London: Royalty, The BBC & Angels

Thursday 27th June, 2013

 

Having travelled to Baker Street, via the Metropolitan Line, mum and I decided to walk to BBC Broadcasting House, where we could grab a coffee and look at the new building. Having walked along the Marylebone Road, we turned in to Portland Crescent where we noticed a black Bentley pulled up at the junction. We both took a quick glance in the back. Looked at each other. Then looked back at the lady with white hair in the rear of the Bentley. It was none other than Her Majesty the Queen. Too soon the car pulled away, so we were unable to get any photographs. Still shocked to have seen Her Majesty, we continued on with our journey. Arriving at BBC Broadcasting House, we went in to the World Piazza and grabbed a coffee at the Caffé Nero. Sitting by the window we could see the hustle and bustle of the myriad people coming and going. Many of them BBC workers, while others were there for tours or, like us, just there to see this magnificent building. After our coffee we headed into the Broadcasting House via the main thoroughfare, which brings you into the main foyer. To our right was a BBC News studio mock-up, where you could read the news or present the weather to the public, who stood around awaiting their turn. To our left was the entrance to the Radio Theatre and the Media Café, which was guarded by a Dalek. After the obligatory photograph, with said Dalek, we were scanned by Security and headed into the Media Café. The café has a glass wall, behind which is the heart of BBC News. To the left is the BBC weather set and the various meteorologists. In the centre (read basement) is the hub of news journalists and the BBC news studio. As the weather bulletin was being broadcast, make-up technicians were ‘touching-up’ Matthew Amroliwala and Jane Hill. After a good look around and plenty of photographs had been taken (WITHOUT the FLASH), we headed back outside to get some photographs of the building itself. The World Piazza is covered in over 750 flagstones, each carrying the name of a city or place from around the World. From Tombstone to Gibraltar and all places in-between.

 

We then made our way down Regent Street and meandered our way down Oxford Street to Carnaby Street. We popped into the ‘Vintage Magazine Shop’, on Brewer Street, before heading through the back streets of Soho, until we landed on Old Compton Street. Immediately our attention was caught by the window display of ‘Gerry’s Wines and Spirits’. It had everything. Absinthe, Vodka, a 3-litre bottle of Jack Daniel’s (£212) and various other spirits and wines. So, we went in. On entering we were offered a shot of ‘Chocolate Wine’, which I refused out of principle, but mum indulged. In fact, indulged so much she bought a bottle! Deciding it was time to get a bite to eat, we headed into the ‘Tuk Tuk Noodle Bar’. After a lovely lunch, we headed off towards Shaftesbury Avenue and ‘Forbidden Planet’.

 

It didn’t take us long to find the shop and have a good peruse of the items that were to be found inside. It would have been quite easy to spend a lot of time there and even easier to spend a lot of money there. We didn’t. I bought the book that I wanted and mum bought the two books she wanted and another one that she saw while perusing. We then headed outside and across the road to ‘The Astrology Shop’, on Neal Street. A small but fascinating little shop, where I managed to purchase a dragonfly trinket for Emma. Once our purchases had been bagged, we headed back over to ‘Forbidden Planet’, where we went down into the book area, in the basement, and awaited the arrival of Lou Morgan. Sure enough, exactly at 18:00, Lou Morgan arrived and began by reading an excerpt from her new book, ‘Blood and Feathers: Rebellion’. After the reading, Lou took some questions from the thirty-or-so people that had gathered for the book signing. These ranged from which of the Angles was the most bad-ass? (Michael, although Zadkiel is up there, too.)How many Angels are there in the book, in total? (Lots.) Who has done the best portrayal of Lucifer on screen? (Viggo Mortensen in ‘The Prophecy’.) Why doesn’t God or Jesus turn up in the books? (Woah. We do not want to go there!) And so on. Lou then pointed out some biscuits, which were covered in different coloured icing and topped with the name of an Angel in Angelic Sigil. I picked up the blue one with Gabriel’s Sigil. I then waited patiently for my turn to speak to Lou and have her sign my books. (I had brought the first book with me, from home.) After a quick chat, mum and myself headed back outside and into the drizzle that had been threatening all day.

 

My idea was to head to Tottenham Court Road station and gradually make our way back to Baker Street. However, we decided that we should have a drink, before making our way home. As we turned onto St. Giles High Street, we noticed a pub. And not just any pub. This pub was called ‘The Angel’. Having just been to a book signing for a book about Angels, this was a sign. So, in we went. The pub was split into three bar areas of varying sizes, with more lounge areas on other levels. The ceilings were high and the building retained its history, unlike many of the pubs of today. Mum had a half-a-cider while I had a pint of bitter. Just as we were finishing our second drink, and preparing to leave, Lou Morgan came through the door. Obviously the book signing had gotten to her and she needed a drink or, it had gone better than expected and now she needed to celebrate. I think the latter.

 

We decided against the tube, as it would have meant a number of changes and a lot of escalators, so we walked along Oxford Street to Regent Street and on to the Marylebone Road. Arriving back at Baker Street station, we managed to get down to Platform 4 just as the Watford train was about to leave. Bonus! While mum read a free newspaper, I began to read ‘Blood and Feathers: Rebellion’.

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