Supermarket in the morning, as usual for a Sunday. No especial unpleasantness or difficulty, which makes a nice change.
We go out for a photography stroll, as the sun’s shining – take the Jubilee to Canary Wharf, but the DLR’s down (the original plan was a trip along the DLR), so we get out there. I take a snap in the tube station, and a bearded operative tells me to stop. I ask why. Firstly, apparantly, it interferes with the security cameras (what the… how they hell can a camera interfere with anything. More than a mobile phone, anyways?), and secondly “security reasons”. I ask for clarification, but don’t get any really. “They tried to blow this building up in 1996”, he says, obviously slightly miffed. What, with cameras? I want to say, but don’t. The other thing that I don’t point out is that, given the nature of recent terrorist attacks, he should be more worried about the rucksack I’m carrying than the camera I’m holding. Bah.
Yes, pointless hassle makes me feel so much more secure.
We go out into the sunshine, instead.
It’s a long time since I’ve been here. There was a lot less of it then (and it was wholly antiseptic). Now that the trees have grown a bit, and the place has been lived in it’s a totally convincing city, albeit a totally convincing city in a totally different country.
Most of the architecture is in International Consumerist Style, and as H points out it could just as well be Liverpool (or Cardiff or Bristol or Hamburg or…).
Perhaps that’s not a bad thing.
Drink by the water, then go to catch the DLR replacement bus. Nice chap with an eastern-European accent sends us to the wrong bus stop – lots of people with luggage, trying to get to London City Airport, caught out by the DLR cancellation. The rail replacement buses aren’t stopping there, though. We decide to give up that line of enquiry. As we pass through the DLR building, a woman is arguing with a DLR representative: she’s telling him that the buses aren’t stopping, he’s telling her that his job is to tell people to go over there, and it’s none of his business that the buses aren’t actually stopping over there, which she’s disagreeing with. He’s remarkably aggressive about it, though.
As we pass, I tell the nice but misinforming eastern european chap that the buses aren’t stopping, as he’s trying to explain to a couple who don’t speak English or any other language that he speaks, that the DLR is suspended today, and that they should manhandle their suitcases up those steps, through that building, down the steps at the other side and across the road to the bus stop. Where the buses aren’t stopping.
We take the Jubilee to Southwark and have a very late lunch at a hotel near the river. Basically a pub, but, as H says, with hotel-quality service. Which is nice.
Walk along near the river, but not too close as there’s the Thames Festival on, which means a lot of people. One fellow has a can of Tennants in one hand and a can of stimulant drink in the other.
Decide not to go to the parade or fireworks display.
Quiet evening in, and let myself get to bed very late again.