It was bound to happen. Put two highly eccentric mortals, one god, and one delightful sweetheart of a Sigyn in a hotel room for a week, and the pointy corners of everyone’s personalities are bound to scrape up against the tender sensibilities of everyone else. We’re all a little tired from doing so much, more than a little footsore, and quite a LOT sick of damp laundry festooning the bathroom. It doesn’t take much nudging from me for crabbiness to reign.
We started off well enough. Knowing full well that there isn’t room, weight-wise, in the suitcases to take much back without incurring the Porkbarrel Penalty, the humans have nonetheless decided that it’s the day to go shopping! It looks like rain, so in addition to the usual impedimentia, we’re all carrying umbrellas and rain jackets stuffed away. I can keep mine and Sigyn’s in a handy pocket dimension, but the humans look as if they are preparing for a veritable monsoon, and every time the male turns around, he nearly whacks someone with the handle sticking out of his camera bag. Eheheheh! Oh, he almost got the female that time! Keep trying, man!
First stop is a quirky place that specializes in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and general geekiness. I can’t say I think much of their stock.
Note, however, that the Man of Iron is worth more than certain caped hammer-wielders.
The downstairs is devoted to books. Norns’ nighties! I can’t get away from him!
“Special features?” Oh, they must mean the vacant stare and monosyllabic vocabulary.
Moving on. For better books, SoHo is the place to be. There is a whole STREET of used and antiquarian booksellers. Books in the windows, books on the shelves, books on more shelves, books on stairwell walls, books on ledges over doorways…
Sigyn and the human female are drooling over the plates in the wildflower and nature books. Oops. Now they are choking. Must have seen the prices neatly penciled on the fly-leaves. Vintage lithographs don’t come cheap, ladies.
Foyles on Charing Cross Road might be a little more affordable. Five whole floors of new books. And new friends.
His name is Elmer. Sorry, sweetie. A pachyderm would definitely put us over the weight limit going back. The human female could poke around in here all day, but the human male’s back is really hurting, so he’s not having fun. It’s actually lunch time by now, so let’s find someplace to eat and talk things over.
Italian? Chinese? Pub food? Something different? Mexican! Or is it Spanish? I…I can’t tell. There are tacos on the menu, so I guess it’s Mexican… Maybe.
They don’t look like tacos from back home, do they, Sigyn? The female has ordered chicken and the male pulled lamb. After a couple of bites, they’ve switched. Just one more way to be contrary today!
It’s clear we are not going to reach a consensus of how to spend the afternoon. All parties could use a nap. And a smacking.
(a bit later) The humans have agreed that splitting up might be best. Not permanently, mind you. Just for today. The human male is going home to rest.
The female, meanwhile, has decided to walk down to Westminster. Sigyn and I are going with her because there’s the chance of seeing some very famous sights on the way.
One of which is apparently an apple-almond frangipane tart. That disappeared in a hurry–no time for photos! And she didn’t share.
But here is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, all tarted up for a big exhibit, and with a street fair going on out front.
And this is the Horse Guards Museum.
Careful, Sigyn! I know you want to pet the horsie, but see the sign?
Now I know where we are. Here is Parliament again.
I can tell by the pointy bits and the buttresses. And the crowds.
Ow! All the street trees in this city are shedding fuzzy seedy bits, and every five steps we are getting floaty things in our eyes. It’s windy, we’ve been walking forever, and we’re all a bit discouraged.
This is our destination.
Well, actually the smaller church next door. It’s very pretty and historical and… Foul! I cry foul! The human female is here for a poetry reading and prayer day and not just architecture. Oh, no no no no no! I did not sign up for this! Sigyn, you and she can go if you like, but I will just wait outside for you. Trust me, it’s better this way.
(later) Sigyn and the human female have returned from the churchy stuff all smiles and cheerfulness. Apparently they finished the afternoon by going into the big, fancy church and listening to the choir (which sounds something like this.) Attitudes all nicely adjusted? Good. I am bored. Let’s go home.
(much later.) After naps and quiet reading, the humans are uncrankified and ready to go in search of a good dinner. Back to the Tube and out in Chinatown! The mortals are hoping for Dim Sum. However, I’m still angry about Kew, and annoyed about this afternoon’s bait-and-switch, so Ha! All the shops stopped serving Dim Sum at 5:00. Neener, neener, neener.
What have we got instead?
Little Dipping Dumplings.
Chicken with Cashews and Vegetables.
Uh oh! I think one of the mushrooms is actually a happy reptilian alien. But the Crispy Aromatic Duck looks all right.
Mmm. That was good. Shall we all walk and explore the neighborhood some more?
Volstagg’s Many Vices! Apparently, Leicester Square is nothing but one big party at night. It’s all bars, casinos, restaurants, theaters, and more-than-slightly-tipsy crowds. Coff! Coff! So much cigarette smoke! Let us put this day to rest and hope for sunny skies and sunny countenances tomorrow.