London Travelogue, Day the Fifth

In which we take our leave of Ipswich and return to London, where we discover some very unlikley animals.

On Monday the 11th of May, we turn ourselves out of bed at our hosts lovely home and do the laundry. Apparently our foreign clothes frighten the Scotts’ dryer as it refuses to do the second load and only a great deal of cajoling and and laying the jeans out in the sun in the garden gets the job done and then we are ferried back to Ipswich proper to await our coach to London.

We wait outside the Plough
and I notice that Ipswich has three kinds of buildings: old, very old, and fake old:

Finally we are scooped up by our new driver, who is not as fun as our first one, nor quite as good a driver, but we do know that his name is Clem. On our rocketing way back to London we spot a genuine riverside pub, which it appears our fellow passengers would have preferred over the ride on the M-whatever-road.
Or at least a nice nap….

We somehow end up crossing London Bridge as we re-enter the city (which I’m still not sure how we managed, since we came from the northwest and the bridge is on the south) and spot our first wyvern.
We see quite a few more of these later, but still have no idea what they mean. They look quite impressive, even through a coach window though, do they not?

Once we are installed in our new hotel, we go for a stroll (after a nice supper of… Pie and a Pint! at the Mabel’s Tavern next door.) During our ramble we discover Sicilian Avenue and I’m not sure if it’s a shopping district, a building, or a ghetto (though a very upscale one) in which all the Sicilians of London have at one time been corralled with quaint shops and pasta. Hard to tell in this pic, but indeed all the shops and eateries we can see are Italian (though I’m not sure they are all Sicilian.)

We carry on and come around a rather long, spikey fence and wall and discover lions:
of which Mr. Kat cannot resist taking a photo. One may notice that there is a rather strange sign near Mr. Kat’s leg which reads thusly:
. Needless to say, we do not climb on the lions, nor do we take an unexpected trip into the deep drop, although we do take a look down it. Mr. Kat’s companion, the pocket bear, is not impressed.

A word about Pocket Bear: this little jade bear has been traveling around in Jim’s pocket for the past 13 years. It’s gone all over the US, but it didn’t get to go to Italy, since Jim forgot it in a California hotel room and only through diligence, phone calls, and much guilt laid on the housekeeping staff was he restored to Jim on his return from Bari. So of course, Pocket Bear, like myself, was in desperate need of a vacation off US soil. Thus cometh the Pocket Bear to London.

And now back to the trip….

Pocket Bear’s ennui is not equal to the utter supercilious couth of the British Museum Lion, for, indeed that is what we have discovered. Hi, Lion.

We wander off as darkness begins to fall, looking for a late night snack and discover that in London, Gorillas can fly. They also drive vans:

here is the rather low-res detail of the Flying Gorilla itself:
And as per usual, no explanation whatsoever of why there is a flying gorilla on a truck in Bloomsbury at 9 pm on a Monday evening. Yet another Mystery of Old London Towne.

Coming Soon: Day Six (and others)!

About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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6 Responses to London Travelogue, Day the Fifth

  1. The wyverny things – which are actually dragons, on account of having forelegs – mark your entry into the City of London (unless you see the tail first…). Face on, they’re holding a shield showing a red cross on a white field, with a red sword point upwards in the top left corner. No, I can’t remember the proper heraldic term for top left, but I bet there is one. The dragons have been supporters on the arms of the City since 1633. And for some reason the City has never had its arms officially granted by the College of Arms.

    The dragons are fairly liberally scattered around the perimeters of the City; I suppose there must be some secret criteria about the size of the street or there’d be lots more of them.

    The Flying Gorillas are, I think, an educational dance company or something like that, who are famous for parking their van between the British Museum and Store Street.

    There you go. Random unsolicited information 🙂

  2. Elaine says:

    Wow! What an education Rik S! Good to know the wyvern from the dragon in case I meet one in a dark alley. I’m thinking the flying gorillas are escaped flying monkeys. Take that wicked witches!

    I’m really enjoying the travelogue and “slide show” even though I’ve come to it late. I lived in Rochester for a year and in various bits of London for three months. I love seeing everything. Got any shots of Picadilly Circus?

  3. Oddly we were only in Piccadilly Circus once for about… 5 minutes.

  4. Liz says:

    Okay, have been in London 8 years and didn’t realise about the dragons/wyverns. Thanks for that – will now proudly announce it to all and sundry.


  5. I had suspected it might be true, but wasn’t sure. See: I have very cool friends who know EVERYTHING.

  6. Liz says:

    I think I have found the Flying Gorillas….

    Because, to be honest, it would be weird if this wasn’t it.


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