"" Writer's Wanderings: Not Your Usual Circus

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not Your Usual Circus

My husband, the clown, decided that if the Queen wouldn’t have us for dinner, we ought to go to the circus—Piccadilly Circus. We located the nearest tube station and hopped on a subway train to the Piccadilly Station. On arrival, we climbed the steps to the street level and found ourselves in the middle of a bustling intersection. Piccadilly Circus is a famous street junction where five or six streets merge into a. . .a. . .circle? Triangle? Square? It was hard to tell but right in the middle of everything was a tall monument with a guy on top equipped with a bow and arrow. Scores of people sat below the statue of Eros. It was either a “meet me here” spot or a resting place.

The area is full of theaters and I almost felt like we were on Broadway in NYC. I took a few pictures of the theater marquees and was especially careful to catch the huge Mama Mia sign. Our niece was in that production in Las Vegas a couple years back. She would have loved seeing this area.

Hunger pangs were setting in since the Queen hadn’t fed us. We stood on the corner of an intersection and tried to decide which restaurant appealed the most to us. This was our third day in England and we still hadn’t eaten in a pub so we chose St. James Tavern on Windmill St. It had the quaint look of a tavern but was really a happening place with the World Cup of Soccer being blasted from the large flat screen TV in the corner.

Some of the best food can be had in pubs in England. Bob ordered a traditional steak and kidney pie that came with potatoes and peas that weren’t mashed. For some reason, the Brits like to mash their peas. I had a broiled chicken dinner that was delicious. We were among a very few people who were eating. Most folks in Europe don’t eat dinner until 8 or 9 in the evening. It was only 6 when we ordered. Lots of “pints” of ale were everywhere as people stopped in for a drink before going on to the theater. It was a lot more civilized than a neighborhood bar in America.

Tired, fed, and excited for the next day’s adventure, we called it a night early and headed to the subway to return to our hotel. As we neared the subway entrance however, we caught one “circus” act. Several young people with brightly colored hair—purple, red, yellow, green, and orange. Soccer fans or fashion statement?

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