The week started fairly mundanely, but come Thursday we took to the car and headed to London's city centre. The Shard was having its opening ceremony - mind you, it was only celebrating the completion of the outside, the inside is yet to be finished! Our first plan was to head into L's office at Covent Garden to see the show, but after getting home, doing the food shopping, having dinner and tidying up, we were too late to get there before the show started! So we decided to drive around London to catch a glimpse - that turned out to be a far better idea!
Sat comfortably in the car we headed in via Westminister and saw the lasers in the distance, by chance, luck, and amazing driving skills (if Sarah doesn't say so herself!) we found ourselves getting closer and closer to The Shard. In fact, at some points we were right by The Shard and able to look up through the sunroof and admire its colourful show. It wasn't quite the laser show that had been advertised, but it was a great opportunity to see the city at night and drive with the windows down and music turned up!
On Friday we had full days at work, but Sarah & Lauren were driving down from Birmingham and parking at our flat before taking Sarah's journey into work to meet her. Sarah finished at 5.15 and met the lovely ladies at Victoria Station before completing the journey in to meet Laura. After a quick march to Covent Garden and back we decided on Spaghetti House for dinner- always a great choice! It worked out really well as they do dishes for two to share - we LOVE the spaghetti carbonara (seriously BEST we've found) and Lauren and Sarah shared a veggie option.
Next stop was the Southbank and the Udderbelly festival. We had tickets to see Cantina and with a 7:30pm start. Once we arrived, there was little time to relax in the sunny evening so we got drink and headed into the big top. It was like we took a step back into a 1940's circus!
The show started with a tightrope act that included a lady in HIGH HEELS (omg!), it continued with death-defying stunts, acts that made us go ooo-aah-ow far too often and a lady who could pop all of her joints in and out of place - it was certainly a mind trip! Entertaining, but shocking! Laura spent the entire time worrying that someone was going to need to be taken to hospital! It also turned out to be more 'educational' than expected for one of us. Lets just say there should have been a *nudity* warning somewhere, as a certain gentleman had an aversion to clothes!
The show lasted just over an hour so emerging from the Big Top we were surprised to see a gorgeous sunset over the Southbank. On such a gorgeous evening it seemed a shame to rush home so we strolled through the newly opened Jubilee Gardens and enjoyed the view over to the Houses of Parliament. In our opinion Southbank + Sunset = perfect London evening!
Come Saturday morning, all four of us were up early and ready to go by 9:15! I'm not sure what people who saw us board the bus that morning thought but with Wimbledon less than two miles from the flat they probably thought we were ready to support Murray (in Sarah's case) or the Williams sisters (in Laura's case). For those in the know, however, Saturday saw the arrival of London Pride, and for this year WorldPride! You'd never guess where in the world we're from! :D
Our early start meant we made it to Leicester Square in time for Maccy D's breakfast and meant we avoided the rain that had started. Once fueled for the day we walked to Trafalgar Square to find our spot. Thankfully the rain has passed and we were able to enjoy the stroll and stay dry. On arrival at Trafalgar Square we spotted two of the designer phone boxes so headed over for photos, and to find a place to wait for the parade. There were a few rainbow'd people milling around but it turned out that the parade route had been changed from previous years so we picked a spot in the middle of a traffic island to wait.
The four of us sat and chatted for almost two hours (which flew by!) before the crowds started gathering, and our early start paid off as we got to stand at the front (a first for us!) and see what was happening. The parade its self lasted two hours from start to finish - highlights included 'Nando's - always worth coming out for', the veteran pride folks from the first ever pride, Stonewalls 'some girls marry girls get over it' and Microsofts 'geek and proud'. Oh and having Sarah & Lauren there to enjoy it with, of course!
At the end of the parade we joined the masses of people in Trafalgar Square for the music & Gok Wan hosting - with the intermittent rain and boiling sunshine we were glad to have dressed for all weather conditions. Smirnoff Ice had prepared us for summer with sunglasses & fans and Lauren became the official umbrella holder whenever the rain made an appearance! Thanks to her we survived being SOAKED!
In Trafalgar Square we ended up meeting fellow bloggers Carley & Stacey, and the ever-so colourful, pretty and patriotic Megan & Whitney! It was a lesbian blogger gathering that we would have never predicted this time last year. In fact, for all previous Prides it had just been the two of us, and we had joked about at some point finding friends to go with. Who'd have thought we'd have this lovely group this year!!
From Trafalgar Square, we headed to Soho to see what was happening and the crowds in the street made it clear that the last minute changes had done nothing to limit the numbers or impact the mood - it was BUZZING!!!
We dined and drunk and made all kinds of interesting acquaintances- the great thing about Pride is wandering alone, as a couple or in a group you can always find someone to talk to. Or should we say, someone will always talk to you! By the end of the day we had posed for over 45 photos from random strangers including a group of Asian tourists - Pride is a mini-moment of fame for us! :)
We always love Pride, and we must say that despite the last minute budget cutbacks from Pride London, this year's London Pride was just as amazing, fun and incredibly GAY as it always has been!!!
Did you go to WorldPride? What was your favourite part??
Lots of love (and rainbows),
Laura & Sarah xo