the life of richie


Posted in is by Rich on June 29, 2010

13th–14th JUNE

Pat J. drove us past shore traffic & through (at times) torrential rain to the airport; arrived at 5pm; walked around, had frozen yogurt & coffees (no Starbucks at PHL, which seems unnatural); played three hands of Millesborne. Boarded on time; took off a half hour late. Landed in London at 9:35am GMT. Signal problems on the Piccadilly line contributed to a 2-1/2 hour tube ride from Heathrow. Met the parents at Hilton-Euston at 1pm (13:00). Here, my old neighborhood, where I was a student! We went to newly rehabbed St. Pancras station.

St. Pancras Station/Hotel

Then to the Euston Flyer for pub grub. Picked up supplies at the M&S (Euston Station). Deposited the parents back at the hotel. Rach & I took Woburn Walk to Mabel’s Tavern for a quick drink before returning to the hotel at 18:15. Utterly exhausted. Bed by 19:00.

15th JUNE

View from the Great Orme

Took train from Euston to Llandudno Junction to a connecting train to Llandudno. Checked into Cân-Y-Bae hotel. Train up hillside to Great Orme. (Breathtaking.) Lunch back at Fish Tram Chips. Walked over/along pier & down promenade. Downtown deserted after 6pm. (Desert at KFC: the flake avalanche.) Drinks at hotel. In room 23:00.


Woke at 5:30. Proceeded to have 3 or 4 Nescafes in the room. Sister phoned room at six to say she was going out for real coffee; rang again 30 mins. later to confirm that nothing in town opens until eight. Had an Eccles cake –– like Bloomstreet! –– in the room & yogurt + toast with french press coffee downstairs. Train from Llan. to Junction to Holyhead. Noon ferry (“the Jonathan Swift”) to Dublin. Came into the town the same way Joyce went out.


Bloomsday on Duke Street, Dublin

Times Hostel is solid/nice; right across from Trinity College. Rachel & I took a constitutional down Grafton St. to St. Stephen’s Green. Returned with parents later to see revelers outside Davy Byrnes for the Day, dressed in Edwardian finest. Dinner at Porterhouse (bangers & mash for me; delightful, the plate encased in Yorkshire pudd). Mom & I took Literary Pub Walk, starting at the Duke; she won second prize in the night’s trivia (should’ve been first). Returned at 22:30. Bed by 23:00.

17th JUNE

Early coffee at Insomnia with Dad & Rach. Walk around Dublin & Writer’s Museum today. Cloudy now. Should be getting up to 67ºF (20ºC).


Took 1-1/2 hour free tour round Dublin Castle. Broke off early for a panini & latte on Dame St. before hoofing it w/ M. up O’Connell St. to Writer’s Museum; then brief, meandering pilgrimage to site of 7 Eccles (where there is now a hospital), passing birthplace of Sean O’Casey & b.p. of Gogarty. Passed new Abbey Theatre. Back to hostel at 16:00 to rest before dinner.

Along the Liffey


Quick dinner at Bewley’s off Grafton then drink with R. at Davy Byrnes. Back to hostel by 19:00 to conclude laundry. Early night. Earlier day tomorrow.

18th JUNE

St. Vincente's Street, Glasgow

Caught a 5:30 shuttle to Dublin airport; RyanAir flight to Glasgow Prestwick. Train. Arrived at Central Station round 11; cab to City Inn Hotel. Walked w/ R. back into town down St. Vincent’s to George’s Sq. Dinner back across from the hotel (Indian). Had myself a shave. Read The Guardian. Watched a bit of the underwhelming Eng. vs. Alg. match. Drink w/ R. & D. along the River Clyde; the sun strong & stirring even at 21:30. The days are longest now.

19th JUNE

Woke at 5:30 to get coffees from “McDonald’s” (Scottish?). Met tour guide Allie at 8:45 in George’s Sq. for a tour of the Highlands. Stopped at a glittering Loch Lomond. Drove through the Weeping Glen where MacDonald’s men (relation to coffee?) were slaughtered. Lunch at Glencoe (egg/watercress sandwich & apple). Spent 1-1/2 hours at Glenfinnan; sublime. Stopped for first look at Loch Ness. Hotel on the Ness River in Inverness.


20th JUNE

Drinks by the river in Inverness last night after dinner & stop at Tesco’s. Woke at 5:40 for coffee. (Vegetarian for me) Highlands breakfast in hotel. Allie picked us up at 9:10. Stopped for spectacular views at Glen Affric. Saw Uruquat Castle on Loch Ness round noon. Lunch at The Bothy in Perth(?). Drove through Monarch of the Glen setting. Looked for gold & at waterfalls. Stopped in Pitlochry for ice cream stenciled with chocolate syrup (“flavour blast”). Spotted a few “heeling coo“. Through Birnam Wood, past Stirling Castle & back to Glasgow on motorway. Back in town by 19:00 for dinner on St. George Sq.

Glen Affric

21st–22nd JUNE

Scottish breakfast at Rennie’s Station Hotel. Mom & I walked around looking at Rennie Mackintoshes; R & I walked Buchanan looking at shops. Trained to Prestwick Glasgow, whose motto “Pure Dead Brilliant” seems in rather questionable taste for an airport. Stansted Express into London. YHA St. Pancras around 17:30. Ate dinner at Norfolk Arms; brilliant food there (Spanish tapas). Went to Russell Supermarket for supplies. Drinks w/ Dad & Rach at Mabel’s; then at the Lord John Russell.


Green Park

Underground; got out at Green Park due to delays. Walked through Green & St. James parks. Upper Crust brunch at Victoria. Walked to Abbey in Westminster, where there was much filming & protests. M & I went to Churchill War Rooms (later learned Arianna had mounted Winston’s tuft of hair on display); glimpsed 10 Downing through the gates. Dinner at Mabel’s (fish & chips and steak & spitfire pies). Drinks with Arianna at Calthorpe, which has a new flat screen tv & renoed bathrooms w/ vessel sinks; same knackered patrons & drapes, though.

23rd JUNE 2010

Parents left. Rachel & I mailed some postcards; grabbed brekkie from M&S; ate our food in St. Pancras Sta.; went to the British Library for the gift shop & bathrooms. Walked to Tavistock Square; down Gower through Bloomsbury to Covent G.; attended the Transport Museum shop (where R. bought an apron with tube seat covers pattern; good for dissembling stains); walked down to the River & all the way to the Tate in Chelsea. Had a latte. Revisited the Pre-Raphs, incl. Chatterton, returned from his touring. Blinded by the brilliance of the Turners, which are R’s favs. Walked to Sloan Sq.; grabbed lunch at Eat. Had gelato outside Partridge’s. Walked up Sloane St. to Harvey Nichols for toilets. Walked through Hyde Park, up Edgeware Rd. to Marylebone; had smoothies near Euston; returned to lodgings. Rach ill (food poisoning from lunch?); had to cancel plans with Roge & Lou.

24th JUNE

Saw R. off on the train. Walked down Judd St. to see the new Brunswick Centre; preferred the old one, mostly closed the year I was here. Renoir is still there; and Hare & Tortoise, where staff is “vague but willing” read one review. Walked down Southampton Row to Holborn, where I used to food shop; down Holborn to (New) Fetter Lane to Fleet St.; to St. Paul’s; across Millennium Bridge. Here, sitting looking at the church & the river & the sky. (O, and the Gherkin!)

(An hour later.)

Popped in at the Tate Mod, to see the Bacons, mostly. Going to walk along the South Bank to campus.

Along the Thames, South Bank

(30 mins. later.)

Next to the booksellers under Waterloo Bridge.


Took Jubilee Walk over to Trafalgar & Nat’l Portrait Gallery. Up to Gower St. & over to Senate House to use the bathroom. Read Cakes & Ale for awhile, sitting in Russell Sq. Coffee & granola bar from Starbucks in Brunswick Sq., next to Fields. Going back to Brit-Lib. to retrieve bag from hostel & meet Arianna.

25th–26th JUNE

Woke up at A’s round nine. Ran down the road to the Costcutters for two white coffees. Checked e-mail & watched the rowers on the canal in Hackney outside their apt. window. Took the 253 bus into town. Got to So. Kensington round 15:00. Had a salad in Hyde Park. Met A. at Natty Hist. Museum for a VIP tour; was allowed to touch the fossils. Went with her work friend Mel to a nearby pub. Took the tube up to Islington for dinner. Bus over to Hackney; stopped in a few hipsterish pubs as we walked back to her flat.

Bus to Finsbury Park Sta. to pick up Piccadilly back to Heathrow terminal five.