I arrived home on Friday evening after work with a single objective for my Saturday – to buy a new bicycle. However within twenty minutes of entering the flat my plans had tripled. No longer was I simply buying a bicycle, i was now buying a bicycle between the hours of 10am and 12pm, then I was going for lunch and chatter with friends between 1pm and 6 pm and finally I would be topping off the day by seeing Metallica play live at the O2 arena between 7pm and 12am. Never have a had such a day planned so meticulously for me by someone else! Not that I minded, it was just a surprise.
Lets do this using the correct time scale and begin with the bicycle. I have been cycling to work and back for about three weeks now. My faithful eight year old full suspension mountain bike was beginning to show the signs of not being very pleased with this activity. A little more of it clunked and/or squeaked each day. Add into that the fact that the suspension on it was eating all the energy I was trying to apply to the wheels and you get a scary, slow commute to work. It was decided a new bicycle was required. I spent two days before work looking around for suitable candidate and found three potentials which I loved. The first was a Raleigh Pioneer Urban for ladies at a price of £199. The second was a Trek Soho for Ladies at £349. The final one was a Specialized Vita Sport for ladies at £399. I really did struggle with the idea of spending nearly £400 on a bicycle for a few days and really couldn’t justify that amount when the statements I get from my bank or red each month. The only logical choice was the Raleigh so that’s what I got.
The Raleigh didn’t have as many favourable features as the other bicycles but that’s why it wasn’t £400. Anyway, by the time I had finished bargaining with the men in the shop they had agreed to fit quick release wheels on it for me and to part exchange my old bicycle for £20. Lovely! So as thanks for their deals I bought a small hand pump for puncture repair on the way to work. They changed all of the fixtures and fittings from my old bike onto my new one (by that I mean mudguards, light brackets etc) and in total the whole bicycle cost me !195. A bargain even if I do say so myself. Getting it home was easy thanks to the quick release wheels. it slotted into the car and we took it home. once back to our little cul-de-sac the wheels went back on and I peddled round like a mad woman for a little while and proclaimed ‘WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’ as i went round corners very fast. here’s a snap of the bike.
Pretty much as soon as the new toy was inside the flat safely we were off again to meet friends for lunch. We ended up in Wapping at a pub called ‘The Prospect of Whitby’. Apparently it’s the oldest river side pub in London. It was very pretty to look at.
We sat upstairs in order to enjoy the views off the balcony while we dined. The menu and food were very good and i thoroughly enjoyed the roast vegetable tagliatelle I ate. I am informed by my other half that his sausage of the day with mash and onion gravy was also very good indeed. The pub has some truly amazing views from it’s balcony. I’ll share a few of the pictures I took.
I was very puzzled by the reasoning for this particular structure however.
However, after a quick investigate on the relevant Wikipedia page, it seems the pub was patronised by a Judge who hanged most of his trialists and the noose is there to signify his appreciated custom. A very interesting pub indeed. The sloping of the floors in the upstairs of the building is a little off putting at first but you soon settle into the jollity of it and appreciate the river as you eat and drink yourself happy.
After having our fill at the prospect of Whitby, it was time for the gig. However, Boris Johnson and his stupid planned engineering people at Transport for London seem intent on making any event I want to attend at a weekend virtually impossible to get to. This weekend the Jubilee line was closed which basically cripples the south East end of London. Good job lads! Anyway, because of this issue, we ended up getting a Thames Clipper Boat to the O2. I have to say, it did feel very Rock arriving at the arena by boat and the view of the dome from the sea was stunning.
Once inside we queued for merchandise before finding our seats. I have never been seated at a gig before but as the tickets were found and bought at short notice we couldn’t really complain. We were on the first level of seating and still had a pretty good view. The stage had been moved to the middle of the standing area. It was very different to my visit a few weeks before when I saw Fall Out Boy. This time though, the atmosphere was electric. here’s a video I took of their show opener with some of the most amazing Laser arrangement I have seen in a while.
Now i am not the biggest Metallica fan that ever lived, in fact, I only know one song and it’s the same one the rest of the world knows, ‘Enter Sandman’ but I absolutely will say that it was by far the best live show I have ever been to. The atmosphere and performance was outstanding in every aspect. In my time I have been to see a lot of bands play live in various venues and never would I have thought a single band could manage to rouse every one of the 15,000 capacity into dancing and clapping but Metallica did it. Even I was on my feet and joining in on songs I had never heard before. Here’s some of my photo’s.
They truly were amazing in every way. Some of the newer bands I have seen should take lessons off Metallica as not only did they play for nearly 180 minutes but they stayed on stage after the show and threw out handfuls of plectrums and drumsticks. They also gathered all the flags fans had made and were truly appreciate of every single person that turned up to their show. I haven’t ever seen artists with so much humility and for that Metallica, you have my utter respect. I will end with the video I got of ‘Enter Sandman’ and the sentiment that if you like even 1 bar of music that Metallica has ever produced that you should see them live as soon as you can. They are Astonishing.