Sun 20 May 2007
This morning, I woke up around 8am, showered and went over to the Pancake Cafe for breakfast. As seems typical with London, at 8:30, the place still wasn’t open. So I was obliged to go to Starbucks and grab a coffee and a muffin so we could get a roll on. Charles and I walked down to Trafalgar Square to get to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. I was actually surprised that there were actually planes allowed to fly over the palace.
For about two hours, I sat right in front of the gate, destined to not let any of the madding crowd take my space. Around 11:15, the old guard started to come out from the rear and the new guard started to enter the grounds. The whole ceremony was extremely reminiscent of the guard ceremonies at the Québec City Citadel and the Halifax Citadel and perhaps even less interesting. The band played four songs, two of which were themes from soundtracks to Gladiator and The Incredibles. Resultingly, it was neat but anti-climatic nonetheless.
From there, Charles and I split up and I went looking for a store on Carnaby Street to find a rugby jersey for the London Wasps, one of the two teams in the Heineken Cup, and also sponsored by Magners Cider. Regretfully the shirt was £50, so I ended up having to pass on it. I continued along my path home, while looking for a bookstore at the same time. I finally happened upon a Borders on Oxford Street so I was able to pick up the book Tescopoly, perhaps a useful source for my thesis.
I moved along toward the hotel and went to lunch at Soba Noodle Bar at 38 Poland off of Oxford Street. At Soba, I ended up meeting a kid from Boston who was a Masters student in philosophy at Oxford University. We chatted briefly, but he was actually back from his summer vacation to meet a girl so he left before I finished.
When I got back to the hotel, Charles had already left so I ended up just hanging out in the room. However, I ended up closing my eyes for 15 minutes and ended up waking up after 45. I started to head down the street to go to a cafe, but I forgot my plug adapter. By the time I got back, Charles had already been back to the room, so we both did some work for tomorrow’s presentations. After that, it was nearly 8 and Mike had been spotted, so we headed down to Spaghetti House for some dinner.
The rest of the evening consisted of picking up something to drink and then coming back to the room to re-watch 30 Rock with Mike. Even though Charles had finished a bottle of wine, apparently for a second night in a row, it wasn’t enough to induce him to appear at Night & Day. I didn’t want to be the lone man to show, and though Tim and his girlfriend came back to London, they never returned for all of us to go out, so I also went to bed.