This is the dawning of the age of aquarium.
We walked round to Canada Water tube station with our fingers crossed and were delighted to find Jubilee line open for business. What a breath of fresh air the line is. After hauling prams up escalators and stairs in central London the opportunity to descend to track level in a lift is paradise. We travelled to Waterloo and walked to the London eye. Rather bigger than the Manchester and York eyes isn't it? Rather large in comparison. Then we queued for several minutes to get into the aquarium. Once we had paid for the frankly extortinate tickets, we got into the lift and were lowered into the depths. With about a billion other people. Wow! The walls look like rock! If you sort of squint... what's in that tank? Plaice! Plaice? Isn't that on the menu in our local chippy? I have been around the block a few times dear reader/s. I am a man of the world. I have defecated in the woods, I have seen the sun set over, you know, the channel. I have worn the same pants for more than 2 days. I have been to many aquariums, maybe too many, from Hull to Florida. The London Aquarium scores 6/10. For starters most of the tanks are dirty and not very well lit, secondly the fish in them are pretty dull most of the time. The sharks are quite good and the rays are always a hoot, but the sharks aren't very scary and you can't stroke the rays and there's no dolphins or whales or blonde ladies in wetsuits... I know it's in the centre of London and underground and everything but... it's just not a very good aquarium. It's an okay aquarium and should therefore charge okay ticket prices. (The N.H.M. is FREE!) PLUS and here's the thing, it's full of people, kids, prams, pushchairs and tourists. I know I and my posse fall squarely into all those categories but kids and prams and tourists have always annoyed me and I am hardly likely to annoy myself am I? PLUS the screens explaining the contents of the tanks weren't working so I could have been looking at mermaids and not known anything about it. "Neil? What's that fish there?" "I don't know hun..." Not satisfactory. Anyway we left the aquarium and perambulated along the river in an easterly direction... oh... hang on... we haven't discussed Ward's Catering's catering equipment or refrigeration or anything... Not a mention of bains marie or toasters or chefs knives. Oh well maybe tomorrow.