Saturday, April 27, 2013

Miracle on Oxford Street/Britain HASN’T Got Talent

The Royal Opera House

We travelled into London today to see our fave Opera: The Magic Flute.

We would have normally travelled from Kettering but engineering work meant that there was no way of getting back tonight due to a lack of trains. And so, a new railway station has now been added to my recently visited list: Huntingdon. An hour later, we arrived at the now familiar revamped King’s Cross station (well, familiar to me, but Ann hasn’t been this far south for a while!). We then slipped into shopping-mode by way of Selfridges for some inspiration for the office/bedroom conversion. 

Hard to believe, but Ann actually got me to travel by bus on our journey down Oxford Street - a miracle!!!
British Museum 
Then it was off to the British Museum for a few hours of exploration . This is such a great museum, with so much to see - we hardly scratched the surface in the time we were there. 

TAS Restaurant 
All shopped-out, it was then a quick cab ride to Tas in Bloomsbury for a spot of Turkish cuisine (excellent food and service!) before heading to the the Royal Opera House for the main event. On leaving the restaurant, the heavens opened and in the short ten-minute walk to the Opera House - and we got soaked.
IMAG0344 
Steaming dry, we were seated up in the Balcony, and although it wasn’t a perfect view, it did allow us to see trap-doors opening and other activity in the wings before the posh people seated downstairs. As expected, the production was fab! Full of great tunes, and unlike many operas, not full of death and (too much) misery! A simple tale of girls-kill-serpent/boy-meets-girl/guy-catches birds - both sorts!!!

The Production ended just after 10.30. We grabbed a cab and headed for Kings Cross, catching the train with literally seconds to spare. The train was packed and we managed to get the last two seats in a middle carriage - that was our big mistake (or good fortune, depending on your viewpoint). On settling down, we realised that this particular part of the train was full (and I do mean full) of drunks. Whether it was one big group or whether, the smell of alcohol attracted a number of groups to each other, this was a drunk-a-thon big time! and this was NOT opera!

With two guys paralytic on the floor by the doors, flanked by another group further up the carriage consisting mainly of girls, it quickly turned into a singing competition and who could utter the most expletives in the same sentence. The guys took the early lead with a range of football chants, whilst the girls murdered some 80s classics (ironically, ‘Don’t you Want Me Baby?’ was a popular choice!).

The typically British passengers did what all Brits do on these occasions: smiled sweetly and then pretended to go to sleep, hoping our X-Factor rejects would all leave at the next station. They didn’t - nor the one after - nor the one after that - and when the football chants switched to including Peterborough in the words, we all knew this was their destination and Britain’s-Got-Talent-Lite was NOT going to end quickly!

Luckily the girls DID get off after a few more stops, leaving us with a number of guys in an advanced state of decay, crashed out on the seats attempting to have conversations with each other. It was hilarious: they had all the words - just not in the right order! We bailed out at Huntingdon as planned, leaving the new found conversationists to entertain the remaining passengers for another thirty minutes as the train headed for Peterborough. What fun!!!

Once in the car, we had a smooth and uneventful (good!) journey home before crashing out at 12.30am - very late for us!

It’s been an interesting day: we’ve seen both end of the singing-spectrum, sampled great food, got soaked and taken in some culture too! What’s not to like!!!!