Reg and I were in Bermondsey last night and Reg had his first trip in a lift. We were off to see the lovely M. In between catching up on literally years of gossip I showed her the rudimentary basics of puncture repair and brakes. The fact is that when you first get a puncture it's horrible but if you at least know what it all looks like it's not so bad.
We headed home just before 9pm and, as in London you can see where you are if you're near the river, I decided London Bridge was our best bet. Once there I turned left and negotiated the various roads behind Waterloo. One of my greatest loves about cycling in London is that when you get a bit lost you can pull over, get off and get your bearings. I did that a couple of times.
Some nasty roadworks meant I ended up heading across Westminster Bridge towards Parliament. It was lit up and gorgeous. The one way system then meant that we went down Whitehall, passing Number 10 and watching as they started preparations for Remembrance Sunday. Before you could blink we were at Trafalger, fountains plumed in the dark and tourists' flashbulbs gave the impression of strobe lighting.
Left again and Buckingham Palace loomed ahead, a majestic and beautiful chocolate box, with handsome and watchful military guards standing outside.
Then I went up through Hyde Park corner, across the ugly but deliciously smooth new tarmac put there, presumably, for bikers. Into the park, shaking may head at the sheer selfishness of the ninjas who, without lights, appear in the inky gloom inches from your handlebars scaring the crap out of you. The new Marble Arch fountains were in full technicolor brilliance splashing audibly.
The romance ended there as I made my way through the back streets to Paddington to catch the train with Reg.
The roadworks could have been a pain and they did delay me somewhat but instead of grumpy I was thrilled, how much would tourists pay to see all that in one night?