Saturday, December 20, 2014

Getting settled in

Yes I's been five days since my last blog post - or six?  I have had a hectic week of sightseeing and stalking Paddington Bear. (more on that in another post)  I am now at my pet sit in Wembley, North London.  I have been here since Thursday evening but the owner is off to the United States today so it's just me and the critters (and a couple of guests) until Monday January 12th.  So far, so good!  What has it been...four hours?  I am sure we will all be fine.  Now if I could just find the cat....kidding, kidding...I think...where is she?  Ah..curled up with the dog... Emma is a Basset Hound and Scylla is a tiny black and white cat.

It's been a whirlwind six days since I got here.  For the first four nights I stayed at my usual Bed and Breakfast in Hampstead Garden Suburb in the little room that overlooks Hampstead Heath extension. I have been staying there for the past ten years.  As you might guess I do love it.  And the price is right.  However for this extended stay I do need a place where I can cook as well as neither my figure or bank balance could handle six months of eating out - not to mention it would be awfully sickening after a while.

Monday evening I went with my friend Pat to a Christmas concert at the Rose Playhouse on Bankside.  It is a reconstruction on the site of the original Rose Playhouse which was built in 1587 before the Globe and where Shakespeare, Marlowe and a few others hung out.  The ruins were rediscovered in 1989 and slowly but surely work is being done on it.  We got the tickets on line for six pounds and it included mince tarts and mulled wine.  As there was no heat nor bathrooms I thought that was why it was such a cheap price... we found out why it was so cheap later....anyway the concert was a quartet of singers who were very entertaining and we both enjoyed it.  The host kept thanking us for being volunteers and the penny dropped...oops...but it said nothing about being a volunteer on the poster.  Anyway all very enjoyable.

The next evening I went to a Christmas spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall.  I hadn't realized my ticket was in a box seat - and neither did the rest of the people around me.  As the concert was a complete sell out we couldn't have been upgraded so were we all so oblivious?  Maybe!  Anyway it was wonderful..The concert featured trumpeters from the Coldstream Guard as well as a huge choir, musicians...sorry I forget their names and the fantastic organist.  It started with "God Save the Queen" and covered most well known carols as well as "Waltz of the Flowers"" which to me is the most beautiful piece of music ever created (sorry Paul!)  It gives me shivers EVERY time. We sang along at times and other times listened in awe.   It was an absolutely magical three hours and worth every penny - I wish I could sit through it again.  Truly one of the best musical experiences I have had made even more special by being in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall.

I was supposed to go to the Who on Wednesday evening but it was postponed due to Roger Daltrey having throat problems. I have to look into getting a refund as it's doubtful I will be in London on March 22nd when it is rescheduled for.  I have to think about this one as there are a few things happening in that time frame.  Anyway I needed an evening in so happily watched Coronation Street and caught up on uploading photos.

Now this weekend I hope to get caught up on blog posts...we shall see...

I joined a few London meetup groups online and the first one I am attending is tomorrow.  A Twelve Days of Christmas Walk starting at the St Paul's tube station.  I am looking forward to it.

It will be nice to live life at a slower pace than I usually do in London.  I am enjoying being in a house and plan to cook for the next three evenings...okay...heat up ready meals and cook fresh vegetables....all those meals I drooled over in Marks & Spencer I can now eat....and yes there is a small bag of brussels sprouts in the fridge.

I can't wait to get to Borough Market again and buy some food to bring post coming on my visit there on Tuesday as well as stalking Paddington Bear.  Now to heat up some water to brew some of that fabulous second harvest darjeeling tea I bought at the market....stay tuned for more stories - and lots of photos!!

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A walk along the coffin trail (and a couple of lakes) in the Lake District

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