So anyway, I managed to get away from work in good order and headed straight off to the bus stop. On arriving I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to book a restaurant for my parents visit on Saturday, but my trusty Treo obtained the number of Pierre Victoires for me and I was able to hop onto the bus with a light heart. As always though, I'm my own worst enemy. Reading on the bus is OK on the motorway but once we start stopping, starting and turning corners it makes me distinctly nauseous. But I just had to read one more chapter. I alighted at Victoria outside the Office of the Deputy Priminister feeling in need of some fresh air. Unfortunately, I was in London so I had to settle for walking to the Eye down Victoria St and across Westminster bridge. I have to say that this turned out to be an extremely pleasant walk which actually made me look almost kindly on the old metrop again. I had rarely been in this area when I lived in London, mostly being in the east and it's rather nice. Although not much to look at, I enjoyed wandering past the departments of state wondering what was going on inside and the sight of Westminster Abbey was enough to have me digging for my camera (although unfortunately it was out of batteries and I had to pick up some more on the way onward). I always look at buildings like that and the Palace of Westminster and think they (or buildings of a similar stature) would never get built today. Enormous, imposing, functional, awe-inspiring and beautiful all together. Perhaps it's that there's nothing that we reverence in the same way any more. Pausing only to regret that I hadn't enough time to go and see the Dali exhibition in the Saatchi gallery and photograph the "This is not a photo opportunity" graffiti, I headed off to meet Niall (coalescent) and co in a very hot and noisy All Bar One. Fortunately I'd timed my arrival well and we soon headed off to get our private capsule.
Actually being on the Eye was just as impressive as I had hoped. Just standing underneath and looking up at it was a pretty impressive sight. Niall had been well advised as to timings and the earlier threatening clouds lifted up enough to give us a pretty spectacular sunset. I didn't make much conversation, just darted around taking photos from different parts of the capsule which I will post as soon as I've put them on the laptop and picked my favourites, I promise. I know that this is one of those things I'd have never got round to doing if it hadn't been organised for me by someone, so thanks Niall and happy birthday.