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The One with the London Excursions


Upon posting last week’s blog about the most memorable toilet mishaps, one of my friends mentioned an unfortunate trip to London and suggested I retell the tale for your Sunday entertainment. This is a good idea, but it’s also dawned on me that none of my excursions to The Big Smoke have been overly successful, but all have been eventful. I’ve picked out three of my favourites.

The one with drunken divorce threats:

Picture this. For my ninth birthday my parents surprised me with my first visit to London, so we did the stuff that tourists do. Dad used my chair as a battering ram to get to the front of the crowds at Buckingham Palace in the hope that Liz (as he likes to call her) would curtsy in his magnificent presence. The London Eye was good too, although a decent piece of advice to all you folk on wheels would be to ensure your brakes are well and truly on. I do remember feeling a tad sea sick as I span around in circles in time with the Wheel. We went to Harrods and The Bear Factory at which I dressed my bear in a cute ensemble of a khaki puffer jacket and a pair of corduroy trousers. It was going swimmingly.

The climax of the weekend was a meal out followed by a viewing of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the West End. In accordance with my birthday celebrations and on behalf of his underage daughter, Dad got into the spirit of things by having one too many. This resulted in minor bickering and scornful glares being fired across the table.

By the time we reached the theatre, the bickering had escalated into a full-blown screaming match which culminated in threats of divorce papers. You may think this was traumatic, but I found it hilarious. At the point when Dad stormed off to what was probably the nearest pub to calm his rage, he abandoned the chair, and by association me, halfway up a very steep curb which meant I was at great risk of toppling backwards onto a cobbled road. At that moment I prayed that nobody thought I was auditioning to be the understudy for the flying car when I somersaulted through the air.

The one with the heart attack:

Flash forward six years and my cousin and I were walking and wheeling down Drury Lane when Shrek appeared who, as it turned out, was busy filming promo for his musical. Instead of turning around, we made it our business to hobnob and in doing so, we bumped into Adam Kenwright who was directing the trailer. In his opinion, we were the best thing since sliced bread and deserved free tickets, so naturally, we took him up on the offer and booked for a few months later.

What’s so bad about that, I hear you ask? Well, my cousin lived in Carlisle, the show was obviously in London and I was in Lincoln which is a midpoint between the two. In an effort to save my cousin time and unnecessary train journeys, we made the sensible decision to meet at Kings Cross. This plan was fine with all parties involved apart from Mum. For an entire week prior to travelling, I heard nothing other than how I would be raped, kidnapped and/or die because I was taking the train on my own.

After some medicinal gin to steady her nerves, she reluctantly put me on the train and demanded that the elderly couple sitting opposite me had to watch my every move. Half an hour into the journey I desperately needed to pee. It was the worst possible timing but knowing that my cousin’s train was significantly behind schedule, I sheepishly asked my new babysitters for assistance.

They couldn’t have been more pleased to help, albeit a tad perplexed as to how they were going to get me into the tiny loo. The gentleman manned the door that wouldn’t shut, whilst the lady lifted me onto the toilet. I was mid-pee when she announced that she’d recently had a heart attack and wasn’t supposed to do anything strenuous. If the portaloo could’ve swallowed me up right there and then I’d have been very grateful.

The one with the puke:

In comparison to the tales above, this one is the least eventful, but by far the most unfortunate. My friend and I had planned the trip for months. I had just moved into independent living and it was beginning to feel like I was simply transferring the chaos from one place to another as opposed to escaping it all together. The break was supposedly a chance to chill out and have some fun.

It definitely began that way. We had a wander around, did some shopping, went for an Italian meal and went back to the hotel to start again the next day. 4am arrived and I felt really quite queasy. I woke my friend up and we both deduced that I must have overheated. All I can say was that it was wishful thinking.

After I’d projectile vomited all over the bed, the floor and my friend in an attempt to get to the bathroom, we thought it’d be best if I stayed on the loo until my bodily functions had stopped going into overdrive. Three hours later, we gave up on that ever happening and came home. I went through more outfits that day than I have done in my life and I’m pretty sure I’ve puked on every street corner in London. The beauty of permanently having a seat though is that you don’t need to try to remain vertical when you’re feeling like death. The downside is that all your friends have to get in on the action.

Enjoy your roast dinners folks!

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