Sutherlands Hit London; London Survives

So here we are in London.

M, as he has indicated in his daylog, is here for a web usability conference. B and I just came along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been. We’ve been relentlessly social.

  • On Saturday, we arrived at Stanstead and made our way to London. To my astonishment and amusement, the hotel we’re staying in (Jury’s in Kensington) is right opposite the hotel where I once had a course (the Regency in Kensington). To B’s astonishment and amusement, the elevator has mirrors on all sides, producing an infinity of B’s to flirt with.
    Jules arrived just as we were settled into the hotel room. After some dithering, we all went out to the Science Museum, just up the road from our hotel. It was disappointing in places – it could have done with more interacitvity. But B loved the working steam engine, big as the ground floor of our house, red, hissing and clacking!

  • On Sunday, B and I met up with James (M was at the first day of his conference). At my suggestion, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, “the attic of the Empire” (James’ term). Amazing place. They have full-sized plaster casts of the fronts of cathedrals. There’s a plaster cast of Hadrian’s Column, in two pieces (upper and lower). The plaster casts take up only two rooms; the rest of the museum is full of equally grand, disassociated things.
    I was worried about how James would react to B. He’s not automatically charmed by babies and children, from what I hear. But B took one look at him and gave him a huge grin, after which James was his devoted slave.
    M joined us for dinner, as did Guy (after some dithering). We had a wonderful time in the pizza restaurant, talking about the good old days (and telling Guy all the embarassing stories on James) for ages.

  • Yesterday, Monday, B and I went to Highgate to meet up with Gritchka, a friend from my online community Everything2. The three of us had a great time: we wandered around Highgate cemetery, where Gritch pointed out the graves of obscure but interesting people. Then we went on to Hampstead Heath, peering at an 18th century house on the way. The weather was bright and crisp, the scenery good, and the company excellent.
    We had planned to go visit Jules in the evening, down where he lives in Guildford. But it became clear that B was overstimulated, after 3 days of constant interaction with half of London. So we stayed at home and let him roll around on the hotel room rug.

  • Today, B and I took advantage of the fine Tuesday weather to go to Hyde Park. I had noticed that there was a horseriding trail marked on the map, and I thought the bunny might like to see some horses. We were most of the way there when M called; he was on an extended lunch break, and could he meet us? We got sandwiches and went to the park.
    B saw a whole menagerie’s worth of animals today:

    1. Ducks, gannets, seagulls and pigeons, when I distributed the bread from my sandwich by the Serpentine
    2. A parrot, two rabbits, and three rats in the pets department at Harrod’s
    3. A horse, from a distance
    4. Numerous dogs

    Of all of them, the horse made the least impact.

The days have been great. Good weather, Bunny a comforting weight in the backpack, a virtuous soreness in my legs and feet form all the exercise. The nights, on the other hand, have been difficult. He isn’t sleeping well. I don’t know if its the hotel cot (rickety; if he could stand in it it would be unsafe), the room (occasionally too hot), or the overstimulation, but he wakes up crying loudly in the middle of the night. Repeatedly. Last night wasn’t too bad; the deliberate choice to spend an evening in seems to have had a good effect.

It worries me, because the trip to California is going to be a series of day-long meetings of the Alexander Beowulf Fan Club, what with all the residents of the Piedmont house. He may very well wig out under the excitement; we shall have to allow decompression times to compensate.