The rest of my family came down to London from Norfolk yesterday. Which was nice. "Hello," I said. "This is nice. So, where do you want to go?"
» Hamleys is pretty quiet first thing on a Saturday. The Apple store is pretty busy, even first thing on a Saturday. » We walked past my office, the one I was working in last week. They were impressed. Later we walked past my office, the one I'll be working in next week. They weren't impressed. » There were a lot of extremely sweaty dancers in Trafalgar Square, for the "Big Dance". A big "Big Dance" video screen had been erected under Nelson's Column. (Remember Boris Johnson promised Londoners a big screen in Trafalgar Square "if England make it through to the semi-finals of the World Cup." Presumably this was it - no extra money, just a piggybacking of opportunity)
» I took my Dad round the 2010 Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery. He was impressed by a few portraits, and very unimpressed by the inclusion of others. At Boris's portrait he made an out-loud comment about the mayor holding his Oyster, which made two dear old ladies laugh. » I also took him to Kings Place, which is the new Guardian-office-cum-arts-complex at King's Cross. As arts hubs go, it's disappointingly dead Saturday daytime. I'll not be rushing back. » At King's Cross tube station we made the mistake of following the "Way Out" signs from the Victoria line platform, and ended up going on a scarily long trek through the extended underbelly of the extended station. On our return, we had the sense not to follow the signs for the Piccadilly line, which would have taken us even further out of our way on a double deviation, and took the shortcut down the old escalator instead. (note to self: write a ranting post about the evil con trick of the new diversionary King's Cross tunnel system)
» My brother and two nephews went to Lord's for the full behind the scenes tour. They got inside the dressing rooms, and walked through the futuristic podlike Media Centre, and even managed to nip through the LongRoom before it was taken over by an extremely posh wedding reception. I am reliably informed that the tour is "amazing". » We all went up to Wembley, to take a look at the new stadium, which hadn't even been built the last time my Dad was in the capital. What this turned out to mean was a baking walk across a trading estate and a sweaty walk round the stadium podium which was half closed for building work. » And we all went to the Greenway to stare at the Olympic Stadium, and all the associated buildings arising around it. The Basketball Arena got the biggest "blimey, what on earth is that?" And the View Tube had already shut, so we couldn't go up and look at the view. (The poor bloke running the cafe was having a tough time politely persuading a steady stream of visitors that he had to lock up and would they please stop being quite so interested and go away)
» It was extremely hot yesterday. But it was lovely and cool aboard the new Overground trains, which are clearly the place to go in extremely hot weather. » Another good place to go in extremely hot weather is Victoria Embankment Gardens, at least until the jobsworth parkkeeper goes round jangling his keys 45 minutes before the advertised closing time and chucks everybody out. Miserable git. » Despite it being extremely hot yesterday, youngest nephew still insisted that we went to a pancake restaurant for dinner. (I suspect he slept well on the coach back to Norfolk)