But before I start, do you remember my Food Tag? I have been quoted on the restaurant's website!
Cumin Indian Restaurant
And now on to yesterday's excitement. After work I went to see American Boy; I was already dressed for the evening out, but he had to get all prettied up. You know how Americans like to go smart casual in khaki pants, navy blue blazer, nice tie (yellow), loafers. OK first off, he's 27, but when we met him G and I thought he was in his early 30s because on his best behaviour he acts that way. When smart, he's a Ralph Lauren/Brooks Bros/Jermyn Street kinda guy, but proper dress down is the college uniform of frayed jeans, t-shirt or polo shirt and baseball cap with matching boyish humour. Like two totally different people looking about 10 years apart and two vastly different personalities.
By the way, a lady at House of Fraser yesterday thought I was 18 or 19. And you all know I am not. I can have this conversation with people every day, for some reason.
[Now it is YOUR turn to tell me about your dual personalities...I dare you!]
You may have noticed that the day was gloomy but it did not rain - well, the moment we stood on the kerb/curb to hail a taxi, the rain came down in sheets, and an empty taxi did not appear for at least 10 minutes. We had a big umbrella but were still damp and crinkled when we finally got into one. And then the driver would NOT shut up, he went on and on about things I need not afflict you with. R played along with a few comments which only fuelled the fire, and then after we got out he said, "Good lord, that driver would not shut the **** up."
It had taken ages to get to the Tower via the traffic diversions, and then we only had about 45 minutes to eat. We chose an old establishment that claimed to serve steaks but did not, and to top it all off it was the sort of bland English food that I thought no longer existed. Cold ham with piccalilli, grilled sea bass with nooo seasoning whatsoever...it was quiet, wood-panelled, dreary and with the rain, quite depressing, and the other people in there were American which actually ticked off R quite a bit, as we were forced to overhear the girl at the other table tell silly stories about giant cockroaches from Texas. Not that there aren't any, but we did not appreciate hearing about them whilst eating, ugh...And then there was the older lady who came in and nasally announced that she just haad to orderrr fish and chips.
As quick as we could we hot-footed it to the Tower. How can I stop R from carrying the umbrella even when we are not using it? He wields it rather too well and I have to be quick or he'll hook me with it. We got to the gate where W (from last Friday's double date, remember) and the Yeoman warder were waiting to let us in, and then we met W's relatives on holiday here from Virginia. W's wife O had dropped out, being too tired from all the walking around they did in the day. As soon as we got in the Yeoman put all his arms around me and teased me, and R said he could have me, and I made as though to punch R, and the Yeoman predicted a little domestic at the Tower tonight.
We went to the Yeoman's club on the grounds, where I guess the Tower's residents meet to socialise. It is full of memorabilia and plaques from all the official visitors such as police departments and clubs and the like worldwide. We joined about 15 other people on the same special tour. We had a sit down and some drinks while we waited for the Yeoman of the Guards to take us out. We remained a little apart from the hoi polloi, the general public there for the same spectacle, and our group of 7 received a special welcome for some reason.
It was hard to see, but W's aunt placed me and her daughter near the front. R stood on the short wall over the water at Traitor's Gate and was motioning me over to join him, but I am not sure I wanted to stand there, though later he said he would have prevented me from falling in. Yeah right.
I am faffing about because I can't quite tell you what happened. Let's see. It was getting dark; the rain had ceased. A cadre of Royal Marines came marching in to challenge the Chief Yeoman Warder bearing the keys. Once they had shoutily established in a longish back and forth that he was indeed a friend not a foe and that they were the keys of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the marines escorted him to the outer gate which he locked, then the inner gate, also locked, then we followed them all to the steps where they did a bit of marching about, a bugle call sort of like taps, and then they marched off. And we returned to the club for a last drink and chat.
W's relatives were tired as it was now nearly 10.30 pm, but the Yeoman once again took to attacking me, this time in an attempt at strangulation. R took a photo though we were on better behaviour then. Whilst I was talking to W's cousin, I overheard my name and asked what was going on, and R said "Nothing, just stand there and look pretty" but in the meantime I was being reserved for another double outing this weekend, and a few minutes later I overheard W ask, "Is she going?" and R looked over at me and said, "Yes, she is." I said, "To what?" Apparently, a July 4th do at a place that will be a story in itself so you will just have to come back and find out.