London: Day Two (B)

So, a day later than expected and still nothing to do with books (normal service will be resumed shortly), here’s more about my London trip.

Given my tendency to exhaustion, anxiety and subsequently, panic, I try to organise everything well. Knowing I knew London like the back of someone else’s hand, I decided my best bet was to utilise the hotel’s car service (which they assured me was cheaper than a cab, anyway). Cheap is relative, and it was definitely not cheap in my book! We gave ourselves an additional 30 minutes to accommodate traffic jams, etc, and promptly left the hotel at 4pm. Alarm bells began to ring when the driver said, “Do you have a map of the o2?” “Yes,” I said, as I’m just that organised. He studied it intently as we queued to go over Tower Bridge and then suddenly turned the car around and headed in the opposite direction! He took us everywhere and frequent checks to our watches told us that we were cutting it close, time-wise. I texted Gordon to say: He hasn’t got clue where he’s goin’. Gordon didn’t need to text back to tell me what he was thinking… 5pm (puck off, or whatever they call it – maybe I misheard, and the person I asked thought it was a silly question???) passed us by whilst we waited at the millionth red traffic light.

After a journey that took more time than a family game of Monopoly, we arrived at The O2 20 minutes AFTER the game had started. As for the game, I’m not a fan of hockey (NHL opener: Anaheim Ducks v LA Kings) but I did enjoy the atmosphere, the huge hot dogs, the intermittent Linkin Park music, and the zamboni machines! Afterwards was like one of my worst nightmares: 20,000 fans all leaving the arena through one exit! Then, our driver (who was meant to pick us up at 8pm) didn’t arrive until 8.45pm. I was at the if-he’s-not-here-in-5-minutes-I’ll-cry stage, when he arrived. Surprise, surprise: the return journey took about 25 minutes. We were not happy bunnies! 5* hotel does not denote 5* car service, apparently. Insult was added to injury the following day, but more about that tomorrow…