My big day out

December 9, 2008

London is an amazing city, or so I’m told. I don’t really see much of it, as I spend most of my free time pressing F5 on facebook and picking my nose.

But today I decided to be a tourist, and do some of the things I never get round to doing.

I set off at 10am, taking my camera (and shamefully, an A-Z because I get lost everywhere and my crappy old mobile doesn’t have googlemaps on it). I took the bus to Finsbury Park. On the way I bumped into a woman who registered at the gym on the same day as me. Apparently she goes to the gym every single day, but she’s lost her job so I can’t blame her. Maybe she was merely a reflection of my future. I hope not.

Here’s a picture of Finsbury Park station and its lovely long tunnel.


I got the Victoria Line to Victoria and wandered towards Buckingham Palace. There were various parties of schoolchildren also going there and being typically obnoxious. As I strode along the road, one kid of about 11 jumped out in front of me and pulled some kind of ‘spazz’ face. Now, normally I just tut loudly, but today I was being a tourist, so instead I removed my MP3 headphones and shouted at him: “Why don’t you stop being such a FUCKING WANKER?” which seemed to do the trick. I have a deep seam of pent-up anger that I really should mine more often.

Buckingham Palace was very crowded. I’ve never been there before, which is a bit ridiculous given that I’m 33 and have lived in London most of my years. I was impressed by the crowds, but wanted to wear a little badge that read: “I’m not foreign. I’m a real, proper Londoner. Please treat me with deference.” I seemed to have timed my arrival well, as two minutes later there was a changing of the guards, and lots of men in silly uniforms playing brass instruments.


From there, I wandered down along St James’ Park, which was lovely in the sunshine. There were lots of birds, including possibly the fattest ever pigeon and a ridiculous, fluffy rook.



My plan had been to visit Downing Street, but when I got there it was all gated off. I asked the policeman (who was carrying a very big gun) when they had gated it off.  Apparently, it happened back in 1991, which was news to me. He suggested I visit the House of Commons instead, as that’s open to the public and is free.


So I wandered down there, but the fat man in charge told me that it wasn’t open until 2.30pm and I didn’t really fancy hanging around for 3 hours. I crossed the road to Westminster Abbey and spied Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP. By chance, I had been watching BBC Parliament last night, when they were having a live debate about the Damien Green affair, and Mr Kaufman gave one of the most pusillanimous and spineless speeches that I had ever heard. I was sorely tempted to shout abuse at him, but by the time I was ready he had disappeared into the distance. Here’s a photo of his back.


I then got a bus down to Oxford Street and ended up in the Apple shop, which was full of shiny gadgets that are far too stylish for me. I went into H&M and various mobile phone shops before trudging up to Selfridges in search of a loo. As I wombled around the ground floor, a man walked past me who I identified as Aidy Boothroyd, the recently sacked manager of Watford. I stopped him and we had a brief chat, in which I told him he was unlucky to be sacked and ridiculed his replacement for mentioning Jose Mourinho in every single interview. He was very friendly and wished me a merry Christmas. Sadly I didn’t take a photo of him.

Further along the ground floor I noticed a throng of people queuing to get some books signed. It turned out that it was the publishers of Private Eye signing annuals, so I took a cheeky snap of Ian Hislop.


Then I went to Primark. By Fuck, it’s cheap. I’ve yet to see if anything I bought actually fits me, but you can’t question the value.

I walked down Park Lane for a bit, sat down in Grosvenor Square and admired the statues.


Then I got the tube back to Wood Green and ended up in Morrisson’s buying bits of lamb. Every story has to have a banal ending.



  1. “Eye on London” by a fair dinkum Londoner…something to build on for another publication? Far more interesting than the glossy stuff shoved at us.

  2. You can’t just stop football managers and speak to them. You have to admire and pity them from a distance.

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