Sunday, January 29, 2017

The rain, the park and other things

Title courtesy of the Cowsills...who remembers them?  I saw this on Facebook and had to use the title which is very appropriate as I listen to the rain falling.  Today has been a "rest day".  My last one before I go home...yes the time is approaching.  Ten more sleeps until I am back in my own bed...I have mixed feelings on that one.  Okay my body will be knee in particular and my right foot which has been a right little b*tch these past few days.  No more stairs!  My heart...not so much. This morning I walked down to the launderette to do my laundry for the last time of the trip. I know I will be back (on the way to somewhere else)  as soon as my (new) knee is back in working order.

So what have I been doing the past four days?  Thursday I went down to Brighton to meet up with my friend Judi.  It was a cold windy day there - the wind was damp and cut right through you.  So needless to say we tried to stay indoors as much as we could.  We started out in the North Laine which is full of unique independent shops...dare I say I got two more coasters?  I know, I know...

We then stopped to have a warming coffee and a chat before looking in a few more shops.   We passed by the beautiful Brighton Royal Pavilion which is over two hundred years old.  George IV frequented Brighton as a young prince and commissioned that this be built.  I have been inside and it's over the top fabulous.

Today we just walked through the gardens to get to where we were going..lunch!!!

Vietnamese Pho!  Warming and good.  Being as the restaurant was less than a block from the sea I dashed...okay...limped down to the promenade and took a few quick..and I mean  Even the seagulls were shivering!

More wandering around Marks and Spencers and then we both decided we had had enough and headed back to our respective homes.

Friday I decided to go to Borough Market - there is a direct train to London Bridge from Streatham Common so that is very handy.  I got some of my favourite tea (2nd flush Darjeeling) and Masala Chai from the shop Tea2you.  Of course when I am on holidays I imagine myself cooking exotic meals when I go home so I had to go to Spice Mountain and get some Garam Masala and Korma to add to my collection.  Even as I paid for it I was shaking my head at myself (figuratively that is).

These look delicious but I didn't buy anything proud of myself.  Of course there is always time to go back...Oh yes I did buy myself a thick slice of the delicious Borough Market cheese.

From there I took the tube up to St Johns Wood to pay my respects to Abbey Road Studios and have a snoop around the shop that was recently set up.  In my personal opinion things just aren't the same there anymore and it's really an eyesore with construction going on.  I got myself a book mark and a transit pass holder and that was t-shirts, nothing!  Hopped onto a bus and headed down Baker Street playing "Baker Street" on my MP3 player. (as you do)  I got off near Piccadilly Circus and wandered over to Chinatown which was getting ready for New Years.  I decided to skip the big celebration this year - been there, done that and it's insane!  It was busy enough then.

Tempted by the smells and my rumbling tummy I decided to have lunch there.  I saw a buffet through the window that looked nice but they could only seat me with other people.  I hate that!  So I carried on and ended up having dim sum.  Deep fried shrimp rolls, steamed pork dumpling and mango pudding.  The fellow I go to at the Regina Farmers Market makes much better dim sum!

Over to Leicester Square where I visited the new Lego store - you couldn't get near it before Christmas.  It was really fun to see all the London Icons done in Lego.

All made of lego.

Even the elevator decorations were cute although obviously not Lego!

Not the best photograph but everyone and their dog wanted to pose in that phone box!

By that time I had enough and headed back to Streatham.

Saturday I decided to avoid central London and explore the local area.  So I purchased a bus pass for the day (my weekly travel card had expired) and off I went.

The first stop was Morden Hall Park which was a National Trust property.  I had read that it was really quite pretty and it was.

A walking group out for a stroll...this one organized by an 80 year old woman.  I was quite envious!

Morden Hall in the distance.  This park covers 125 acres.  There is no charge to visit and there is a lovely garden centre as well as an even lovelier cafe.  I had a flat white and a piece of Victoria Sponge.  The fellow ahead of me complained bitterly because his lentil and bacon soup didn't have any lentils in it (so he thought) -  I would never complain about not enough lentils! Obviously not a veggie if there was bacon in it.

I thought this sign was so cool!

A boardwalk was installed in 2016.

While the park wasn't wildly exciting as far as London attractions go I certainly enjoyed it.

On the way to Morden the bus had gone through Mitcham and it looked interesting so I headed back that way and got off.  The whole central area is going through massive construction and it is a mess but I did manage to get a photo of the unique clock and a really interesting looking pub.

I would like to revisit in a couple of years to see what changes have taken place.

My plan next was to go to Purley and I hopped a bus but was distracted by some pretty ponds in a place called Carshalton.  It was a Surrey village that has become a suburb of London but retained its village atmosphere.  I loved it!  I would love to revisit on a sunny warm day.

When I got off the bus I wandered into the charity shop which was selling duck food for 50 p so of course I had to get a bag.  For a few short minutes I was very popular with the local water fowl including some very greedy gulls.

The Honeywood Museum across the pond - it was interesting to visit.

The water tower which dates from the early 18th century.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to tour it as it isn't open to visitors until April.

By then I was tired so after a brief stop at M & S in Croydon I headed back "home".

This week is going to be a busy one with lots of things going on: two musicals, an exhibition of the 60's at the Victoria and Albert museum, a trip to Winchester, another travel conference and dinner with a friend to name a few.

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