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My daughter and I planned a day out in London yesterday: arrive just in time for lunch at Ed’s Easy Diner in Soho – burgers and shakes and good music 50s style, then up to Madame Tussaud’s (which I’ve never been to), then taking advantage of the Kids go Free offer on at many West End theatres in August (click here) to see Wicked.

Lunch was great.  The queues to get in at Tussauds weren’t great – even though we’d pre-booked, and it was a bit of a scrum inside, and one big selling opportunity – in each room the most popular figures you could be photographed with were strictly paid for only (e.g. The Queen and Wills & Kate). Some of the waxworks were eerily real (Amy Winehouse, Prince Charles, Patrick Stewart), others were really rubbish (George Clooney, Daniel Radcliffe, and R Patz in particular). I won’t be rushing to return there. Luckily, Jessica Ennis was one of the good ones (look at those abs!) …

I haven’t read the book Wicked by Gregory Maguire which gives the witches of Baum’s Wizard of Oz a cracking back story that introduces contemporary themes whilst being true to the original. The musical, with music by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell etc) has a several outstanding numbers, fabulous sets, and a great cast led by Rachel Tucker.  We had the alternate Glinda, Chloe Taylor – but she was wonderful. It was Wicked!

But what did we do in between the main events? Starting from Trafalgar Square where Nelson was supporting Team GB too, we went hunting for Wenlock and Mandeville – the Olympic and Paralympic mascots. We picked up a map from one of the many helpful 2012 helpers, who were everywhere, which gives a load of walking trails around central London along which are stationed statues of the mascots. My daughter loved this; by the end of the day my feet didn’t any more! we must have walked several miles in the heat discovering fourteen statues. Then we had to stand up on the 1130 train home as far as Reading – who’d have thought that all the seats were reserved at that time of night.  Home at 12.45am – and the minute we got in Juliet who is not quite twelve yet was buzzing again.  We actually both had showers before we got to bed at around 1.30.

Great photo ops though, and London was looking wonderful with all the flags everywhere. What a wonderful, if tiring day out.

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