London in the rain

Had a great day today. The day started with heavy wind and rain so didn't rush out but sat and enjoyed my breakfast and Simon and I had a good yak about the Olympics here, his B & B, etc. Headed out about 9:15 and took the bus to the Strand - when I got off I was the only one on the bus which was a first I think. I topped up my mobile phone at Orange - yikes it is expensive. 20p a minute for calls within the UK so it will be for calls and messages that need to be passed on. A pound a minute to call North America but no plans for that... However it's more convenient that trying to use a pay phone here. Then on to Covent Garden in the pouring rain. I stopped in at the Royal Opera House to inquire about Romeo and Juliet for Friday Jan. 13th but sold out..I may see what the day before has but if nothing oh well I will live. I then stopped at Marks and Spencers to get some new undies...I wear nothing but M & S knickers these days and stock up every time I come over here. And being as I am turning 60 this year and going to try 60 new things I got a pair of black lacy thongs and I don't mean the kind you wear on your feet. I want to see if they are as comfortable as people say they are - can't even imagine. Thank god in heaven there is no floor length mirror so I can't see what I look like in them... I can just imagine. And it ain't pretty. They were on sale so no big deal if they aren't my cup of tea. Speaking of tea I stopped in at Whittards tea in Covent Garden and tried their cherry hot chocolate. Oh my how good but unfortunately it comes in a tin that is just too big for me to bring home. Boo hoo or maybe just as well. I resisted buying more tea...being as I have enough at home to open my own shop.

I then walked over to Trafalgar Square and it was still raining so went to the National Portrait Gallery and had a gander at a few areas. I've been there before of course but it's always nice to go back and see favourites again and see new things as well. I went outside and the rain had stopped and blue skies. So I scurried over to St. James Park and wandered around a bit then through Whitehall palace and over to see Big Ben. By then it was clouding up again but I was able to grab a few photos. I walked along the Thames for a bit then back to the square and into Waterstones where I had a much needed coffee. I drooled over all the books - the combination of all those books and the smell of fresh brewing coffee was wonderful - I do love book shops. However I resisted buying anything. Wow I am impressing myself no end so far on this trip but it's the thought of dragging it all home with me....

St. Martins in the Field beckoned me - it's a church beside Trafalgar Square and they have a lovely shop and cafe in the basement and all the proceeds go to their programs such as helping the homeless. I had my supper there which was a beef and vegetable (mushrooms, parsnips and carrots) stew with roast potatoes and broccoli. Oh my it was delicious. I was craving vegetables as normally I eat a lot of them. That is one of the many wonderful things about solo travel - I can eat where I want to. No compromise.

Regent St. beckoned me...Piccadilly Circus on the way of course. Regent St. sells out to the latest cartoon/movie and this year it was Arthur whatever that is. I then walked along Oxford St. as well and there is one decoration that wasn't there last year. It was all very pretty. I figured I better do this soon as they will be taken down by the end of the week and the rain had stopped.

I then took the bus back...we nearly ran over a girl who was busy yakking on her cell phone as we went around the corner. The bus honked and she jumped back - that is the closest call I've seen. I even yelped OH MY GOD!

Tomorrow I will attempt a walk and see how far I get - my foot is still bothering me but I can always quit and start up where I left off another day. With the rain pelting down today I did not feel like walking. Tomorrow evening I will be going to see Backbeat which is the story of the early days of the Beatles in Hamburg. Can't wait!