Well, if this post doesn’t cause me to be cut of of my parent’s will, then nothing will.
Sounds interesting? Well read on.
This weekend, Michelle came down to London to visit me. This was her first visit here since November- it seems an age since she was here. Also in London this weekend were my parents. They came down Friday teatime and stayed over before heading out to Switzerland on Monday on the Eurostar as part of my mother’s 70th birthday present.
First thing is my parents have talked about going to Switzerland, but I’ve not heard them mention coming back! Should I be worried that the Dignitas clinic is in Switzerland? I am rather concerned that I have not been able to forge wills for them leaving everything to me and cutting out my siblings yet. Guess I will have to get on with that this week just in case. All those fraud cases I defended in the past will have been worth it given the skills I have learned from them.
Anyway, back on with the story…
I met my parents at Kings Cross, took them to their hotel in Russell Square, then whilst they went for something to eat, I sat alone and unfed in Kings Cross waiting for Michelle’s delayed train to arrive. Once Michelle and I had said our hello’s we went to The Betjeman Arms pub in St Pancras Station where we were to meet my parents. An interesting night was spent there! The pub serves a decent pint of real ale at a reasonable price (well by London standards), but if you want a glass of wine, you need a mortgage! Three glasses of wine cost £21!!!!!!!! A very expensive night was had.
By the end of the night, my father (aged 72) had been invited to join a 30 something banker and his blonde girlfriend in heading to a nightclub. Michelle had “scored” with the licensee of the wine bar in St Pancras Station. It would have been less surprising if the licensee had been male rather a rather drunken Irish female. Still you learn a lot about people the more you get to know them. I’ll certainly have to keep an eye on Michelle with the ladies in future. (Perhaps it was the closing down sale she was interested in Michelle?).
At around 11:30 we left the bar, with my parents walking to their hotel and Michelle and I heading back to my house. [I should say that I had invited my parents to stay at my house, but they would rather stay in a hotel. Do I take it personally? Of course I do – see Jacqui, I told you that you were the favourite child not me]
Michelle and I arrived home around and had already received a text from my mother to say they were back at their hotel. As Michelle and I were having a late night omelette (Hello Gwen!) we received several texts from my father in Franglais and this revealing text from my father “Bar is jumping mother in bed”. Now, what is one to make of that? I know as people get older and children leave home parents get more freedom to do things, but I’d never have expected to find my parents were swingers!
On Saturday, my parents came over to my house for lunch – and yes, I cooked it, not Michelle! To those who doubt me, I can cook. Whilst my parents were here, I tackled my father about his text. He claimed to understand what he’s sent and confirmed it was true!
After lunch, we headed into Central London, but not before watching the first 30 minutes of the Newcastle v Arsenal game on the internet. By the time we left home, Newcastle were 0-4 down at home and heading for a humiliation.
On the tube train into London, there was an advert for product endorsed by Gok Wan . My father proceeded to announce he was “as straight as Gok Wan”. Now, in the space of 15 or so hours, I’d learned my mother was being jumped by a whole bar full of people and my father was of a similar sexual persuasion to the currently most high profile male on British TV. This really causes one to question the whole of their upbringing and values!!!!!!!
Seventy five minutes after leaving home, Tom called me to tell me that Newcastle were no longer losing 0-4 at home to Arsenal. I asked how many it was , 7 or 8? Tom told me it was now 4-4. “F*cking Hell” was probably not appropriate language to say to my son or to use in front of my parents, but it was probably the only words to use to describe what the papers are calling the greatest Premiership comeback. Newcastle getting a draw with a late equaliser, S*nderland losing to a last minute goal and Orient getting a last minute equaliser away at Bournemouth makes for a good day football wise and calls for a celebration.
On the way to the pub, my father chatting to Michelle, kept calling her Louise, the name of my ex-wife. Thanks- dad, I’ll get the blame for that later. After a few drinks in The Chandos Pub (which is one of my favourite bars upstairs in the theatre lounge) we headed over to Brick Lane for a curry.
If there was an Asian version of John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, then this is who we had serving us. After bringing the bottle of wine to the table and taking it away 3 times before opening it (no explanation given), he proceeded to clear away the starters, but expected us to use the dirty cutlery for the main course. A passable curry- too much sauce and not enough meat – was served. No option was given for us to order a desert before we were handed the bill, which purported to include the voluntary service charge as a compulsory item. I’m not sure what the service charge was for, there was not much service. This was deducted from the bill by Michelle before she would let us pay it! Stroppy Michelle? How can you say such a thing?
We walked from Brick Lane over to Liverpool Street Station and had a drink in the pub in the station; Hamilton Hall. This is another one of my favourite drinking holes. inside the bar, my father proceeded to suggest Michelle should “check out the cracking backside on that girl”. Now, perhaps the night before with the Irish lady was something more than Michelle had told me!!!!
As we were taking our drinks outside, some one shouted my name. Looking round I saw an acquaintance from the past. Not the sort of person I’d like my parents to know I previously associated with. Still it seems to be a weekend of truths, so perhaps my parents should know what I was like!!!!!!!
Next my father told Michelle and my mother that the man next to them “had a big one”!!!! This weekend is getting stranger and stranger. He went on to say he wondered if the man “would let him play with it”. By this point, I’m onto the Registrar of births trying to find evidence that I am adopted and not related to my parents. I hope I am!
We left the bar and went to the Underground station at Liverpool St to put my parents on the tube to their hotel. Now, it is possible on a Saturday night to buy the following morning’s newspapers at the Underground station. After buying the papers, my father said something last heard when the actress said it to the bishop “If I open it, can you shove it in”. He then went on to ask Michelle if her “pants were wet yet”.
We left them heading for their tube as we headed home. I had visions of getting a phone call from the sexual offences unit of the Metropolitan Police to say they had arrested my old man. fortunately we got home without such a call being received.
Sunday was a more leisurely day. We met my parents for lunch in Central London, which was not without incident. Michelle and I ordered garlic mushrooms as a starter. After a short wait, the manager came over and apologised saying the order was having to be recooked as the waiter had written it down wrong. As soon as she left, the waiter brought our food – perfectly correct and delicious. Just as we finished eating these, the manager brought two more identical starters and apologised for the delay and the error. The starters she brought were the same as the ones we had just eaten. Quite what the problem was, I have no idea.
After lunch we went to Hyde Park for a walk along the Serpentine Lake to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. Now you will recall she died in a car crash in 1997 and this prompted a mass hysteria of “grief” in this country. Monies were donated to a memorial fund for Diana’s memory.
This ring of water was what was built as a memorial. The cost to build it was???? Believe it or not £3.6 million pounds. They could have got a couple of Polish builders to do it for £1000 and they would have done a better job. Twice in the first year after its completion it had to be closed and what was designed as a paddling pool/ ring was no longer accessible to the public:
Because Diana was a contemporary and accessible princess, the fountain’s goal was to allow people access to the structure and to the water for quiet wading and contemplation. However, shortly after its opening and after three hospitalisations caused by people slipping in the water, the fountain was closed. It reopened in August 2004, surrounded by a new fence, and people were prevented from walking or running in the water by six wardens. Fortunately, now children- of all ages, can run and play and frolic through the stream of cool flowing water.
However, even though the fountain was only open for a part of the 2004 season, and the weather was not particularly wet, the grass adjacent to part of the fountain was almost obliterated, and it appeared that it would turn to a quagmire if heavy rain ever fell during the main visiting season. Therefore in December 2004, another alteration project was started. This involved work on the drainage, together with laying new hard surfaces on some of the most frequently walked areas of the site and the planting of a special hard wearing rye grass mix in others.
My parents, like everyone I know can’t believe that so much money was spent on such an embarrassing memorial.
It has been suggested by some that DIANA stands for:
I couldn’t possibly comment on that.
After walking back to Hyde Park Corner, Michelle and I bade farewell to my parents and we went to Kings Cross for Michelle to get her train home. 48 hours with me was enough for her apparently.
As for my parents, they still haven’t confirmed they are both coming back from Switzerland. Mind you, at their age, they will probably forget why they were going to Switzerland!
Still, if they are not coming back, they won’t have time to cut me out of their wills for this post before they go to Switzerland!