51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Saturday, December 09, 2006


The last two weeks really has seen a lot going on and I've not been posting as much as I used to, well I can't now I'm now back in the restaurants!

My lodger/flatmate seems to be settling in very well. I keep waiting for obvious signs of homesickness (he's moved down from Birmingham), but so far there haven't been any. We went off to see 'Casino Royale' last Wednesday, which was EXCELLENT!! Easily my favourite Bond movie to date! Daniel Craig plays Bond how I think he should be; steely, determined, tough and with a raw sexuality that the recent Bonds have missed.

The whole 007 franchise had started to turn into a pastiche of itself I think. It was all about cheesy gags, flashy gadgets and gorgeous girls. It needed refreshing, and the Blond Bond delivers! Fantastic! And as for all the usual hype about the theme tune? I can't even remember the tune of this one, and it doesn't matter; this film actually speaks for itself! Oh, and Daniel Craig is gorgeous!!
Then on Wednesday of this week it was my Sisters 40th birthday. I have been excited about this day for a while but couldn't share my plans with you as she reads here occasionally!

Months ago she had declared that she would like 'Tea at The Ritz' as her treat. I duly noted it mentally and set that as the foundation of The Day. Then I had to think what to do for the evening. Well, after seeing 'Wicked!' in September there was no competition really, so the day after seeing the show with G&V, I was straight back on line booking 4 tickets for that.

The Day started badly; I got the bus 25 minutes up to the correct underground station that I needed to get to The Ritz, and then realised I had forgotten the theatre tickets! Aaargh! I then waited, seemingly for ever, for a bus back home. I got on the mobile and booked a taxi to be waiting at my flat to take me straight to Piccadilly; I wouldn't have time now to get a tube. Traffic was terrible all the way, and I ended up hopping out of the taxi en route and finishing off the journey by tube anyway! Buses and taxi's and tubes. Oh my!!

So despite leaving on time, I was an hour late! Sadly, I had missed the part where Mum had walked, arm in arm with Sis, straight past The Ritz. "He said to meet us at the restaurant," she'd said. "It's down here apparently." They stopped to look up at the gorgeous Christmas trees flanking the doors of the legendary hotel, with 'flunkys' in top hats waiting to park guests' cars. Lisa then went to walk on, but Mum pulled her back and straight up the steps to one of the most famous hotels in the world. Tears welled up in my Sisters eyes, she looked at Mum in disbelief and just said "Really?". Mum nodded.

The tea rooms there are absolutely beautiful, as you would imagine. Cream walls with gold and cream embroidered chairs, and gilted fretwork picking out alcoves and architraves. The food came on a silver 3-tier tray; a selection of sandwiches on various breads, crusts cut off (how camp!), scones and fruitcake, and on the top tier a selection of fruit tarts. (Wouldn't that be a great description for a group of Drag Queens? A selection of fruity Tarts?) The drinks were served in individual silver pots, so we could each pick our own from the wide range of teas.

We then had some time to kill, so took a long walk through Mayfair, dreaming at the thought of owning some of the uber-expensive treats in the shop windows; a Bentley for £399,750 or a pair of Manolo Blahniks for £695 for you Miss? It's a different world eh? Then we wandered onto Regents Street to see the Christmas lights, and for a wander round Hamleys which I always feel is a 'must-do' at this time of year.

Sis still didn't know what was coming next, so walking all the way through to Oxford Street was really a ploy to throw her off the scent, then we hopped onto a 38 bus and headed towards Victoria. The bus was crowded so she couldn't really tell where we were heading. Nephew & I did a Sudoku together, and the women nattered. She didn't really click until we rounded into the station and she could see the front of the Victoria Apollo. Her and my nephew were absolutely thrilled! They had listened to the CD when they'd stayed at my place after the Scissor Sisters, and had said then that they'd love to see it; it was so hard not letting on sooner!

The show was fabulous, again! Idina Menzel absolutely knocks the socks off the audience. Of course, no-one in my family had heard of her, so when she walked on stage and got a huge cheer from the audience my Mum whispered to me "But she hasn't done anything yet!".

However, by the time she was halfway through her first number, "The Wizard & I", Mum whispered again what amazing vocal control Menzel has; "She hasn't had a chance to breath yet in this song!". I knew the best was yet to come.

And it did; "Defying Gravity" had my Sister in floods of tears, which were repeated again throughout most of the 2nd Act! In fact, by the time we reached the standing ovation, her top was actually wet through!

Afterwards, we went for something to eat and then I saw them on their way to Victoria station to get home. The Day had gone near-as-dammit perfectly, and I know she'll always remember her 40th, and thats exactly how it should be I figure!

And now, as promised, my own photo's of the day. So, as Joe.My.God would say;EMBIGGEN, MAKE PRETTY!

The Sis

The Tea Rooms

The Lobby

The Family

The Sister & I


  • Aww, that sounds like a lovely day. What a nice brother!

    By Blogger mike, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • Im breathless, you did good lad !
    I am so jeolous...
    Its my 40th next year wanna plan mine...
    It has to include Idina, as Defying is my apifany song...
    you have 10 months and counting.
    You a good un Paul X

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • Wow...you brought tears to my eyes with your description of this wonderful day. Your sister is a lucky girl to have you around to make her 40th so special!

    The Ritz looks spectacular and reminded me of a visit to Victoria on Vancouver Island for my 40th birthday. We had high tea at
    The Empress Hotel. It was an experience that I will always cherish and therefore can relate to your sister's feelings when she realized she was going to the Ritz.

    I'm still jealous that you've seen Idina twice and I've see Wicked twice without her.

    Good Job Paul! And...continued luck with the restaurant.

    By Blogger rodger, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • You treated her really well! I assume she likes you as much as you like her? :-)

    By Blogger Reluctant Nomad, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • oh wow paul- you are a brother to die for! what a fabulous way to spoil your sister!

    By Blogger angel, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • ooh- i nearly forgot- i am DYING to see the new bond movie. i am a huge bond fan, i've seen them all, and just from the trailers i am already convinced this is the best movie in a long time and the best bond ever! we went to see it last saturday but it was sold out... might not have been if the friends i was going out with had been on time... but thats a whole nother basket of sardines!

    By Blogger angel, at Sunday, December 10, 2006  

  • NB to all;

    PLEASE don't think I *treated* my Sister... the day was very much paid for by our fabulous Mother! there's no way I could afford this!

    I was just the ideas guy! ;o)

    By Blogger Paul, at Monday, December 11, 2006  

  • also to Angel....

    You really must try and see it while it's on the big screen, the effects are fantastic, and the chase scenes had me on the edge of my seat!

    I'm not really an action movie fan ("What? No show tunes?!"), but I was so gripped during this movie, I was nearly busting a bladder before I dared leave the theatre to go to the loo!

    By Blogger Paul, at Monday, December 11, 2006  

  • Ideas man? Pah! That's nothing compared to the mother forking out the dosh!

    Just kidding of course. What a brilliant idea and great that it went so well even if you were late at the beginning.

    By Blogger Reluctant Nomad, at Monday, December 11, 2006  

  • i can't find an email address for you... this is the new secret me

    By Anonymous pinkjellybaby, at Tuesday, December 12, 2006  

  • Nice looking family there Paul.

    By Blogger rodger, at Wednesday, December 13, 2006  

  • aaaw! thanks Rodger! :O)

    By Blogger Paul, at Friday, December 15, 2006  

  • heh heh heh at nomad... isn't it the thought that counts at least- thats what my mother always says.
    and as for long movies- lemme at 'em! i am a master at holding it in- i reckon i have pelvic floor muscles that could mash an apple!

    By Blogger angel, at Sunday, December 17, 2006  

  • aaaaaaaalllrightythen... i have absolutely NO idea where that came from!

    By Blogger angel, at Sunday, December 17, 2006  

  • but it's hilarious angel!! hahahaha

    By Blogger Paul, at Saturday, December 23, 2006  

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