This was a long, long day, starting in a cool, drizzly Chartres and ending in the bosom of what I still think is the world’s best city. I’m starting to get sleep deprived, because I keep finding amazing things things to do around midnight and then have to back up again with an early start. So last night I was photographing until 11.30 but had to be at the station for a 9.15 train.

Getting around has been quite easy, but dragging the back pack around, while infinitely preferable to dragging a suitcase up stairs, has its down side. It is such a routine to get everything settled on your back that you tend to leave it there. My pack has no wheels or handles, like some of the more modern ones do, so the usual option is to leave it there: 16 kgs of dead weight, plus the camera bag, hanging from belly belt and shoulder strap. This meant that I was strapped in from the moment I left the Chartres train at 10.45 until I was in the waiting room in Gare du Nord at 1.15 pm. Ouch!

I could have cheerfully slept on the Eurostar, but I was madly catching up on blogs and papers and novels. I was also looking forward to London, which had much better whether reduced than the grey skies of Northern France. So it proved: London had received the summer weather than everyone had prayed for during the wet spring: it was glorious sunshine and the temperature was just perfect.

I dumped my gear in the ship cabin that passed for a bedroom in Earls Court (clean and comfortable but no wider than the single bed was long) and headed out. I had no intention of being inn that room for longer than I needed to! Shopping, I thought. Perhaps a look at Leicester Square and walking down to the river?

Nix to that! I walked straight (not the best word in the circumstances) into the end of the gay pride march. All that was left were sexually confused teenage girls and outrageous trannies. I’d missed all the good bits and was left with Oxford Street crowded like I’d never seen it. I gave up and started walking, all the way to Charing Cross, and then took a Tube Trip that was more like a mass evacuation after a plague outbreak than a weekend trip home.

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I had to do some housekeeping, not easy in the space restrictions, upload photos and find a meal. There were to good pubs round the corner but both were buzzing, so I wandered down Earls Court Road and found a quieter pub of the Irish variety. Excellent nosh and a couple of pints and I was Bedford bound.