Friday, July 24, 2009

Outside the Embassy

I had a much better time of the waiting than Silverback did.

He was attending an appointment at the American Embassy to renew his tourist visa for another ten years. I was accompanying him in order to distract him from the worry of it all by talking at him non-stop all the way on the four and a half hour journey from Leeds. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it, and I think I managed it with some triumph, all things considered. I had carefully planned it so that, no matter how tough the interview would be, he would find it a blessed relief in comparison. I'm kind like that.

You can read an account of what went on inside the Embassy in more detail on his blog here.

Meanwhile, I knew I had a long wait ahead of me and was quite happy with this as long as the visa interview was successful.

So I sat in the sunshine in Grosvenor Square and took a photo of the eagle on top of the Embassy (can I point out that I saw a real Bald Eagle when I was in America? Just mentioning it).

And I wandered about in front of the Embassy and took some photos - - the chap sitting down was one of the twenty or so outside, like me, waiting for friends and relatives.

I took a photo just to remind myself where I'd been:

And, after sitting in the sunshine for a long and enjoyable time, I went and had a drink in a pleasant local pub where I found this strangely enigmatic sign:

The writing says: "Once upon a time a bookshelf with a secret door stood here - - The End!"

A group of American tourists arrived and said "Oh no - - it's gone! It was there when we were here ten years ago!"

I wandered out again and found, to my astonishment, that the sunshine had been replaced by a torrential downpour, which had now stopped. I had been downstairs with no windows and had missed the whole thing. Dripping tourists squished miserably past the pub.

Since the forecast had been "SUNSHINE" I had not taken my waterproof jacket. So I went and bought a cheap umbrella - there were lots of these for sale on Oxford Street which says a lot about the summer we've been having - just in case it did it again.

Of course, since I'd bought the umbrella, there was no further rain and I made my way back to the Embassy. Several hours had gone by and, from talking to others, I reckoned that Silverback wouldn't be much longer.

I knew that he would emerge with a solemn face whatever the outcome, because he has worked out that I believe everything he says, damn it. And sure enough, out he came, looking solemn - - but it didn't take long to fathom that he was in fact telling me what is known in Cockney rhyming slang as a Porky Pie. I did contemplate hitting him with the umbrella but couldn't bring myself to do it since I was so pleased that all was well!

Still, we had a four hour coach trip back to Leeds ahead of us, for me to get my revenge. I know a lot of very dull poetry and a lot about Flowers Adjoining the M1 Motorway. Pretending to be asleep - or even unconscious - cuts no ice with me.

Seriously, a Grand Day Out with an excellent result.


Anonymous Milo said...

Glad you had a good sojourn to London with positive outcomes!

Will you be visiting America again now that he's had the renewal? You enjoyed it a lot the last time by the sound of things.

8:27 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Milo - thank you! Oh, I'd love to go back though even one visit was well beyond my wildest dreams! I haven't travelled much as you no doubt know - sometimes I can't believe I got there!

12:00 am  

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