Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Monday: Tooley Street and surrounding areas

Monday and the first of our tours – the Britain at War exhibition, London Dungeons and Hays Galleria. We all met up at Nunhead train station at ten past nine for the start of our journey. I had no worries about losing Don – he was wearing a bright fuschia pink shirt. Lorna seemed remotely unconcerned that her husband was searing the retinas of our fellow passengers as we sped towards London Bridge and requested an additional pit stop at some point during their stay: “I’d like to go and see where that Gordon Brown guy lives.” It seems that Lorna has taken quite a shine to our Prime Minister – “He kinda reminds me of Doug when he was younger”.

The Britain at War exhibition is amazing – both inside and outside you truly get a feel for how things were during the Second World War. We went into an Anderson shelter (I got a strong sense of Gladys at this point), visited a “night club”, hyperventilated when wearing a gas mask, saw what contribution women made during the war (we deduced that I’d have made a great Land Girl!) and tried to work out how the hell we’d survive if we were on rations now – four ounces of butter? Don joked that he put that on his toast every morning. A real eye opener and made me, once again, realise how very lucky we are. Quite an emotional visit which propelled me over to the coffee bar and a large hot chocolate. With biscuits.

The problem with arranging things for others to do (especially if you don’t know them that well, if at all) is that you’re constantly worrying if they’re enjoying themselves. By half past eleven I’d whipped myself into a frenzy. Were they having fun? Were they enjoying it? Were they depressed? Why did Don keep immersing himself in his guidebook? Why did Lorna keep putting her extremely dark sunglasses on?

After constant reassurances that they were in fact having a good time, I relaxed enough to enjoy our wander through Hayes Galleria and a fantastically heavenly sandwich while we had the chance to chat – I think all three of us felt more comfortable after I had to perform a mini Heimlich Manoeuvre on Lorna after she swallowed a baby tomato whole while Don boomed “c’mon lady, spit it up!” to the chagrin of a group of businessmen at the next table.

We escaped into the jaws of the London Dungeon, amid Don’s jokes about Lorna having taken her heart pills this morning. He was only joking but my own heart stopped when he said that. Lorna cuffed him none too gently around the head and managed not to scream when she was grabbed by a hooded monk. I, on the other hand, emitted an ear piercing scream that I’m surprised David didn’t hear in his office which is just fifteen minutes walk away from London Bridge.

Of course, we popped in to see him. I’m sure he wished we hadn’t as Lorna proceeded to bond with his PA Irene (Irene herself having choked on her bacon ciabatta this morning) and Don took up residence on his office sofa to read more from his guide book.

Guilt presents: book for Mac, Indian takeaway dinner for David, nothing for the dogs


Kelly said...

Don't suppose the shirt bore the warning 'WIDE LOAD', as my new shockingly bright tshirt does? Off course my taste is off because I am pregnant...what's his excuse?

aims said...

It just seems to me that you guys have more fun over there than we do here in Canada - are they saying this too?

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Kelly, it didn't need any words, you'd be able to see if from outer space!

Aims, they're finding it interesting and so am I.....all this on my doorstep and I'm only just getting into it all!

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.