Waitangi Day 09/02/2008


Up very early for the Waitangi Day pub crawl. After a burger king breakfast met Steve outside the Sainsbury's at Paddington we grabbed some booze, inserted it into my drinking jacket and headed outside to the Pride of Paddington. We ceremoniously cracked a can at ten am and Steve lent me a new Zealand scarf to help me blend in. We roundly booed the chap in an Aussie shirt and cheered every tourist bus that went past. We were joined by Adele who was frankly shocked at what a nice day it was. We set off eventually on the tube and were introduced to the rules that meant we must only travel on the circle line and couldn't hold on or lean on anything. We also had to cheer loudly when a tube arrived and shout off, off, off to the folks within the carriage. It all went remarkably smoothly throughout the day there were no problems that we saw. At the next stop we saw a chap drink a beer from the tube on top of a telephone box. We were joined by Rhod, Marcos and Sandy at high st ken after Steve was nearly taken out by a motorcycle crossing the road. We also luckily found some public toilets by the Library.
We got to Gloucester road and rendezvoused outside Tesco's were just by chance we saw Nick Wallace, so we co-opted him to join our crawl. We carried on to south ken were there was quite a police presence, but there didn't appear to be any trouble as such. On then to Sloane Square I had a quick hike to the top of Peter Jones department store to use their toilets, then returned to find Steve and Sandy playing a game of Rugby in the middle of the square. We also saw a guy dressed as a you tube video and some apes swinging from the trees. We pushed on to Westminster and rendezvoused with the boys who had chosen to stop for sushi of all things, but we left them and pushed on quickly to get to Westminster for 4pm and the Haka. Got to Westminster with a few minutes to spare and Steve set of in a hurry to the Haka point. He obviously made it because he was later spotted on New Zealand TV. I watched from a vantage point on the railings on Parliament then joined the throng to watch folks attempt to climb various lampposts around the square. Then I phoned Steve to rendezvous and return his bag of booze to him After the Hakka myself Steve and Adele set off for the walkabout by temple however the queue was very large so rather than wait a few hours we set off onto Blackfriar's were we went into the Blackfriar's pub and all had food, I had an exceptionally nice pie. We also saw a guy in a monk's outfit. We failed to find the old walkabout by chancery lane so we hopped into a cab to get to the one that used to be the limelight. There was a bit of a funny smell in the place which was due to the drains apparently but you soon got used to it. Steve was in seventh heaven watching New Zealand play Rugby on the big screen from the balcony. We moved about getting gradually better and softer seats, but I had to retire about 8pm as I couldn't face much more alcohol.