Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Keys to the Kingdom

But before I start, do you remember my Food Tag? I have been quoted on the restaurant's website!

Cumin Indian Restaurant

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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.

15 comments:

amillionpieces said...

Oh, Olivia, it sounds like you had a very fun date! :) He sounds like a nice chap. I also bet everyone reading has some degree of different personalities ;) Apart from me, of course. Ahem.

Ricercar said...

sounds ;ike you had fun! thats an interesting observation about your american boy and his dual personalities! i have seen your snaps and you look like a baby, that true :)

MattJ said...

mmmmmmmm....curry... - I may have to try this place you have given such a glowing review, though no Tikka Massala for this cat! :p

Khaki slacks and a blazer eh? Well at least now you have found his flaw and it isn't hidden anymore, and in the long run it's balanced out by his clear good taste in other areas. :p hehe! (come on! I couldn't keep the nice up for ever!)

Split personalties? hmmmm. There is Work me, which bears a resemblance to 'Meeting someone's parents' me on occasion. Then there is the 'meeting new people' me where I become incredibly animated in an effort to keep them laughing. there are several others, all of them with gaping flaws that burn the eyes but none of whom wear khakis :p

MattJ said...

Oh yeah, forgot! July 4th should be awesome, they do know how to celebrate and everyone loves fireworks! hje must have something fairly awesome planend to be keeping it quiet?

Olivia said...

Pete - yeah, and we don't always get to see everyone's other side.

***

Ricercar - grrrr, I do not look like a baby. You want me to come up there and slap you?

***

Matt - tikka masala is the least of it. They do a very succulent salmon tandoori which mixes up like a treat with the sauces they provide - if during starters you ask for enough sauce refills you'll have enough for the main.

Not technically khaki slacks, rather sand coloured dress slacks.

So your profile photo represents the grumpy burning eyes Matt?

I know what the July 4th plan is, just not telling yet. :P

lunaliar said...

My July 4: Trying to stay dry. You know how Dallas is readily associated with arid climates and tumbleweeds? We've been on the receiving end of a monsoon of sorts here in North Texas. The trinity is four times it's normal breadth.

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you were okay, too, because I heard about the carbomb in London's theatre district. You should post some details about what you've experienced.

Much love from the swampland,

Jo

Dee said...

I am so jealous. I did the regular tourists' version of the key ceremony when I was in London 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

mmmmm fun date! Kissyfur is jealous! xoxoxo

Olivia said...

Luna - Hey Jo - yes, I am ok thanks. In fact, this evening I walked right past the area where the car bombs were defused earlier today.

Other than that, I have experienced nothing, no travel disruptions, no excitement.

I heard that a few days ago a boy was drowned in a swollen creek in Garland, near where my Gran lives.

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Dee - Welcome! There really was not much difference apart from the fact that we went to the club for drinks...I heard that people are on waiting lists for years for this, and our guys just emailed them a couple of days before!

***

Kissyfur!!! Where you been chico??? Missed you. xoxoxox

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia...wow,u're quoted on an Indian restaurant's website?:)Grin at American boy's 'dual'personalities...yes,dress does make a world of difference....me and my dual personalities?Hehe..will tell someday.Grin at Ricercar's comments....well,I do agree with her,u do look like a baby,in some of the snaps...:):):)Cheers.

The Moody Minstrel said...

See, m'lady, even that restaurant recognizes that you have class!

Hmm...that reminds me. You have told me before that you are a sort of split personality, i.e. divided between your classy side and your naughty side. Perhaps that's why things are currently working out so well between you and R. Your various personalities were made for each other!

So is it a case of corresponding opposites attracting, or the likes following likes? Aw, now I'm getting confused!

Guyana-Gyal said...

I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed for you.......

lunaliar said...

Hey Liv,

With these rains, lots of people in N. Texas have been injured and displaced, and a few have died. The boy was swept away in floodwaters in Duck Creek. He and a friend were playing near the flooded area, and when rescuers tried to toss him a line to bring him in, he let go of the structure he was holding on to much too soon and was swept away. The sad part is that his parents are blaming the rescuers, who are trained to only enter fast-moving waters as a last resort.

Glad to hear you're okay. Do be careful!!!

-Jo

Olivia said...

Hey Jo

I knew it was Duck Creek!

Today I walked right past the site where the first car bomb was found. the only sign of recent upheaval was a yellow traffic cone on the curb. Other than that, people and traffic passed by, business as usual.

Lotus Reads said...

Olivia! How fun that the Cumin Restaurant noticed your write up...how did you find out that they had found out about your blog? (gosh, there must be an easier way to word that question!)

American boy sounds like an absolute gentleman, I really love reading about your evenings out, they always sound like so much fun!