There’s something rather exciting about meeting your guild mates. These people that you spend hours talking to over teamspeak, you’ve messaged each other, you know what you look like.
Then you decide to name a date to go somewhere and hang out.
This date was today, the 11th of April. The date of the grand national and the boat race. Our mission however was to have some fun in London. Even though Francis was wondering if we would be able to see the grand national while we were here!
We didn’t have any plan of what to do, just see where we ended up.
We met at King’s Cross. Francis/Yjelza arrived first, announcing that he was outside the station. This prompted the question of where? There were three places he could be near. The giant bird cage, the taxi rank or by the holy grail of Costa. It was the bird cage. As my train pulled into Kings, he mentioned the bird cage had a swing. Jokingly I said to get on it, as I walked around (past Costa and the taxi rank) I could see someone on their phone, swinging merrily.
“Are you on the swing?” I asked. “Yep” “I see you!” First person found!
All I could say while grinning like a Cheshire Cat was “You’re an idiot” as he tried to get off the swing but got his headphones tangled up in the chains. A quick phone call later and we discovered Blunnerz was here as well but was getting food. The quest to find him was on. Propping up the counter at Wasabi, we waited until his posh ‘Super Noodles’ were ready and headed back outside to wait for Rawls to show.
There was a slight groan when we thought we needed to head to Euston to collect him. As we crossed the road we dipped into Costa to get a pilgrimage coffee and it was while we were in there we learned that he was going to get to King’s Cross. That coffee need saved us a wasted trek!
We sat back down at our bird cage bench while Blunnerz ate his posh super noodles. He picked out a lemon slice with his chop sticks. “Should I eat this?” He asked. Almost instantly the reply was “yes.” He did indeed eat it and then discovered the woes of #lemonburps. Francis decided to go for a loo break while we were waiting. Going in one door, he seemed to take forever to come back again. “Do you think he’s lost?” Blunnerz asked. “yep” I said, nodding. Francis chose that moment to reappear from a completely different direction. “I got lost!” he yelled as he came towards us, I can only assume we both looked completely confused as to how he got lost in what is essentially a very wide corridor.
I finished my coffee and went to recycle my cup and when I turned around to walk back, Chris/Rawls had sat down in my place. “You’re in my seat!” I joked as I came up. We were all here and we were ready to rock and roll.
As we didn’t know really what we wanted to do I suggested the river. The river as in The Thames. It was a 45 minute walk but also a nice scenic one. And in good company wouldn’t seem like any time at all. Walking down there with myself as the ‘tour guide’ we headed off. I’d walked this route many many times, Francis however decided to ask halfway down ‘are we nearly there yet?’ “No”.
While walking we went down a side road to take us onto Fleet Street. With Francis pointing to something vaguely as we were walking down, saying ‘what is that?’ we weren’t sure what exactly he was pointing at. “A building?” Blunnerz said. “No shit sherlock” He replied with a swift “what???” to my reply of “a cloud?” (I had no idea what he was pointing at!) Arriving at St. Paul’s we stopped for a moment to take in the sun and read the flurry of messages that had come through.
Francis was rather excited over a Shaun the Sheep that was outside. He asked if we had seen the film. It was a unanimous ‘no’ to which Francis said that it was really good. Uh hu…!
Walking onwards a truck went past us electronically muttering something. “Did that truck say it was reversing?” Blunnerz asked what we were all thinking. “It’s a very confused truck” He then spotted a bridge. “That looks like an important bridge…”
“That’s the Millennium Bridge”
Francis started wandering off. “Guys, we going to cross?”
At that moment the traffic light God’s were with us and we could cross the road over to it straight away. The wind was quite strong and the sun was constantly going behind the clouds, Francis decided to walk in the sun. Gloating for all of five seconds as the clouds came up and plunged his nice ‘warm side’ into shadows. Going over the bridge there was a people traffic jam, a person cooking something in caramel that smelled delicious and also a pigeon that ‘attacked’ Francis. I spotted something in the river. “Is that a syringe?” I asked, squinting in the water below. “Oh, no, its a bottle”. Rawls laughed, “that would have to be some syringe!” “One for an elephant?” I quipped, miming using a syringe the size of a tree trunk.
Going in we headed to the bar and ordered drinks, we chose to sit outside as even though it was fairly windy, it was a sweat box inside. Heading out we picked our bench and procceded to wipe off the rain from the seats. Rawls somehow managed to wipe his dry and then spill beer on it. I went to the loo and brough back tissue to dry my spot. We were chatting about all sorts, Francis tried to mouth something to Rawls who had to give up after many attempts and announce that he cant lip read. Blunnerz told us about the time he unexpetedly opened up a blood orange and went to laugh about it with Rawls, even though Rawls would not know why it was so funny as all he would see was a green fruit. It was at that moment when we were all very much ‘not prepared’ that a huge gust of wind sprang up. My pint glass fell over and smashed against the ashtray, emptying is contents all over Francis and his bag. Rawls managed to catch Blunnerz’ bottle (which was pretty much empty) and forgot his own which sprayed him in beer. All we could do was laugh. There was glass everywhere. Rawls realised that it wasn’t just his hoodie that soaked up most of it. He looked like he had wet himself after the bottle just poured out into his lap for a split second before being stood up again. It turned out to be the most expensive pint I’ve had after only managing to drink a quarter of it before inadvertently throwing it all over a guild mate.
The conversation turned to physics. Blunnerz and I looked at each other and shrugged. I then started watching some geese by the river. “Oh we’ve lost Ella” Rawls laughed. “I was just watching the duck/geese things down on the rock” I replied. “Where?” Rawls asked. “Down there on the rocks” Blunnerz pointed out for him. “I can only see one, they’re very well camouflaged” “they are, the whole river is covered by them” We joked.
We then had to decide what to do next. We were discussing going to a museum but the ones we wanted were in Kensington. I was checking Google maps to see how long it would take to get to them when Francis had an amazing idea. “Let’s go to London Bridge! It’s only over there”
“It would take us 1 hour 45 minutes to walk” I announced.
“How slow do you think we are?”
“Were only going to the bridge!”
“Ohhhh. Well then, not that long…”
We headed off. Francis was obsessed with going up stairs and had to be called back down. Asking the way we found a little fountain comprised of small jets of water coming out of the floor.
It was too tempting as we stood around it. I flicked Francis with it. I had promised him he was going to get dunked so this was as close as I could get. This lead to a mini water fight. I scooped up a handful and flicked it his way. He did the same but as I skipped out of the way he only managed to hit an unsuspecting family with it. Apologising profusely as we briskly made our escape he caught up with us. Blunnerz and Rawls having made a quicker exit when they could see how this was going to end.
I didn’t take this photo but where the woman in red is sat, that’s where the unsuspecting family were that got a face full of water…
We got to London Bridge eventually. There has never been seen so much disappointment and confusion over a bridge before.
“Why are we here?” Francis asked.
“This is London Bridge” Rawls replied.
“What? What’s that then?” Francis blurted pointing at the well known London landmark.
“That’s Tower Bridge” Came the chorus of replies.
“What the fuck. Why would this be London Bridge? I wouldn’t care if this one fell down! It’s just a bridge!”
“Do you want to go to Tower Bridge…?” Rawls added.
We walked back down again. Passing sone sort of performance/meeting going on outside of city hall. We stopped for a while listening and enjoying the sun.
Moving on we were closer to Tower Bridge and Blunnerz spotted something.
“That bridge has a giant penis on it!”
We all looked.
“Where?” Rawls asked.
“In the middle. It looks like a glowing penis…”
As we walked up to it, the lure of stairs again meant that people started to go up. I was busy reading a sign telling us we were going into ‘the exhibition’ and was not paying any attention to where I was walking. I walked straight into a bollard. Grabbing hold of someone’s shoulder to stop myself falling over we negotiated our way through the crowd and walked up the steps to the actual bridge. Crossing over it. It didn’t seem as big as I’d imagined. Francis though was happy!
It was getting on to a very late lunch time so the McDonald’s app came out and we made a pit stop. The next port of call was Covent Garden, which Francis assured us was ‘over there and to the left’ setting him up as group leader we followed him off down the street.
We had in fact gone round in a big circle, coming back to the road we went down to get to Fleet Street. As we pressed onwards, Francis told us to cross the road and carry on. Unfortunately his maps hadn’t quite caught up to where we were and this was the wrong direction.
“It’s over here!” He called from his position at the front. I crossed my fingers and held them up so Blunnerz could see and the laughing from the back caused both Francis and Rawls to turn around.
We passed a building clad in orange and green plastic.
“That building is very…” Blunnerz started to say.
“Orange?” I added.
“OMG, Rawls! What colour is that building?!” He asked.
“Green?” Rawls replied, as that was the only colour he could see but knowing it was likely to be wrong.
“You’re half right, that big bit is orange.”
Taking the right street this time we realised we were right next to Forbidden Planet. A unanimous vote to go inside and have a look round, it was big. Upon going in we almost immediately were questioning where each other had disappeared to.
Blunnerz found Jesus.
Jesus was kinda cute.
Francis had disappeared into the black hole of the Star Trek section and many questionable noises were heard as he was picking up boxes and other trinkets.
We headed downstairs into the comics/books section, wandering around looking at all the weird and wonderful titles. We Found a book on shit taxidermy, highly amusing and very very wrong on equal levels. Then stumbling on a World of Warcraft poster book Francis almost had a mealtdown as the ‘do I – don’t I’ demons set in. There were a few other WoW books on the lower shelf and a I ducked down to check them out Francis lowered the poster book and inadvertently hit me on the head. Not realising what he had hit he lifted the book up to see. Realising it was me, he then boofed me on the head with it again for good measure. I decided to just waggle my foot at anything on lower shelves after that!
Coffee was calling by this time. It was heading on to 5pm and we needed a second wind. Heading into Covent Garden market we found another Costa and sat down to relax for a bit. The phone chargers came out and we spent the time looking through the 1000 images we had all sent and received in our little chat group.
My magical artwork of how to kill Garrosh and the MS Paint tactics for some of the Highmaul bosses where we played a little game of ‘guess what boss this is describing’.
Rawls had a train at 6pm. At 5:23 I checked how long it would take to get there from where we were.
“It takes 35 minutes to get back to King’s from here…” I announced.
“So I better leave now then?” Rawls questioned.
Blunnerz whipped out his phone and put us on target.
“It’s going to be five past six by the time we get there according to this” He said.
We walked down shady back streets. We were on our epic ground mounts as Blunnerz was informing us that we were ahead of schedule by a minute.
“Not quite enough!” Rawls said. “I’m probably one of the only ones who want their train to be cancelled so I can get a later one”
We came to a dead end in the road.
“Where do we go?”
Blunnerz checked the map.
“Through the pink building apparently”
“Let’s go thorough the pink hole!”
(There’s always one! And this time it wasn’t me!)
We could see the train station. It was so so close but we could also see the clock and that said six as we were waiting to cross the road.
“Hopefully we can get across both sides in one go” Blunnerz said.
“We need all this bullshit to go away first” I replied, gesturing at all the traffic going past us. I turned round to check how Rawls was holding up. I didn’t actually have to ask. The nervous laughter said it all. However all was not lost. Checking his train times, it left at 6:08. Francis was checking his phone as we walked up the street and managed to walk into a lamp post, right next to a bus full of commuters. As we got into the station Rawls ran off to check the departure boards. Running back we got time for a swift goodbye before he had to chase after his train.
The rest of us had a while. Francis had to wait for an hour and Blunnerz and I had open returns (clever people!) We decided to find a pub. There was a sign for happy hour. We needed no more temptation.
We sat there, cocktails in front of us and contemplated our WoW experience so far, as fought the wind and a wobbly table. Four cocktails later, Francis realised he still had to get back across London to make his train. Time to go!