Sunday, October 10, 2010

Big day out

Back in August when I had a week off and Best Mate Jo and I trundled off to the zoo for the day, we had a moment - possibly on the train on the way home - when we looked at each other and said "geez, we should do this sort of thing more often."

Actually it was definitely on the train on the way home, because I gazed wistfully at the London Eye and said "I've never been on that." Best Mate Jo looked at me and said "I've been on it twice, but I'll go again if you want to."

And so today we went on the London Eye.

Incredibly, after a grey and slightly miserable start, as our train pulled into Waterloo there was literally not a cloud in the sky. This was good. I'd like to say we got off the train and made a beeline straight for the Eye, but we didn't because I got off the train and immediately said "I NEED A COFFEE" like some dead-eyed addict, and immediately headed off in the direction of the nearest Starbucks. I wanted to be functioning and alert, y'see.

Coffee sourced and in hand, we subsequently headed for the Eye.

The excitement started with some queuing. Admittedly the queue did move quite quickly, but because we get restless and bitchy just standing around, after about two minutes we were quietly taking the mickey out of the people around us: specifically some woman in a pair of ill-advised leather trousers who was also wearing sunglasses inside. That kept us entertained until we got to a till, at which point I looked at the lady behind the desk and said "we'd like two tickets for the, er, London Eye," and she looked at me like I was an utter special.

With tickets in my sweaty little mitts, we were then shepherded into an area where they took one of those excrutiatingly awful tourist pictures of you against a green screen, and then into a screening room where they show a 4D (WTF!?) four-minute promotional film of London and the Eye, which I thought was pretty pointless because I was already in London, and had literally just bought tickets for the Eye. And a dragon in the film sneezed on us. Seriously - real moisture hit us. Gross.

After that we were out into the open for some more queuing.

Admittedly, again, the queue moved pretty fast, but not before I'd ridiculed some woman's vile boots and some old dude's awful ponytail.

It was as we neared the front of the queue that I turned to Best Mate Jo and said "you do know I'm petrified of heights, don't you? This is possibly the highest I've ever been, and chances are I'm going to scream all the way round." She gazed at me with a look of utter contempt that even I'll admit I was deserving of.

So, anyway, we got on, and it was awesome. There actually comes a point where you're so high up that the height becomes absolutely meaningless and inconsequential. And I didn't scream, before you ask.

Some pictures, yes?

And we're off. At this point, if you suddenly decide you're busting to go to the toilet you are WAY OUT OF LUCK.

Awesomely blue, utterly cloudless sky. Also, note brightly-coloured office buildings that look like they've come from IKEA.

Jaunty angle.

About the Eye's highest point. Amazing how close the Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station actually are. Got an awesome mobile phone signal up here too.

And the fun didn't stop there. Having come back down to Earth we scrambled over to Leicester Square for a big fat awesome lunch. The only thing that wasn't awesome here was the fact that it took about 20 minutes for them to rustle up the bill, by which time we were running perilously close to missing out on our planned afternoon activity. Matters weren't helped by Best Mate Jo almost making a faux pas as she handed the waitress the cash as we hurried out, and said "we NEED to go - NOW!" which made it sound like one of us had left an epic shit on the table or something.

The waitress looked at us with a look that was a combination of utterly perplexed, extreme concern, and unmitigated fear, and replied "um, slightly worried…"

"Oh, god, don't worry," said Jo. "We've got to get to the cinema!"

And we vamoosed in a cloud of dust. Ish.

After accidentally veering us towards the wrong cinema, we eventually got to the right one, just in time to watch a 15:10 screening of the 25th anniversary rerelease of Back to the Future, my very favourite movie with slightly incestuous undertones. I'm pleased to report that the film is every bit as great as I remember it being, and it was an utter joy to see it on the big screen again. Like Marty, I too was transported back in time - but instead of 1955 I was reminded of the glory that was the mid 1980s - a truly awesome period for popcorn movies. And I also now have an overwhelming urge to buy a red body-warmer, and I can't stop listening to THIS.

All-in-all, a great day.


CyberPete said...

Sounds like an awesome day.

The movie pre Eye experience must be newish because last time I went on it (been up there 3 times) we only had the queueing to deal with. And practically a strip search.

Tim said...

Yeah, we were rubbed down a bit too.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Does one HAVE to have the green-screen tourist pictures? And what background is superimposed in place of the green? This would put me right off going on the Eye, as would dragon snot. Right off.

Still, those are some great pictures and fantastic views. What a great day you had!

Tara said...

- "Why do you keep calling me Calvin?!"
- "Well it's written all over your underwear!"

I love it when movie theaters re-release movies like that.

Okay, those photos of the Eye are very awesome...I got the chills at how high it took you. I'm not too keen on heights, either. I'd imagine that trip would be worth a bit of anxiety.

Tim said...

Inexplicable Device - Well, yes, kind of. You don't know how much trouble we got in at the zoo when we said we didn't want one.

At the Eye they superimpose the view from one of the pods behind you. And then ask you for £10 for it. I could photoshop something better. Needless to say we did not buy ours.

Oh, and they also take pic WHILE YOU'RE GOING ROUND ON THE EYE - and then want to charge for that too! Jo and I backed away from the photo zone in the pod, but we did crop up in the background of one pic. in hindsight we thought we should've pulled a funny face or mooned the camera just to ruin everyone else's.

Tara - Oh, the height is weirdly not even an issue. I actually enjoyed being up that high!