Ace Yank on the Ground Peg-o-Leg reporting live from ground zero, otherwise known as my hotel room, one block from St. Mary’s Hospital. The Royal Eagles and hatchling have flown the coop. Repeat…the Royal Eagle has flown the coop.
Although, the eagle is more of an American symbol, isn’t it? What’s a British bird? Is a cassowary a bird? Is that how you spell it? Do you have any here in London, cuz I think I saw one on the tube this afternoon (the “tube” is English for “small, tin rocket filled to overflowing with thousands of smelly, sweaty other people, all in a big, honkin’ hurry to get where they’re going and they don’t care how many clueless American tourists they trample in their haste to get there.”) Can’t think of any other birds in all the excitement around here.
The thing is, His Tiny Majesty Pip, who poops rubys (thank you Speaker…you are my idol), just left the hospital with Billy and Kay Kay. And I caught it all on film. Well, not really me, exactly.
After getting into London and taking the 10 minute walk from the station to the hotel (HAHAHAHAHA! No, really. Apparently everywhere you stay, anywhere in Brittania, is a short, 10 minute hike from whatever form of transportation you used to get here. At least that’s what I’ve heard on all 3 of
our stops, and it hasn’t been true yet. But I digress…) we found the place and got checked in. My dismay at the open front windows in the lobby, evidence of yet another a/c-free zone, was tempered by the sight of an honest to goodness lift. (that’s what us UKelelies call the elevator.) Did I mention that our place in Brighton was on the 4th floor? With no a/c? With no lift? (remember that means an elevator which, as it turns out, is a very handy piece of machinery to have about.) With stairs that started out 2 feet wide and got progressively narrower as we climbed higher, because in Englandia, only very small people are allowed about the 3rd floor, except when they’re fat, grumpy tourists? But I digress…
Our genial host, Akeel, showed us to our room. I was happy it was on the first floor. That was the end of all happiness, though, apparently for the rest of this fabulously expensive vacation. On the plus side, it had its own bathroom, for which I had paid dearly. On the minus side, was everything else.
Three twin beds were shoe-horned into a closet. There was no window. Let me repeat that. There. was. NO. window. There was a skylight open approx 4″, which would have to be closed when it started pouring again like it did yesterday. (as Joe Hoover mentioned, London has imported the Monsoon season along with all the inhabitants of such countries.) It was so, so hot in our squalid, wallpaper-peeling, windowless prison cell that after Akeel gently closed the doors, I just stood in the middle of the room (the 1×1 foot path open between the bed and the bathroom) and cried. My
daughters, more resilient than I, flopped onto their cots and tried to make contact with the elusive interwebz.
Tears mixed with buckets of sweat and rolled down my face, then down my back, through my bra, the back of my knees, and drenched my Easy Spirit Fun-timer sandals in a miasma of hot, monkey misery. Sorry if that’s TMI, but I’m trying to set the stage at how low I had fallen. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I marched back out to the lobby and said, with a sweet smile, “Akeel, do you have anything with a window? It has to be hotter than the sun in there!” I think the pitifulness of my sweat-soaked self, or else the fear of the monster lawsuit I would unleash if I got heatstroke in this hotel, touched Akeel. He took us up one floor to Nirvana.
Seriously. 10 foot ceilings with plaster leaves and fruit moldings. 9 foot windows that open, blessedly, high enough to step out onto a tiny balcony, a little sitting area and a modern, clean bathroom. I just lost it then, sobbing on Akeel’s shoulder in grattitude. I think when I fell to the floor and clung to his foot as he tried to leave the room it unnerved him a little – he mumbled something about shameless foreign hussies who dare to touch a strange man.
Anyway, I went for a hike to get to know my way around and got totally cheesy from the heat, the exertion and the Tube. As I was coming out of Paddington Station, people were gathering along the street in the expectation that Sir Poops-a-Lot was going to be going home that way. I hung around with my camera like the rest of the pathetic rabble, but the thought of the shower awaiting me at the hotel was too much to resist. I abandoned my post, I’m ashamed to say.
But fear not. It seems my sophisticated 23-year-old daughter, Liz, has caught the royal-watching bug. She left her lunch and a full pitcher of Pimms with me and other-daughter Gwen, in order to hang around the hospital down the block most of the afternoon. She snared pics of the royal grandparents coming in and out. Then she dashed back to get Billy and Kay-Kay an hour ago. The results may be grainy…ok, so you can’t tell if it’s actually a picture of Kate and William or a couple of cassowaries, but these pics are real a Three twin beds were shoe-horned into a closet. nd hot off the presses. Don’t say we don’t work hard for you here in London.
And now, cub reporter Liz is demanding delayed payment so we’re heading out for more Pimms. Pip,pip and cheerio!