Boy, were we tired. We got back from the Lion King and into bed by about midnight, but had to be up at 0730 as the logistics for Thursday hadn’t taken such a late night into account. We were off to Madame Tussauds, and had an Entry/Ticket Collection time of 1030 to 1100. This meant leaving at around 0900 to get stocked up for a picnic lunch and then onto the bus into Town, by way of breakfast. We struggled out of bed, but had to do our makeup and hair as there were going to be loads of photos at Mme T’s.
Breakfast, walk to the station about 15 mins away, Tesco’s to buy food, then on to the Bus – number 82 if you must know. It goes right to Baker Strasse, so we got off about a minute from the wax museum. The crowds have to be seen to be believed – and not all of them are English, so they don’t know how to queue! But, more about that later. We went into the VIP queue as we had pre-ordered tickets, and proceeded to wait with everyone else. It only took about 15 minutes or so to get in, – but that is as far as the VIP treatment went. Unfortunately, the rest of the rabble also get into the same attraction, and we were packed in like cattle into a truck.
It was probably 20 years since my last visit, so most or all of the exhibitions had changed. Showing my age, there were a fair few current celebs or entertainment personalities that I didn’t recognise, but there was enough for everyone to enjoy. We jostled and shuffled with the crowds through the different sections, taking pictures and gawking at the dummies.
Ben and Jexi went into a replica of the Diary Room from Big Brother, and were on the closed circuit TV being interviewed and given tasks by Big Brother. They really enjoyed that – Span and I watched from a safe distance. One section we went through was a sort of horror/guillotine (Mme Tussaud made her name doing deathmasks from the French Aristocracy who were ‘processed’ by the Guillotine. This section was people by real actors who took every opportunity to scare the crap out of you – and it worked.
While queueing to go into the horror section, there was a couple behind us who kept so close to my backpack that I thought he was going to climb into it and curl up for a sleep. Honestly, each time I took half a step, he took three quarters of one, and kept pushing me until I got quite sick of it an waved them past. They advanced about 14 inches ahead of us, but at least I wasn’t being shoved for the rest of the day. Bloody Foreigners, they have no respect for the voluminous personal space that Brits require. Humph!
After a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, we walked up to regents Park. It was a glorious day, and we were quite tired from Londoning, so we lay in the sun and had our picnic, and generally chilled out, watching the world go by. After a nice relax, we walked back to the bus, and headed north once more, this time to Golders Green.
My iPhone is a wondrous thing, and has a London travel appliction that has to be seen to be believed. It tells you bus routes, times, stops and more, and helped enormously in saving us time and leg-miles. All 3 kids slept on the bus back toward Golders, and then we hopped onto another that took us toward my brothers.
We got to Craigs (the brother) and were met by him and various of his kids playing out in the street. We went in and had cups of tea, cake and conversation with the various offspring, with Craigs wife and eldest turning up a bit later. It was nice to catch up and have some times with the cousins. we spent a fair amount of time comparing school regimes, as Jexi and RS are in the same school year. While all 3 of my lot are at the same high school, Craigs lot are at 4 different schools – what a nightmare to manage. Craig is just starting a teaching job at a new school – hope it goes Ok for him.
Anyway, we had a nice time with the Religie’s, after which we got a lift back to the hotel for a quick costume change, then once more unto the tube, dear friends. This time, we were headed to Camden Market, to meet up with Laurie and Maia. We found them, along with Lauries cousin Genevieve, in a lovely bar near the lock. Maia was full of beans, and her and Ben ran around doing all sorts while I chatted with Laurie and co. I think Laurie really enjoyed the chance to have a beer – another joyful English custom.
After an hour or two, we had a wander about, and then set off to find some food, eventually happening upon a Nandos, which I love. We had a very loud and active meal, and then set off back towards the various homes. I got off the tube with Laurie, Maia (I had to carry her, she had turned into a little zombie on the train and was fast asleep) and Ben. We went back to Dave’s brother Brett, where they were staying. It was nice to have a catch up with him, while Laurie put sleeping beauty to bed.
Laurie came back down, and we spent more time, til eventually Ben and I walked across to the bus stop, and aimed for the hotel, where we found the girls still awake. We had a nice talk about everything and nothing for another hour or so, despite everyone’s tired spirits, before dropping off to snore-time.