend, Tom, who subsequently perished in a flurry of sad and dilatory events, culminating on 4 December 2008, thus sending our script writers into abject depression and several of those involved into excessive consumption.

No good could come of this, of course, and our intrepid protagonist was left with little choice but to pick him self up, dust off the clichés and start all over…when a series of increasingly comic events, mostly having to do with epic misjudgements and miscalculations has led our poor Pawn into a seeming spiral of affected comedy of the sort of Willie S’s Twelfth Night or Moliere’s Tartuffe.

Bring us then now unto our present particulars. To whit:

  • This being Spring, the weather is particularly nice
  • This being the end of a particularly dreary winter in Milwaukee, our protagonist and his trusty side-kick X have virtually exploded onto the London scene with a level of appreciation for the current circumstances which may leave some here especially baffled.

Okay, a moment of seriousness, impending, overcoming, overwhelming sleep demands that I retake the reins of this operation and send the id packing, for now. We had a fairly dreadful flight getting here, including the not very pleasant element of the Indian family who boarded the plane in Chicago, and then changed their seats, by themselves without consulting crew, several times before the crew stopped them to do a head count and realised that it was all bullocks and had to be put right before we could take off. Oh my! Paging Mr. Patel, Paging Mr Patel…His absence mysteriously coincided with an emergency call to an airlines employee, armed with a giant roll of duct tape, who hastily secured an overhead luggage bin and labeled it with dire warnings.

Mr. Patel had not been located by the time we disembarked at Heathrow. The stern lecture by the Head Purser (lips pursed and jaw clenched throughout) did not appear to affect the merry group of seat and boarding pass exchangers in the least.

Then we launched, and the flight itself was fairly typical. Landed in London on time, quick connections, and into the apartment in a jiff. The apartment, as previously referenced on some social networking sites, is a beaut. Well appointed, well fitted, and nice. Oh, and perfectly situated for our needs. Even cheap, to boot, for a two bedroom in Fitzrovia.

Took two long walks today. One took us south to Covent Gardens, looping through the Victoria Embankment Gardens (see photos) and then back up through various climbs to the apartment. Along the way we shopped for food (mostly breakfast and snack goods), toiletries, vitamins, wine and liquor, etc. Oh, and we stopped in at Ha Ha, next to Charing Cross station to get a couple of martinis (see photos).

Then back to the pad to upload the first batch of photos (see earlier post) and veg out a bit. X found British junk food telly and was glad for it.

Out again shortly after 5:00 to take a stroll through Regents Park and admire the gardens (see new photos). Then a stroll by last year’s quarters and to a sumptuous dinner at Base Brasserie – braised lamb shank for X and roast rack for moi. Disparaging sneer by waiter at our wine selection daunted us not, Great salad of “asparagus, rocket and parmesan.” I got us lost a bit on the way back, and didn’t have a map along. Oops! Won’t let that happen again.*

*you got that right, pal.

-X

p.s. “a bit”?????

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