So me & Mrs T (the wife, not the local blogger - now seemingly retired) decided to jump on a train to Blackfriars to witness the spectacle of Queen Elizabeths river pageant. The first sign that this may have been a mistake became apparent as soon as we arrived at Blackfriars, . The South Bank exit had been closed. We were also informed that Blackfriars Bridge was shutFor some reason, in London whatever the event, the authorities like to conspire to make it as difficult as possible to participate. No matter. We hopped on the next train to London Bridge and tried again. We alighted and started to make our way around to the South Bank. Sadly we were greeted with a Police cordon "can't come though here mate". So we started walking up towards Tower Bridge. Every side street to the South Bank was cordoned off. Thousands of people were milling around aimlessly, unsure what to do. About half way down, a forlorn group of about 75 republicans were holding a rather sorry looking rally. What was interesting was the rather British way they were being ignored. I cannot imagine another nation on the planet where such a protest against such a well loved person would receive quite the level of apathy. A rather surreal thing then happened. As we were watching, Lib Dem Party Chairman, Simon Hughes appeared in a bright red jumper with a group of friends. He was swigging beer from a can of Fosters, watched over by a rather large bodyguard. Given the unpopularity of the coalition, it was equally remarkable that he was also completely ignored. I guess everyone was in a good mood.
As we walked down, it became clear, by the time we got to Shad Thames, that a) It was going to pour with rain and b) we hadn't got a hope of actually seeing the pagaent. We did the only sensible thing and adjourned to Fish! in Borough Market, for a tasty late lunch of Fish and Chips. We watched the pageant on their telly over a nice bottle of Peroni beer.
London is the greatest City in the world. We do some things far better than any other nation on earth. Sadly making such things a pleasant experience for the public is not one of them.