Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Our main crack at Kultcha is booked in for tonight , A Night at the Opera , although the only Groucho will be me having to dress up in the tailored trakkies

It is actually a Night at the Opera House for the musical Evita with little Tina Arena. The Opera House will be a busy place this morning with diehard monarchists advised to start lining the western promenade at 8 am for a glimpse of Harkle strutting around about 11 am after curing Chlamydia in Koalas earlier at Taronga Park Zoo. Clearly the only real plan today is to avoid the area until later tonight. Seriously, she got pregnant just because I was in the same city for 12 hrs. If we actually met there could be another royal divorce imminent.

A very nice coffee and light breakfast first at Atmos. I phere we may return

We then strolled down in general direction of Circular Quay. Kochie has been tipped off we were in town so naturally had our photo in every background. The Opera House area and surrounds were pretty quiet really with security already in place and all the media folk lined up and ready. Despite the forecast it was a very pleasant dry day so was stuck carrying around wet weather gear all morning. Once again a massive liner was ready to board

Despite a possible Harkle sighting in next 4 hrs we headed in opposite direction through The Rocks. In keeping with today’s British flavour I didn’t wash this morning and also dropped into Lord Nelson Beeratorium

Today’s lavish lunch was planned to be of the seafood variety so headed down to Cirrus. Had the seafood platter , some fries, a couple of vinos and rather amazing desserts. Right now if I sea any more food I may vomit . It was an excellent meal but once again you notice little touches missing at such an upscale eatery. A seafood platter with no finger bowl provided? Yeah it’s First world problems but does surprise when other aspects are so top notch . I had to wipe my hands on CLPs blouse.

Then a short waddle home for a couple of hours rest . The old ankle is swollen to a degree you wish applied to all appendages but like most things it does go down over time. Another walk tonight to Opera House to deal with as well. I may just stop and rest against this building

I will sign off for today and report on Evita in tomorrow’s debriefing. Speaking of debriefing , time to have a lie down in the au naturale state as the Lord intended. Luckily on the way home signed CLP up for a course which made her so happy she forgot she was wearing a dirty blouse. It’s the little things that keep relationships humming along

Harkle Sightings : 0 Yay

And so our short Sydney October Soujourn begins under cloudy skies. Not for the first time there is a significant weather event leading into holiday . The Dome in Maryhole lays scattered on the ground , a shambling wreck of its once great stature. No doubt they will quickly rebuild for the sweltering summer ahead

As mentioned previously decided to fly to Sydney directly from Maroochydore rather than Brisvegas. Miss out on Qantas Club partaking but is only a 30 min drive to and from. It’s an early start for an 0630 flight before we land in the harbour city in the world of daylight saving at a time later than the actual time in air would indicate . The Blues win one bloody Origin series and now think they can set world time . Just hope the curtains in our hotel room are not faded.

We made it through the rain ok and arrived an hour before departure so time for a quick coffee. The SC airport seems fine although some covered walkways from car park would be useful! No last minute upgrades but do have exit row seats so get to jump first . The bar isn’t open 😰 I know I am dynamite in the sack but why do I always get singled out for the explosive residue wand over the nether regions ?

Of course we found some months ago that the Royal visit coincided with our week in Sydney but too late by then . I refer to them as Harkle so that will be the theme this week # harklewatch. Thought they were arriving Tuesday but seems like it is today. However I doubt they will be arriving at Domestic Terminal or catching train to city! Previous experience tells us the domestic and international terminals are a cut lunch and a chopper ride apart so see no likelihood of paparazzi interference apart from my usual followers

Good run down and arrived on time but because we had a Sheila pilot took her 20 mins to park it 😏 Rainy here as well but at least had a sky bridge this time. Quick baggage pick up and the rather excellent Airlink train had us ringing the reception bell at 10 am at The Grace Hotel. We had enquired about early check in – for $45 – and told won’t know until day .

“ Not sure if we have room Sir. Let me check, could take a while “
“ We will pay the $45 “
“ Ah yes Sir we do have room just come available “ Room 416
“ Look Ling Lee we booked corner premium king which is supposed to be on high floor “
“ Ah ok u can have 816”

Charm , and facts, work all time . Great room , very quiet . Windows are double glazed which makes the handles on outside window simply a tease

Quickly unpacked my 3 pairs of trakkies and one singlet and headed out in light rain for a beer and a feed. On plane trip down had read article about beef degustation at Rockpool so thought why not. But I digress. Is that a Bavarian Bierhaus across the road ?? And it’s Oktober!

The pretzel was not only hard to reach but not very filling so time to get my rocks off in the Pool. It’s an amazing establishment but reception lady was a bit non plussed when I mentioned Beef Degustation but she did ask for my number . Anyhoo, when in Rome… Simply superb lunch and the service level is excellent at the Rockpool Bar and Grill. Yes it’s not cheap but then not really extravagantly priced either. It’s the little extras you notice and we were able to share each course even the steak. Hell, they had 6 different mustards to choose from ! There and then we decided that we would go with some fancy lunches this week and some crackers and cheese for dinners. Flash Tip #1 When at a posh restaurant always mention u r celebrating a birthday . Works every time

The Grace does have a small gym and lap pool and before we left we planned on visiting every day. Seriously . At present that is still the plan but do need for lunch to digest a while. Couple of hours back home to relax and then maybe head out for a beer and a visit to Night Noodle Market for light dinner

It’s been a great first day and even though weather is dusty think we may survive . We are pretty loose with plans while trying to avoid Harkle and Rain . We have a Night at the Opera tomorrow night and tickets for Taronga Park to be used one day this week.

So went up to the gym , rode the bike for a while and did a few laps. May even try out the pool tomorrow…..

Then once that momentary nonsense had passed it was back to solid ground. First up a Guinness at the requisite Irish Pub on every block including ours. Then a leisurely dry stroll to Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Markets. Great crowd considering the weather. A light dinner was perfect before the short stroll back and wait until the sun goes down at about 11 pm apparently

All in all an excellent first day in less than ideal weather. We may be dodging showers all week but there is a reason pubs have roofs

Harkle Sightings : 0

Ireland Fling 2018 – The Flashies

Posted: March 15, 2018 in Travel

The wait is over but the thrill remains. Like repeats of MAFS. You know I really hoped since I had been away shows like that may have ended but all in vain

Best Flight Any flight that lands is a good one really and any flight that crosses a lot of the blue stuff is long so you never really walk off any flight and say “Well that was fun” ‘ The comfort of the Qantas Club before hand always helps ease one into it and of course all flights at start of holidays are more relaxing than at end if for no other reason than the excess baggage you have to bring home. Then there is also your luggage! PE is still a good experience especially on the A 380 and the half empty return flights were more comfortable no doubt but then we were also sick on them, especially the last haul for CLP. Will go with first leg Melbourne to Dubai as still fresh and did get some sleep so 14 hrs only seemed like about 13hrs 45. Food still seemed tempting and I had slept ok the night before

Worst Flight Most flights have a bad experience associated with them whether it was check in, arrival, customs etc but the worse one was the BA flight from Dublin to London apart from the fact we actually got on it of course . BA was a pain to deal with on holidays and the check in was a nightmare. It was a slow load and stuck in far back corner by self. Heathrow is a nightmare to land at, get to actual gate and then literally a 30 minute wait for luggage. Would not like to have to connect to another flight there in anything under 3 hrs. Special gong goes to Qantas though for the “Domestic Transfer Gate” at Sydney -what chaos. In future if cant fly into and out of Brisbane you can shove me in an overhead compartment and call me stupid. Unless a really good price of course and booked at least 30 days after this last experience

Best Accommodation Obviously some accommodation is better than others because of price paid. The Lake House at Killarney was clearly the “best” hotel we stayed at but came at a price although still good value. The best accommodation on balance for moi though was Rosquil House in Kilkenny. At least I think it was Kilkenny, everything was white and wet. It had benefits of a B&B but with a spacious room. Great breakfast, helpful host, extra rooms to relax, walk to town etc

Worst Accommodation Really there was no bad accommodation but if had to pick one it would be Anach Cuin at Galway simply because it was a more typical B&B. Small room, noisy creaks etc However it is a bit unfair to single out as comes at a certain price point, hosts were wonderful as was breakfast. It was a fair hike out of town as well but that fact was never hidden, simply poor research. Narrow staircase to Ruprechts room as often is case also

Best 60th Birthday Experience

Waking Up

Seriously though it was a packed day of wonderful experiences – massage, hot tub, champers, dinner…….. last day of not being sick 😉 It also fell in the middle of our first real experience of what we considered “true” Ireland in Killarney. Good weather, great countryside , friendly people etc. The Lake House is a stunning hotel to stay at even if got some Jack Torrance vibes at times. It also saw the emergence of my alter ego Pat McGroin, the dapper Irish Gent

Best Meal Aqua at The Shard was a superb experience from service, location and food. In the scheme of things and being in London it was not overly expensive really. Dans Le Noir the night before was also a memorable experience but ruined a little by ignorant dinner companions

Best Drinking Experience The Guinness Skip The Line Connoisseur was rather good. Very small group in a beautiful bar and both of us healthy. The first Irish Coffee we had at Brazen Head was one of the best drinks had all holidays and could never repeat the experience. Even after spending 400 Euro to return to Dublin early and go back to same pub!

Best Tour The Ring of Kerry tour from Killarney was easy winner but that says more about the others actually. Personally would say ROK is a bit overrated. Not a brilliant day maybe but pretty good. A few great views but a lot of ho hum driving in between. Small group, good driver

Worst Tour Easy winner, Healys Connemara Day Tour from Galway. Easily the most poorly organised tour ever been on and no surprise no response from them afterwards . Of interest our lovely host Marty at Galway used to be a driver for them. No images can really explain the ineptitude

Best Public Transport We saw the best and worst of Irish Public transport. In general Irish Rail worked well as even when cancelled we always got a refund and the online booking process and seat allocation worked well. When running, on time. When trouble ahead they adjusted plans – eg drop us off at Kildare rather than Dublin

Worst Public Transport Buses in general but JJ Cavanagh in particular. Absolutely hopeless with communication or refunds. Bus Eireann not much better with accepting bookings for cancelled trips and no refunds

Best Fun in the Snow Probably first walk in Kilkenny. Found some snowmen and some quirk

No fun in the Snow Walking to fucking railway station in Cork at 5:30 am for a bloody hour. Am I still a little ticked off? Maybe…. Something to tell the Grandchildren one day “When I was young…” Mind you after that walk if not had already procreated the lineage may have been in jeopardy

Standing around at Kildare station for about 90 mins waiting for train comes a distant second

Worst Taxi Ride You know , we paid 220 Euro for a Taxi ride from Kilkenny to Dublin but still say the taxi ride from Brisbane Airport to Sandgate Road was worst. Expensive and a totally useless lazy driver. At least in Kilkenny we knew going in we were being bent over bonnet and chili on stick inserted

Best fun in the Sun Given only sun really seen was in Dubai an easy winner. Pool was crowded but also tried the beach at times and of course the pool bar

Best Fun at Sunset Once again, a few very pleasant evenings by the pool in Dubai. Pretty well guarantee a great sunset most nights . Throw in a beer and a hubbly bubbly and all good

Biggest surprise on Tour

I put on 3 kgs. Felt more like 5 easy

Actually The Miracle Garden in Dubai was stunning and good value and a must see if you visit

So ends Ireland Fling 2018. I have entertained you clowns for enough. Time to plan USA Feb 2019. As predicted the lure of NYC is already strong despite my hesitation to travel to snow again. The problem is spending 3 weeks on West Coast is a bit dull 😉

Well as a certain pig says

We had a very pleasant last night at pool and then the fun started . Got back to room with a bit of the wobbly boot on but still functioning like a normal 60 yr old. Opened the door to darkness. Now most seasoned travellers would know in most hotels without a tin roof you get two key cards and one is usually needed in the power slot for lights etc. We came, we saw, we conquered. I know what goes in which slot . Generally.

Our card was gone. So put the actual one u need to gain entry in slot and voila. Found a phone and rang the desk. “ The housekeeper must have removed it Sir. You will need to come down to reception and get a new one “ “ Say what Sweetheart “? Some over zealous sheet flattener stole my card so I have to come back and get it . What the fuck?? So trudged with my not happy face on – ok usual one, fair call – and was ready to tear Abdhul a new date so to speak when his basic response if I know my Arabic was “ What the fuck” So we bonded over this and I asked to make up for it could he send the first 71 virgins up at 10 minute intervals and save the good looking one for breakfast . His response was “ You Aussies” or could have been “Fatwa called”. Not sure

So went back to room now with 3 cards. If housekeeper comes back u know which slot the 3rd key is going in. All very odd really because room has been serviced within an inch of its life. You use the towel to wipe your hands or after a shower and hang it up fine. Come back two hours later and there is new folded one . 3 new towels a day I shit you not. I now have 4 pairs of slippers but still only 2 feet .

So on last morning we found out that breakfast didn’t start until 6:30 pm which is not great for early flights and pretty well in keeping with rather impersonal breakfast experience at this hotel. The pool area is great service, the rest not so much. We skipped breakfast and caught taxi a bit early as knew could hook in at Emirates Lounge at Dubai. It is a massive airport and have to take train from baggage drop to departure gates . Fairly easy check in and security especially as finally allowed to wear my trakkies on plane. CLP still being very sick had set the standard 👍 The Lounge is fine but we were smart and didnt over indulge – I planned on finally having a few sherberts on plane #IBF

We have a tightish connection in Sydney so glad plane left on time. Just wish staff wouldnt bullshit you . “We will push back in 10 mins.” 20 mins later still sipping flat “ Champers “ . “ We have 4 planes in front of us, leaving very soon” . I count at least 10 take off ahead off us, all strangely Emirates😏 Here is a suggestion, why not just say “ When we leave terra firma you will know trust me “ . Speaking of which for a big plane the A 380 does impressive take offs and landings . Just rumbles along slowly and then up . Landing is like an old man easing into the bath. You notice these things after landing on the BA A 320 for example. It hit the brakes hard and threw out 3 anchors and two parachutes by my reckoning landing at Heathrow.

In general the A 380shows its age but the PE is still impressive and more spacious than the 747 . Probably compare to the “ Dreamliner” next year for USA which does not get good reviews. QF2 to Sydney , like the first leg, is rather empty with less than half PE cabin full. Before first crowded leg you are bombarded by Qantas about bid for upgrade to BC. On this flight nothing despite fact many empty BC seats . Anyhoo, makes food service quicker not to mention that 3 rd Rumbo almost pours itself. Well,the wine on offer at lunch was that cheap Aussie crap . Fool me once …

Writing this 2 hrs into 14 hr flight all good . CLP sadly has been very sick last week but hopefully can grab some sleep now . Time for a movie . On a plane not an ocean liner how about Titanic to fill in a quick 3 hrs. The clinking ice in my Rumbo suddenly adds some atmosphere

About 20 mins late landing in Sudney which makes things just that bit tighter . Then you face the Qantas Domestic Transfer section at Sydney . What a bloody mess. It won’t be long of course before book that next flight OS amd will be with Qantas of course but right now they can go take a jump. Their “ online check in “ is a bloody joke. You flew me into the country three days ago . You have my API . What is the problem. I reckon out of last 10 flights have only been able to check in online twice. Anyhoo we made it just as plane was boarding with no confidence our bags would be so lucky. It’s a cut lunch as usual to actually get to your runway and leave the ground but a short flight and quick baggage claim had us on road by 10 am and then home at Sunshine Inc by 11:30. Unpacked the bag and left the washing for CLP to give her something to do and decided to drive home to Maryhole then. Not smartest move as very tired towards end and could have been calamitous especially in the rain . Home now and even mowed a bit of the jungle. Will be quiet couple of days resetting body clock and then out to Toowoomba on Saturday for family gathering to celebrate birthday

Until next time

I think it was Feb 24th in Killarney. Since then one or both of us has been sick or the weather lousy . Or both . So on this final day would be nice to just get a cleaning lady to come in. Oops wrong clip . Ok just a touch….

There was fair wind blowing early at the pool which of course meant the sky was cloudy with dust and Paradise was looking a touch dodgy. Pleasant relaxing time though before we head out for some lunch and those pesky last souvenirs. Yep ok ya got us, we have some AED to offload. Mind you when we started am sure we were getting better than 2.8 AED for our dollar.

Nice Sushi for lunch had us back in our afternoon routine of nap, pool, read, drink and eat at said pool ,sleep. If I had a pool at home then really my routine wouldnt change next week! Of course as last day will have to fit in some packing before drinking . Relatively early start to flight tomorrow . On line check in with Qantas is friggin useless so when factor in it’s a fair distance to airport and all that will be on road around 6:30 am for our 9:30 flight home .

Paradise arrived at about 2:30 pm. The wind had stopped, the sun was out and musical chairs had opened up. It’s a crowded time and you need to ask Abdul for the “ next available two lounge chairs please” while you pretend you are going to buy something from the menu . No sooner had the bean bags been sorted then a spot opened up at the pool bar . Serendipity .

The next two hours passed easily before time to head back to room and pack for tomorrow . Then we will head down to pool for a last Shisha , beer and dinner . I wouldn’t bore you with more photos of those shenanigans surely so let’s sign off for day now and in fact pretty well for Ireland Fling 2018. The Flashies will follow in due course . I wouldn’t say it has been our most successful holiday venture but certainly still some great memories

Well, ok just a couple if u insist

The moment I wake up

The make up didn’t take – again – so thought time for some spiritual guidance and we headed off to the Jumeirah Mosque. Have been to Dubai a few times and have to say CLP has come up with two great new sights to see including the garden yesterday. Although both sick to varying degrees the couple of days in Dubai so far have been very pleasant and mostly because of the level of service and general welcoming nature of “ staff” . To be fair they do work for tips I guess 😉 We thought we could at least spare a couple of hours to learn a bit more about the Islam religion and the 5 pillars based on. Man, Will and Grace were way out ( yeah no specific you tube video so for full impact of this amusing seque …)

WILL: Look at that. I’m 5 for 5.

GRACE: What’s that?

WILL: It’s this test, the Five Pillars of Happiness. It’s supposed to determine the level of contentment in your life. And it comes with a lotion sample, so you know it’s scientific.

GRACE: I can’t believe you would evaluate your life based on something in the Lifestyle section. Ok, that was obligatory. Bring it on.

WILL: Ok, the first pillar is health. I gave myself a big yes, ’cause I just had my physical. Everything’s where it’s supposed to be. I’m running every day and, well…look at those calves. It’s like my knee swallowed a grapefruit. Your turn.

GRACE: I think I’m hypoglycemic. I’m always tired, and I can’t poop.

WILL: I would give that a No. Ok, pillar number 2 is family. That’s a big Yes. You?

GRACE: Well, let’s see. My mother’s idea of bonding is making me scratch her back. And for my last birthday, my father gave me gum.

WILL: That’s another No for Grace. Moving on. Love life. Another No for Grace.

GRACE: Excuse me! No. You can mark that Yes, thank you. Josh and I are doing great. I mean, it’s not perfect, but we care about each other very much.

JOSH: [OPENING THE DOOR] Grace? Hey, what are you doing? You left an hour ago to get bagels.

GRACE: Here. [GRACE THROWS A BAG TO JOSH] Toast ’em up. I’ll be back in 15.

JOSH: Ok, honey. Uh…your laundry’s almost done. [JOSH EXITS.]

GRACE: Well, you get a No on love life, too.

WILL: Actually, I haven’t told you this yet, but there’s this lawyer, Alex. We’ve only had one date, but I’m already seeing 2.5 jack russell terriers and his and his SUVs in my future.

GRACE: Yeah, yeah. Ok. Next.

WILL: Ok. Pillar number 4. Friendships.

GRACE: Ok! Now we’re talking!

WILL: No, no, no. Note the “S.” friendships. They’re talking more than just you and me.

GRACE: This test sucks.

WILL: And the final pillar is Work. I love my job.

GRACE: I work with a lush who insults me.

WILL: Ok. Final tally is… Will: [SING-SONG] Dee diddle-ee-dee-dee! Grace: [SING-SONG] Wah wah wahh.

The actual 5 Pillars of Islam cover a much wider range of course and the hour long presentation was very interesting. Had a few local treats first up before moving inside the impressive Mosque

Back home then for a quick bite of lunch and a rest before hitting the pool again. Our dance card is all marked so next 36 hrs will be just chillin and slowly improving hopefully before that last long haul flight home. Always interesting to walk the streets here and people watch

The pool was usual crowded place early afternoon but we grabbed a couple of Lazy Boys. And quickly put them to work finding us some lounge chairs . I’m here all week, try the veal bacon. But only if u must . Then it was time to try out the Sports Bar on site – The Amsterdam Hub. Serves beer and Irish food. Go figure . It was quiet and rather dull with soccer on all TVs

Which leaves us with the safe option of drinks by pool followed by dinner. Tonight was pizza which fitted in perfectly with the beers but then again what food doesn’t ? And it’s goodnight from him

Rather amazingly thanks for asking. More later

A good nights sleep had me jumping out of my skin this morning. Well, my skin felt tighter than usual so could be only excuse. After 10 days of being a sick old fart I may just be an old fart now having turned the corner. Down for usual impressive breakfast before heading to the pool before the bulging bikinis arrive. With all the massive buildings around not a lot of sun gets through before noon but it is very pleasant and you can wrap yourself in as many towels as you like. The service level at this place is amaze balls .

As pleasant as pool was we thought we would do Miracle Garden today so yet another long taxi drive. The taxis are very reasonable price wise but as so far from most things still 25-40 AUD to get anywhere. The gardens are simply stunning and truly a wonderful display of colour. It was crowded but no big deal apart from the usual ignorant assholes who walk in front of your camera. Long time since seen so many selfie sticks.

Grabbed some very good Chinese for lunch before deciding time to check out the beach. Ah this is where the good bikini bodies hang out. Always remember there is good naked and bad naked

The water was surprisingly cool which was good as the sun has some kick. Picked up some beach mats and towels from hotel which is very handy. Back to the pool then for another hour or two and day well sorted. Will head back down around 6 pm for a drink and dinner pool side and maybe a Shisha.

Another great night. Starting to taste beer again and had another great share plate. The Shisha tested out any lingering cough and it was a very relaxing end to a very relaxing day. I could take this for a couple of days

Not a bad flight as far as these things go but we are not well in the tummy either so I ate very little and CLP had zip. We arrived in Dubai 20 mins early which is not a good thing as we then sat on tarmac for 30 mins waiting for our gate ! Standard process landing st these large airports. Ya just suck it up. Then a long taxi ride to Sofitel Jumeirah where we collapsed into bed for a couple of hours.

Decided to wander down to the pool around lunch time and it was crowded much like most of the bikinis on display. We eventually got a spot and had an easy lunch. Then checked out The Walk which has changed a lot since last here and the beach. One thing has not changed – idiots roaming up and down street in expensive cars

So not sure how these few days will pan it. It’s a nice room but is a noisy part of town. We are simply out of whack and no real energy to do much although have a couple of things on agenda. Time will tell

We did venture back to pool area on sunset and had a beer and dinner . Very pleasant end to a long day

And so we come to one of those days with travel when 24 hrs is actually about 36 hrs and feels like 48 😰

Today we say farewell to Paddington and indeed London and catch the Qantas Big Bird to Dubai tonight from Heathrow. Plan is a few days R&R in the land of sand but not all plans work well. CLP is really laid low with the lurgy at present and I am still closer to 0% than 100% . One interesting aspect of this holiday as it may well have finally killed off my desire to travel in winter and that includes Feb 2019 USA. Yes I will still do something but may stay in California rather than going over to NYC etc again . Of course I reserve the right to change my mind one week after back home in Maryhole.

Not so hard to fill in morning in hotel on a rather dreary day. After midday though we move camp to the lobby for a few hrs as even we would balk at turning up at qantas Club 8 hrs before flight . I mean you can’t can you?. Apparently not as you can’t drop bags off until 4 hrs until flight ergo 16:45 . The new lounge at Heathrow looks swank and even if can’t really taste it will definitely be hooking into the Gin bar where I did see some Four Pillars . Three more than my usual quota….

Bit of a day of reflection then. Ireland is a great country and we have some wonderful memories but fair to say we got dudded a bit. Even in February this weather was extremely bad . Did have a wonderful few days for birthday in Killarney . London has also been a bit of a washout apart from two superb dining experiences. Just not a city that grabs me like say New York which is similar in a way. Almost seems London is too caught up on the old Empire with statues up the ying yang and nothing free. Look at me, look at me. Tube works fine but not a great walking city for moi. Thames is a poor river sadly

So we stuck it out at hotel lobby for 2 hrs before heading to Heathrow with hope in our heart. Dashed again. No check in until 4:45 pm as predicted but then rather smooth and a gin soak by 5 pm. It’s an impressive lounge apart from bloody tourists . You pick a quiet corner out of the 100 free seats and fuck me if some clowns dont come and sit next to you. My magnetism is becoming a real issue so will start dialling down the charm. You were warned. It’s an impressive lounge with bars on two floors . Luckily the gin one is on ground so no pesky stairs involved. Only 3 hrs to boarding …better sign off now

Which oddly enough was the first thing Harry said to Meaghan.

Last full day in London so time for some architecture and culture . Throw in a garden and the trifecta of boredom is complete .We do have lunch booked at The Shard so timing revolves around being there at a certain time . Once I get into an Art Museum the time just flies by so have set some alarms. First up though is find a full service laundromat near by. Surprisingly we bailed at paying 3 pound to launder a pair of socks . I shit u not.

Laundry on the go so head off for some cheese and gherkin – as in how many cheesy shots can I take of it. Not many it turns out. Hard to get a shot of London skyline without a crane in it. Had a very nice coffee at Black Sheep and then was devo to find out Sky Garden was closed. Yay, more time at Tate Museum for Terminally Dull. Great little markets to walk through on way and even saw the Golden Hind for second time today. The first was in the mirror this morning to be fair. I also saw a Globe but that may have been the angle

The Tate is rather impressive if you like seeing pretentious twaddle mixed in with the odd interesting piece. My fave was the before and after shot after the cat jumped on the canvas

Some of the pop art stuff was good and it was free as were the toilets so all in all letting some art flow over me paid off in more ways than one and I like to think there will always be an exhibit of mine at the Tate now. Ya with me

Then it was onto lunch at Aqua at The Shard and let me assure you folks this was superb. The view, the service ,the food quality . Top stuff. Yes it is expensive but I’ve paid more for less trust me. The views from 32nd floor are brilliant even if London is basically a block of grey cement with some cracks in it for buses to go back and forth.

Then we still had some pesky pounds to get rid off (as opposed to alarming kilos ) so flew up to The Gong Bar on floor 52 for a cocktail as you do . Another brilliant location. I could go back just for the toilet !

So another memorable dining experience to add to list . Back for a few hours rest before catching up with the old Dazzler for dinner nearby . Derek used to work at Maryhole Pathology before it closed down . You could probably file that fact under “Rather Obvious Things I read Today” but I mean he actually left before the Day of Infamy 2012 for London. Ha, he thought he could get rid of me that easy

To be fair, pretty well over this holiday now. A few relaxing days in Dubai may spark one up but it’s been a long week trust me. Will be good to see the old red kangaroo tomorrow but will be a long day until we fly out at 8 pm

I imagine the two hours closest to that time could be spent in the Qantas Business Lounge at Heathrow. It’s the first 12 that are a bit dodgy .