Last week, in my rambling ranting excitable post, I forgot to say that I had finally graced the narrow dining table of The Hidden Tearoom. On Friday, mum and I (she with the smartly-curled perm and me with the only slightly dirty frock) went to a MYSTERIOUS location in Old Street, pressed a buzzer, gave a password, and got led into a magnificent old building with enormous landings and narrow hallways connecting lots of odd-shaped flats – one of which was the location of our secret nighttime rendezvous. We were taken in with eight other people, nearly all of whom turned out to be good-looking, mostly lawyers, and all with a history of seeking out underground events in London. Which was weird, really. Both the good-looking lawyer part, and the part where they do this regularly.
Anyway, we were taken into a young couple’s home, given champagne, led out onto their roof terrace where we had a good view of drunken men pissing onto walls far, far below. Hot out of the oven came little cheesy garlicky scones, and then we were led back inside to sit at the dining room table and begin our High Tea, what HO! It was excellent, and odd, and completely worth the measly £25. There was a dog, and more cakey-type things like toffee brownie and finger sandwiches and lemon drizzle cake and truffles and more and more and more to heart-attack-infinity and beyond. You HAVE to go.
And more on a tourist note, we went to Buckingham Palace today. Two observations I brought back with me:
1. the female staff are dressed in dreadful sexless uniforms that were so ugly I nearly poked mine own eyes out to avoid looking at them. Think shapeless blazers and mid-calf black skirts. Oh how the Europeans must guffaw! and
2. the ticketing system was so incredibly incompetent and unnecessarily complicated. There were two marquees in which to queue, and many, many lines to get lost in, and once you we made it to the cashier, he had to type in our names from our cards. WHAT? But why, Crazy English Royal-Type People? And there was some sort of airport-like security thing where we had to put our stuff in the trays to be x-rayed and we had to walk through the metal detector. The palace was harder to get into than AUSTRALIA. What do you think we want to do with your State Rooms? NOTHING! WE JUST WANT TO LOOK AT THE CEILINGS AND LISTEN TO THE AUDIOGUIDE! That is all. Talk about self-validating. Annoying.
So, on Thursday we had to take an emergency trip to the Science Museum. We walked through the park, me with the baby in a sling, Noah and Custard in the double buggy, and Barnaby talking at me without taking a breath. Here is a sample of our dialogue.
Barnaby: What does God look like?
Me: Um, a cloud?
Me: Fire? The sun? An old man?
Me: Maybe you could ask Grandad?
Barnaby: Shall I tell you about Scooby Doo?
Me: [relieved] Yes please.
Barnaby: There is Freddie. He has yellow hair and he solves all of the mysteries. There is Shaggy, he loves Scooby Snacks. There is Scooby and he is a dog.
Me: What about Daphne?
Barnaby: Who – Daffy? OH yes, she has a purple shirt and she loves purses and handbags and she knows how to clean stuff.
Me: And Velma?
Barnaby: She wears glasses but I don’t remember what colour shirt she has.
Me: So, which one are you?
Barnaby: I am definitely Fred. Noah is Shaggy, and Custard is the dog.
Me: I agree. Who am I then?
Barnaby: You are Daffy.
Me: Do you mean Daphne?
Barnaby: No. Daffy.
Me: Like Daffy Duck?
Barnaby: No. DAFFY.
Me: Ok, so I am Daffy?
Barnaby: [Looks at me closely, especially at my hair.] No, you are Shaggy.
And on, and on, and on. Notice how poor old Velma is unnoticed even by five year old attentive boys? It is her glasses, I’d wager.
PS We have a chandelier in our stairwell outside. Yes. I too am puzzled. More on that, if and when it becomes clear just why it is hanging there.