Picking up where I left off in Part A…
It was a sunny-ish day, so I decided to just walk around taking pictures, as I am wont to do. That’s really my favourite type of photography to do, be it back home in Memphis or across the pond. After the British Museum, I explored the Bloomsbury/Holborn part of town, and that section of Central London in general. It was where my hostel was located in 2006, so I was already a bit familiar with the area.
I swapped to a new roll of film at Pret. I don’t know if I took this photo purposely or if I was just advancing the new roll to the first frame, but I like it!
I got the feeling that this man had been riding in this taxi that had broken down and was having a bad day. He was pacing back and forth, with his mobile phone to his ear.
Going to Trafalgar Square to see what’s on the Fourth Plinth is a must!
View of Nelson’s Column from inside the National Gallery
My walk eventually ended when I found my way to the bookstore where I’d agreed to meet with my Twitter friend and his wife. It was raining, so I planted myself under an awning. Well, actually, this is what I told my sister about the time I spent waiting for my dinner companions to arrive:
I had made a couple of visits to Boots to buy multi-packs of Crunchie bars to bring back to America for Anna Marie, so I was toting around some plastic bags with me. Feeling disheveled overall, and having arrived early to the meeting place, I spent that time trying to consolidate my plastic bags into my camera bag. This was no easy task (and made my bag heavy and bulky.) Basically, I was standing outside a book store in London, trying to NOT look like a person who had so many Crunchie bars in her messenger bag that she couldn’t close it. It only marginally worked.
With Crunchie bars safely stowed away, I waited for my Twitter peeps to arrive. They are Richard, whom I know from Twitter’s film photography community, and his wife Rachel. I soon found out that Richard is a native Briton, while Rachel is from Canada. They met while they were attending university in a city from which a certain “fab four” band hailed.
When he’d invited me to dinner with him and and Rachel, I’d told Richard that I was a “budget-minded pescetarian,” so they could keep that in mind when choosing a restaurant for our dinner. They suggested a French restaurant nearby that they said was very “grand” without grand prices. It was called Brasserie Zédel. And they were right! It was grand (and art deco!), reasonably priced, and the food was delicious! I had salmon over vegetables (with a name that sounds much fancier in French than in English, obviously.) They chose the perfect restaurant for us! Along with it being my first time eating at a French restaurant, I also witnessed a little ritual that I didn’t even know existed: Richard and Rachel ordered a bottle of wine, the server brought it to the table, uncorked it, poured a little in a glass for Richard to taste, and he nodded that the wine was acceptable. I had no idea this was a “thing” at nice restaurants when wine is ordered! I asked what happens if the customer refused the wine after it was uncorked, thinking in horror about a £200 bottle being ordered and refused. My horror would be at the financial loss the restaurant might suffer if expensive wine isn’t accepted by the customer. Apparently it wouldn’t be so much that the customer might not like the wine and refuse it on that grounds, but that there are things that can cause wine to not taste the way it should, and that’s why it might be refused.
I have to admit that, though I’m not shy nor self-conscious under most circumstances, I do feel a bit socially self-conscious when I meet new people. Especially in non-traditional circumstances such as meeting people I’d previously only known online. I reckon it makes me babble even more than I usually do. Something about Richard and Rachel didn’t make me feel so self-conscious about my babbling though! I don’t know what they ended up thinking about this babbling American girl, but I so enjoyed my evening with them! French restaurant, visiting a pub they like, and a walk to Waterloo Station on a misty London night. Picture perfect, without the pictures to show for it. You see, we’ve now reached the portion of this blog post wherein I’m facepalming myself in hindsight. I didn’t take ONE picture the entire evening I spent with Richard and Rachel. The restaurant was SO beautiful that I actually wasn’t sure if it would be good etiquette for me to snap a couple of photos. I’m sure people do it with their phones all the time, but I’m used to being the American who may commit social faux pas while in another country. So you will have to settle for a link to Google Images of this beautiful restaurant. I also feel like a dolt because I didn’t snap a photo of Richard and Rachel either. I didn’t know if it would weird them out if this person they’d just met said, “Hey, mind if I grab a shot of you two to put on my blog when I get home?” You can take my word for it that they were very cute and cool and awesome. Stop #2 on the “Amanda-UK Twitter Unity Tour” was a success!
Photos taken with Olympus XA