JJ in London

The London Eye Outside Downing Street Coldstream and Grenadier Guards They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace Mounted Policeman At Highbury Jean-Jacques Wenger Move over Thiery, I have arrived.
Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture On the terraces I could make a study of tendeuses On the bus One of the trophy cabinets Football Strips over the years Almost home - Cap gris nez Page 1

A visit to Highbury

Big Ben strikes the hour

Big Ben strikes the hour

28 September 2005

Having spent Tuesday at the zoo, we were going to wander down along Whitehall and the like for Wednesday.

When asked what he really wanted to see JJ had always said that he would like to visit Trafalgar Square as he knows it from one of the racing games on the console.

Although we had spent a while there the night before to see it illuminated, he still wanted to visit in daylight.

Our first stop was Westminster Bridge arriving just about in time for Big Ben to strike 11 o'clock.

You have to be almost under the tower to be able to hear the bells these days what with all the noise of the traffic.

We wandered around the side of the Houses of Parliament so that he could see the statue to Richard the Lionheart - his mother raised a monument to him in our local village of Crécy.

Richard Coeur de Lion

Richard Cœur de Lion

From there we walked up Whitehall, stopping for a moment at Downing Street to let a horde of Chinese take their photos of each other, passers by and anything else that moved.

We then followed them up to Horse Guards where we had just missed the changing of the guard.

Again we had to wait on the same group of Chinese visitors to get their photos done, many being more that a wee bit worried every time the horse shifted

One lady did try touching the guardsman's boots which brought a swift reprimand from him.

I walked us through Horse Guards explaining the idea behind the Trooping of the Colour when I thought I could make out the sound of music coming from the other end of the Mall.

Eh! Don't Tooch!

Eh! Don't Tooch!

Off we hurried on the chance that they were changing the guard at Buckingham Palace. Johnny and I had hung about for ages when we were there only to discover that it wasn't taking place.

JJ was luckier and we found the Coldstream Guards taking over from the Grenadiers.

JJ was a bit disgusted to find that the two Colour Bearers were prepared to answer questions from the crowd when they reached the fence on their patrols. I explained that this was called Public Relations.

Waiting on the Old Guard to come out and past us we chatted for a moment with a lassie from Quebec - JJ reckoned that he could understand more in English than her French, the accent and use of words being so different.

The trip down the Mall had been a bit unplanned on my itinerary and had left us running a little behind time. What JJ didn't know was that I had booked a tour round Highbury Stadium, home of that French Team: Arsenal.

Thiery Henry's corner

Thierry Henry's corner

We eat rather hurriedly in Wetherspoon's again and caught the Tube up to the ground.

I told JJ en route that we were going to Cockfosters so that he could see the terminus. I think that the centime finally dropped when we got off at the station called Arsenal.

It was a very good tour lasting about two hours and taking you around all the main areas of the stadium.

The only place we were not allowed was actually on to the pitch - real grass raised from Dutch seeds.

There were two guys going round with the mowers and both of us were fascinated. The lines are as straight as you could wish.

They must have been capable because we noted that the pair of them had the same professional stare of Sandra in full tendeuse mode (That's a mower to the rest of youse).

We were allowed into the Press room, changing rooms, onto the bench - which in fact is a set of seats at Highbury - and got to see the museum and many of the clubs trophies.

This is the club's last season at Highbury and to commemorate the event they have gone back to their original maroon coloured jerseys. As a souvenir of his visit I bought Jean-Jacques one of the new tops. We may well need a crowbar to prise him out of it.

If he doesn't stop fidgiting, I'll bite his head off

If he doesn't stop fidgeting, I'll bite his head off

A beaming JJ in tow we made our way back into London to finally get around to visiting Trafalgar Square in daylight.

Just one more thing to do and that was to get upstairs on a Routemaster bus. The new ones are all very flash but they aren't real.

Next time he can do lots of things we didn't have time for. Next time he is buying the beers.

The following morning we set off for Dover and the Seacat home. The crossing was excellent and neither of us had a second viewing of our sandwiches.

We got home just in time to do an about face and head to Avondance to finish off Peter's birthday celebrations.

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See also

Peter's Birthday Party

Route du Poisson