Friday May 15th
Up with the lark [well I bet some larks don`t surface `till 8.30am! ], after breakfast I gave in to pressure and went shopping with my DW.
As it was a pleasant day, a walking excursion seemed to be the way to go.
From the hotel it is only around a 15/20 minute stroll through Green Park to Oxford Street which is where we headed first. Despite the recession, as usual it was very crowded, though how many of the folks were actually buying is debatable. My DW however had plans to ensure that several of the shops were able to cope with the hard times.
I shouldn`t complain really seeing as she persuaded me to buy some clothes for myself which will come in handy for our imminent trip to Florida, however this came as a trade off for me buying her a leather jacket which we saw at a really good knock down price.
After walking/shopping the length of Oxford Street and looking [or should I say laughing] at some of the prices displayed in the shop windows in Bond Street, we carried on the “loop” along Regent Street heading for Piccadilly Circus.
A slight detour was made part way along Regent Street where we headed for a Starbucks that we know is located along Carnaby Street towards the rear of the Palladium where we took a table outside and did some people watching while we drank our coffees.
Suitably refreshed, we carried on to Piccadilly Circus before walking through St James Park and back to the hotel to drop off our purchases which seemed to be getting heavier with every stride we took.
Following a snack lunch, another walk in another direction took us to Hyde Park. There we saw a huge pink pavilion had been set up so we went over to investigate what was taking place.
There we got chatting to one of the officials who actually lives around 15 miles from our house and he told us that he was a chauffer/minder for various celebrities. He then went on to explain that they were setting up for the Playtex “Moon Walk” which was to be a fund raising sponsored walk through London to raise cash for research into breast cancer with a field of ordinary folk and a few celebs all wearing bras on the outside of their clothes. Apparently Paul O`Grady was due to arrive shortly as he was one of those who were taking part in the walk
He would have let us have a look inside the pavilion but he told us that at the moment the BBC were there doing various sound checks etc. so this was a no no.
My DW had always admired Princess Diana and yet during all the times we have visited London we have never seem her memorial which is located in Hyde Park and so this seemed like an ideal opportunity to do just that.
It was quite a pleasant stroll through the park along the Serpentine lake which took us to the memorial site.
The memorial takes the form of a constantly moving river of water in a circular loop and visitors are allowed to walk in the icy cold water [if they are brave enough!]. This construction caused a lot of controversy at the time it was built as many considered that it cost a load of money and that a more fitting tribute to Princess Diana should have been made, but who am I to judge?
It was right now that I received the first of a load of text messages from our friend in LA giving me a blow by blow account of the progress being made regarding the potential meet and greet with Eric Clapton.
Her boss [the VP of Eric`s record label] had put in a personal request to his opposite number in the UK to sort out some back stage passes for us after the show the following night.
The second text, a few minutes later said that the guy in the UK had spoken to Eric`s management and was awaiting their reply.
This was followed by another text a short while later saying that everyone was working hard to make this happen and telling me that if we don`t receive a call from either the record label, or EC`s management, that we should visit the “Will call” area at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow evening.
I just looked at my DW at this stage and said “Finally it looks as though it`s really going to happen this time” and we made our way back to the hotel, the opening riff of “Layla” being foremost in my head!
Neither of us felt very hungry this evening so again we decided to eat after the show we had tickets to see this evening which was The Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre, a short [but expensive] taxi ride from the hotel.
Again we had been allocated seats very close to the stage and unlike last nights show, we really enjoyed this one. The Jersey Boys is basically the history behind Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and features all of their countless hit songs. The sad part about it was that I am old enough to know the words and I was therefore able to sing along with those playing the roles!
This is an excellent show and gives all of the audience the “feel good factor”, however I was surprised that the script called for several four letter expletives which may be an embarrassment for those with young children in the audience. This aside, it was a memorable experience and the guys in the lead roles sounded just like the real thing.
After the show we took another taxi back to the hotel in order to grab a quick bite to eat [and a nightcap of course!] before retiring for the evening.
Just as we got to our room I had yet another update from our friend in LA saying that so far there was no news one way or the other and because of the weekend looming it may be the last opportunity for us to "speak", so I would have to go to the "Will call" window at the Royal Albert Hall and keep my fingers crossed!