So our yearly christmas do came and went - this year the most impressive venue to date was in order: Madame Tussaud's.
Before wandering into the venue we stopped off for a swift half in the Metropolitan Bar above Baker Street station. The largest and most random pub in the world - we suited and fancy dressed fools rubbed shoulders with habitual drunks (in and not in suits), random foreign travellers, random londoners and a large number of eastern european workmen (who were knocking back an impressive amount of Zywiec, my current second favourite polish beer - we get lots of tasty polish beer in Ealing these days, although my source of my fave one, Lezajsk (the name of which I can never remember, let alone pronounce...leh-zhaysk?, and keep an empty bottle on a shelf to remind me when I am at home) has recently dried up). On visiting the bathroom I was regaled with tales of a very drunken gentlemen who was off to a members club in Soho to see a porno movie premiere. "Yeah, it's like about Jack the Ripper and he shags all the women before he kills them."
On entering Madame Tussaud's we were ushered into the "Spirit of London" exhibition, complete with black cab shaped cars to sit in as we rolled on rails through a True London Experience including plague, Nelson's head, various royals, a policeman holding a goldfish bowl on a string, hippies and Mohammed Al-Fayed - the most wonderful closing to any weird animatronic display that I have ever seen. From there it was on to a room full of waxworks, beverage and nibbles with a stack of celebs in a nativity scene and a scarily lifelike woman with a camera to her face who flashed from time to time. It was quite unnerving in the dimmed light of the room as you often couldn't tell at a distance who was real and not - after taking a photo of the Patrick Stewart model that I liked I spun around to show someone and not realising I had done a 360 went to show Patrick himself. He didn't seem very impressed.
Next we had a walk through more rooms down to the basement banquetting room, full of political figures and, bizarrely, a stage with the X-Factor judges on. Many pictures were taken of people hugging Hitler and Yasser Arafat, and later in the evening, when the beverages had flowed for a while, a fake moustache made the rounds.
My costume of "Peter Jackson going to the Oscars" was, surprisingly, not chosen for a prize, but other than that it was rather an impressive party. I may even have to go back to Madame Tussauds sometime, as long as I don't have to go on the Spirit of London ride ever again...