Madeline's latest social event was a great (if a somewhat soggy) success. Some twelve club members including Mike, Maggie, Kevin and young Jack Rogers, Andrea Mundon, Eunice Coletta, Pete & Diana Carpenter, Keith & Madeline Hatton and Lyn & myself, met on the steps of the old County Hall building on Saturday morning.
By 10:00am we were high above the river on the London Eye. I think I've only once had a higher view of the capital from the Post Office Tower, in the days when the revolving restaurant was open. The view was spectacular, despite the overcast, and judging from their comments the American's who shared our 'pod' where obviously impressed. The strange thing about 'the eye' is an almost total lack of movement. You really have to look inwards to the hub to see the rotation. The ride lasts about half an hour and gives plenty of time to move around the pod for an almost unique 360° view.
As we 'disembarked' it began to rain. This was the opening shot of something that became an almost permanent feature of the rest of the day. The Festival Hall restaurant however was close by and provided a dry stop for coffee.
In view of the weather, it was decided to opt for a river trip down to Greenwich and The Thames Barrier rather than 'risking' a conducted London Walk. Mike & Maggie and family decided to call it a day. The rest of us crossed the river and made our way up to Westminster Pier. Now to say at this point it rained a little would be a slight understatement. It chucked it down, the streets flooded, and we got drenched, as in wring your socks out! In fact, later in the day, both Keith and I both bought new socks to change into.
The cruise down to The Thames Barrier was a great way to see The City and the ongoing developments in Docklands. The catastrophe that is (was) The Millennium Dome looked especially 'sad'. The weeds are already beginning to choke the water front and the site is looking irrelevant and unwanted.
The Thames Barrier by comparison is amazing. An incredible feat of engineering providing ongoing protection to London. Our cruiser 'Chay Blyth' finally docked at the Greenwich Pier. The 'girls' made an immediate dive into the covered market behind the Cutty Sark for lunch and a touch of retail therapy.
The trip back to Westminster was enjoyed from down below in the lounge. As we moored up the heavens opened again. Discretion being the better part of something or other we decided to call it a day and made our separate ways home. All in all it was a grea day.
The Eye is well worth going on and as much a success as the poor old Dome wasn't. Many thanks to Madeline and Diana for organising the day, sorting out the tickets and generally ensuring everything went well. It was most appreciated despite the weather.