Big Ben Clock Tower.

London City Break

A London city break, tea with the queen, expensive hotels, Big Ben, the tube, pearly kings and queens, jellied eels and cockney wankers.  The cockney wanker in question was in fact some tosspot in a pub just off Trafalgar Square banging on about being nicked 23 days after his 7 year stretch  for robbing the Royal Mail.  Twat.  Aside from that, at least the hotel was in a nice convenient location (Kensington High Street).  Plenty to see on a slow walk down on a London city break.  Walked down past the Iranian Embassy, last time I saw this place it had even more police than it did now.  The next day it was guns blazing as the SAS smashed in through the windows.  Nice to see they’ve given it a lick of paint since.

Not quite tea with the Queen either, but did pop in for a quick photo call. Contrary to Sam’s insistence, Queen Lizzie wasn’t hanging out one of her many bedroom windows hollering down to someone below asking them to nip to the shop for 20 Bensons and a Cadbury’s flake. Whilst on our London city break, we popped down to Downing Street but it looks like the Prime Minister has put up a few security measures since. He doesn’t like my views on fox hunting scumbags. No wonder the Queen wouldn’t see us either. Again, we decided to take on another hop on hop off open top bus tour. On the coldest day of the year.  It was city break that nearly broke us.

No London city break is complete without visiting any number of the surprisingly free entry to museums. Being sophisticated and the need to thaw out we decided to whittle away a few hours in the National Gallery. Now I’m not normally one to make a judgement about someone’s paintings especially considering mine may look they were completed by an ape with a brush, but this was my first chance to see Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ paintings and that one with the chair. To be fair, the best way to describe these is that they are quite frankly shit. It is of no surprise to me that he only sold one painting within his own lifetime. Considering the quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his mum who bought it out of sympathy. Staggering to think that someone paid £25 million quid for this in 1987 (£40m in adjusted prices).

Monet and his lilies didn’t do much for me either. The impression (get it?) they left on me was really rather quite amateurish. Especially when you compare them to other works in the gallery. Botticelli’s ‘Venus and Mars’, Michelangelo’s ‘The Entombment’, Caravaggio’s ‘The Supper at Emmaus’, Rembrandt’s ‘Self Portrait at the Age of 34’, Velázquez’s ‘The Rokeby Venus’ and of course Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’. In fact the only other disappointing thing about the National Gallery was that I didn’t get to see Fiona Bruce talking about paintings (even better when she wears that yellow dress speaking Italian). Although there was some other filming going off.

Nick Cook

Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, doorstep daytripper, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it. Knows more about swords than is probably healthy for a man.

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