Monday, February 6, 2017

Last post from London

Yep, I am pretty sure this is the last post.  48 hours from now I will be arriving at the airport for my flight home.  Waaaah!!  Well half of me is ready to go home and the other half is screaming "Nooooo"!  I will write more on my impressions of my trip later - there will be a lot more posts coming once I am home and can write in a more relaxed manner.  While on the road I pound away at the keyboard and I know my writing is not what I want it to be - but I also realize people do like to follow me on my adventures.  According to the blogging seminar I took I am doing it all wrong - either write a diary type blog for family or friends or do in depth posts for people who are curious about a place and want to visit someday.  I do both!  Ah well, I do this because I enjoy writing and want to encourage people to get out there and explore.  Definitely not to become a world famous blogger although I don't think there's much chance of that is there?

So what have I been up to?  When I left you last I was starting a new week.   Yikes has it been a week?  Oh dear... well it has been an eventful week which if you follow me on Facebook  or on Instagram you would know.

Okay let's go back to last Monday...I had a mostly lazy kind of morning like I'm having now before heading out by train and tube to the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington to attend the Sixties exhibition - "You Say You Want a Revolution - Records and Rebels 1966 - 1970".  My ticket was to 2:15 so I decided I would treat myself to lunch at the museums cafe.  Ha, ha was packed so I sadly wandered out of the building and down the road where I had a cheesy baked potato at a cafe.  The exhibition was wonderful and the highlights for me were the Beatles bits (of course) and the Woodstock exhibit at the end where the clothes some of the singers wore were on display along with album covers and a huge screen TV playing concert highlights presided over everything.  I would recommend it to anyone who grew up in that era.

This was in the foyer - how could I resist?

This picture isn't the best - snapped in between cars on a busy street.  It is one of the famous taxi huts where black taxi drivers stop off to get a cuppa or snack and perhaps use facilities...not sure on that. You can see the taxi parked behind it - there were a row of them.  It was right in the middle of the road.

View of the main entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum which is well worth a visit - and as with most museums in the

That evening I attended "Show Stopper" which was an improv musical.  Basically a fellow came out in the beginning and asked audience members to shout out ideas for the musical and show tunes they should use.  So to spare you detail the end result was a musical called "Schlinder's Lisp" that took place in a speech therapist's office.  They sang the tunes from six different musicals that were picked by the audience only changed the words.  It was so clever how they did all this on the spur of the moment.  I didn't stay for the whole thing though as I was very tired and dizzy....and there is only so much you can say about speech therapy!  I am glad I went though and as I got a discounted ticket for ten pounds I didn't feel bad leaving early.  I must say I had forgotten how crappy the Lyric theatre is and of course it didn't help not having room for my knees as the aisles are so tiny in the cheap seats there.

The next day I was off to Winchester for the day.  Due to hopping on the wrong train at the station here (cringe) I arrived at Waterloo with three minutes to spare.  I basically got on and a few seconds later the train pulled out...whew!  I am glad I didn't miss the train as I enjoyed every minute of my time there.  I will be doing more detailed posts on the places I visited.  Here are the highlights:

Remember the Knights of the Round Table?  This is it.

One of the many beautiful stained glass windows

Statue of Queen Victoria

The Great hall in all its glory - one of the only areas left of Winchester Castle.  I was definitely impressed with this one and have lots more information on it to share.

Next up was Winchester Cathedral...

Yes, Jane Austin was buried here.  She died nearby.

After a Ploughman's lunch in a nearby pub...

 I headed over to the Tourist information bureau where I picked up a brochure of a tourist walk which of course I had to do...luckily I had taken my "happy pills" that day (although my knee wasn't too happy the next day I must say) and was able to carry on fairly well.

The house where Jane Austin died...

And opposite..this....

Oh in case you hadn't guessed it was raining pretty much the whole day.  Despite that I adored Winchester and definitely want to go back.  Preferably it would be on a prettier day!  Definitely more posts on this one as I took a ton of pictures despite the dire weather.

I finished the day in another pub with Sticky Toffee pudding!

The next day February arrived...

I had breakfast at the Smithfield Cafe across from Smithfield of Tony Parsons novels may note the name as the place he and Scout frequently have breakfast. :)

I walked through the ornately decorated Smithfield (meat) market on the way.

Smithfield market

I visited the beautiful Charter house which has recently been opened to the public.  Sadly I was not there at the right time for a tour so could only see the museum and chapel.  This was once a plague pit, then a monastery (until Henry the VIII had his way with it) then a school and then a home for senior men who are destitute - which it still is.  Very interesting.  I will be writing more about this as well.

The bones of a plague victim from the 14th century which were recently unearthed as the Crossrail project is taking place close by. (this will put a high speed underground rail service right across London in an east-west direction)

St Paul's cathedral poking through the nearby buildings.

That evening I attended "School of Rock" which I really enjoyed.

Thursday was the day I attended the Destinations travel show - this is the third time I have attended this show.  My main goal this time was to meet Levison Wood and Michael Palin who were both talking and then signing books after their talk.  I managed to get into the front row for Levison - all the better to see him with my dears! :)  I was near the back for Michael Palin but hey I got a seat - worth the almost one hour of standing in line.

And that's all she wrote for now.  I have a life to live and less than 48 hours left in London!

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