Monday, 2 June 2008

Tube booze chaos!

The new Mayor of London, our Boris, has just banned drinking alcohol on the Underground. Quite right too, I say. It might help with all the scary, lager-swilling football fans getting drunk and lairy on the Tube every time there's a match or concert on round my way (every day at the moment it seems), although I'm not sure the tramps with their cans of cider will be unduly worried by the "softly softly" approach that TfL are planning on taking. I was astonished to discover that boozing on the Tube wasn't actually illegal already - I always thought it was, and in my clubbing days back at uni we always used to top up little bottles of Diet Coke with vodka to get lashed for cheap on the way out, thinking we'd get arrested if seen drinking the hard stuff openly. It turns out we could have been as blatant as we liked! Oh well, it all added to the frisson of being a teenager, I suppose.

So, alcohol on the Tube became illegal at as of 1 June 2008. How did Londoners react? By organising an almighty booze-up on the Circle Line on the evening of 31 May, starting at 9pm, going westbound from Liverpool Street. This was never going to end well.

We were on our way to a proper party in a proper bar at about 9.10pm on Saturday night, with plans to change at King's Cross. It didn't occur to us that we'd collide with the Tube party; I even vaguely wondered where all those people were going with wine bottles. Then we got to the Circle Line platform:


Most of those people there had alcohol - you can see the standard off-licence blue carrier bags, and the ever-so-classy Bacardi Breezer (yuk). A whole load of people in fright wigs arrived just after that, as the party train was pulling in. We weren't participating, but we had to get where we were going, and it all seemed pretty good humoured. Not much going on in our carriage but we could hear the noises from further down the train where the party was really getting started, with cheering every time we arrived at a station, and a "time" bell being rung in harmony with the door opening and closing beeps. At Great Portland Street, we saw these girls realising with horror that they were on the wrong platform, and trying to leg it over to the train:


When we disembarked at Baker Street, we could see for ourselves what was happening in the party carriages:



Standing room only for the partygoers, girls all dressed up, men in fancy dress, and plenty of alcohol. What I didn't manage to get photos of were the balloons, disco balls, the sound system in one carriage, the full TV camera and boom microphone in another... It all looked like quite a laugh.

Unfortunately these things never seem to stay pleasant, and apparently it all got rather rowdy not much later on, with fights, vomiting and ripping up of train upholstery. Stations were closed, except Liverpool Street where the best they could do was to corral the party on the main concourse all night. Glad we didn't stick around. We had to walk for ages on our way back home because, surprise surprise, the station we needed was shut because of the trouble. I still have the blisters.  Bloody high heels.

What else have I been up to? Well, most excitingly, I popped down south to check out a wedding venue, and it was gorgeous, and it's now booked for next September! As a consequence of which, I've been hitting the gym in the evenings, as I only have 14 months to look good enough for all the photos. At least that's fairly likely to be enough to augment my paltry willpower when it comes to such things. Must not eat chocolate... except when bought for me as a celebratory pressie by the lovely Lotta and Anna, with whom I spent a lovely Tuesday evening sipping champagne cocktails in the Mo√ęt Bar in Selfridges. They also bought me a stunning orchid from Paula Pryke at Liberty, and I'm working really hard to ensure that this is the one plant that I manage to keep alive. Thank you again my dears! But no more chocolate, please, I beg you...

1 comment:

stash haus said...

Oh Lucy, that venue looks SO beautiful!!

What a mess on the Tube. Hope you baby your sore feet.