Yesterday I spent some quality hours walking around Hyde Park (literally around, which is about 4 miles) and then perusing the Southbank. The Southbank, though highly populated/touristy on gorgeous weekends like yesterday, is still a place I find my self returning time and time again. Yesterday was the first time I saw the whole operation in full swing, and the entire sidewalk was crawling with pedestrians and "living statues" and entertainers with their musical instruments. I cannot imagine the kind of stamina someone must have to be a street performer, or the dedication. So many people pass by, willing to enjoy your work without compensating you for it...they can't be doing it for the money, can they? I'm not sure. Anyway, I went to the Southbank with the express purpose of finding a Chocolate Festival advertised on Time Out London's website, but it was poorly advertised and not as "festival-y" as I'd hoped. I managed to resist the temptation to buy reasonably priced gourmet chocolates, and of this I am quite proud.
As I rode the tube back, I snacked on roasted peanuts and practiced my lip-reading (which becomes more complicated when people aren't speaking English). About halfway home, a woman entered the car next to mine, Hemi-hound in tow. The waddling bulldog came as a delight to the children sitting in the seats across from him (you don't get a great number of dogs on the subways, but it does happen) and became an instant success (in my mind) when he "broke free" of his person to sprawl out in the middle of the car in front of one of the doors, where he lay the rest of his trip.