Saturday 4 April 2009

This is England

Trooped around London today with my French family. We walked from Victoria to Hamleys (amazing shop) via Buckingham Palace, St. James's pelicans, Parliament Square (picnic), Downing St./Horse Guards, top of lion in Trafalgar Square, St James's Palace, Christies, Piccadilly Circus and Godiva. No one complained about walking so far which was quite fantastic, then we hopped on a bus back. Simply glorious weather.

I then pushed off to a bash in Harrow, unfortunately, and was struck by this poster in the tube. A little tricky to make out, it reads, "Simply eating less pastry can help reduce your saturated fat intake." How much pastry do they think we English munch? Scarcely a patisserie in the country. They should come to France.

Before I got on the tube, I spotted a trio of sizable Americans struggling with the ticket machine as though it were the most alien thing in the world; rather like goats might struggle with a bottle of ketchup, perhaps.

I pressed all the right buttons for them and one of them suddenly whipped out a little blue, red and white Texan shaped key-ring and thrust it into my paw. "We're from Texas," she said. "It opens bottles [indicating the key-ring]. Thanks."

Extraordinary. Was she actually trundling around the country with a large collection of Texan key-rings to offer to unsuspecting Brits who happened to take pity? Or had she given me her personal key-ring in an act of disproportionate gratitude? I am not sure which would be weirder.

I've been hankering after a bottle opener and a key-ring in the shape of Texas for some time, so this beauty kills two birds with one stone.

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