So, TOHOTS got ready, but failed to make sarnies (I suggested we have sarnies and wine on the Embankment). I got ready………………
Sam took us to
and told us we needed platform 1………the image is of platform 1………then I checked the tv monitor for train times and discovered we should have been on platfrom FIVE !!! A quick dash down the stairs , corridor, up the stairs with minutes to spare………..and that was the first of so many stairs throughout the weekend!
Ive posted quite a few pics on facebook, so wont bore you with all of them again, just find my fb page if you want to see them.
We had a day of walking as TOHOTS really wanted to walk over that footbridge outside Tate Modern. The gallery was too hot for us to stand so we only looked at the Picasso stuff, basically…..Im not convinced by Picasso really……anyway, thats another story for another time.
We checked into the hotel around 3.00pm and flaked out on the bed!! we are obviously getting past it. In the evening we dined in this excellent Indian restaurant, having passed a Japanese (TOHOTS,”no, I dont like Japenese food”), and then an excellent looking, large, Vietnamese restaurant (TOHOTS, ” no, I dont like Vietnamese food)
Me< “so when did you try these foods?”
Her, ” I havent, I dont like them”
Me, ” How do you know you dont like them if youve never tried them?”
Her, ” I dont like trying things, I like what I like”
Me, “So, before you tried Indian or Chinese, did you like them?”
Her, “It looks like its going to rain”
Anway, having avoided Thai, Viet, Japanese, Italian, we entered this Indian and had the most wonderful meal with, wait for it…………a whole bottle of wine ! I never do that. The waiter brought it to us, showed me (as if I know more than TOHOTS on the matter……bit sexist I thought………..so I told him I know nothing about wine but the label looks quite nice so please pour, he laughed and poured a tiny amount into my glass for me to taste (as if my taste buds are better than TOHOTS……….bit sexist I thought……….so I told him it tastes alright to me. So he filled the glass. Later, the bill arrived………….O MY BLOODY AUNT !!!! 60, yes SIXTY quids !!!! Never mind. You only get one 39th wedding anniversay dont you, cos you couldnt really live long enough to have two.
Next day we thought, Notting Hill carnival ! we must go and see it while we are here, so off we set. And started the walk to end all walks…………….
Lots of people moving in a general direction, barriers across certain roads, manned by pleasant policemen, us following them, up hills, down hills, until finally we stop. The policeman had told us the parade hadnt started yet, be about half an hour……………..one and a half hours later we see it coming up the hill. By this time, despite us being on the kerb, people were standing in front of us, and then, suddently the crowd spilled out into the road suggesting that progress of the parade would be impeded. It wasnt though, It was just our view that was impeded.
and this was it. Two lorries. The first blasting out music so loud that it made your ribcage pound, followed by the second which Ive instantly forgotten, followed by a some people covered in paint from some kind of paint fight earlier in the day, followed two small sets of people sporting the extravagant costumes weve come to expect………………….and that was it! yes, THAT WAS IT!!!!
So, I can tick Notting Hill Carnival off the bucket list and move it to NEVER RECCOMMEND LIST.
Never been so disappointed.
And then the second part of the great walk. Set off trying to find Notting Hill Gate metro, where we came from, walked , and walked, and walked, before asking a Bobby, He told us that the station was closed because of the numbers of people and that we should try this other station, not far away. He lied twice. Firstly it WAS far away because we walked, and walked and walked and when we finally found it guess what…………it was closed until after the carnival, presumable because of the numbers of people. So we talked nicely to a chap on the other side of the locked gate and he said we should use this other station. Its not far away, just take the next right. He lied.
The next right was barricaded against entry and guarded by a couple of Bobbies. (I told them that I was feeling like a prisoner and that Notting Hill must some kind of open prison as I just cant find a way out.) One of whom told us it was the third on the right, then the first right, then left and its up there. Its not far.
It WAS far…….we walked and walked and walked and found a flock of policemen guarding an empty , barricaded, road far from the non frenzy of carnival. The told us it was just down that road, to the left. They ………no, hang on, they were actually right. We teamed up with two young people who were also lost, and who were equally uninspired by the parade.
So I wonder how closing two of the three stations in Notting Hill helps with the flow of people wanting to escape? and what the idea was of increasing the police presence at points that had no carnival goers at all? It seemed like the fewer revellers the more police. Weird.
and this was definitely the most interesting event in Notting Hill. Im sure of this as it drew a small crowd to watch and I videod it, but strangely it doesnt appear to be there anymore. Shame. Otherwise you could have enjoyed the sight of a car being lifted onto a lorry and carted off for the pound.
So, all in all…………….we are knackered !
Love all, hurt none, and walk in soft shoes (and I will blog on that soon, honestly)