The Retirees go Abroad – A long Weekend in London – Wednesday

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We are approaching the end of David and Veronica’s visit. They plan on being here in London for the 2nd test at Lords so we have come down with them for a few days. After the intense heat in Europe and Britain after we returned Kerry convinced me that we needed to fix the air conditioning in the car. The forecast for the weather is not that good and the forecasters usually get it right. As we travel down there is intermittent rain and blustery winds. Summer has been and gone. Of course the installation of the new air conditioning pump was enough to have the weather change dramatically to cold wet and windy.

We had no trouble finding our digs in Hackney (north London). Fullwood’s Mews is a set of flats which have been renovated as holiday apartments and are very well located for access to the West End and the theatres. One of the truly amazing things is the brilliance of the geraniums here and in Europe.

So after arrival in London we learn that the tube train drivers are striking from 6.00pm Wednesday until Friday. Therefore our first task is to learn how to use the buses. Off we go to the Old St. Tube station and get a bus map??? David jumps right in but the damn thing is as big as a table cloth.

There are some interesting buildings around here with a lot of regeneration occurring. The strangely angular building is a new Five Star Hotel M by Montcalm London.

Navigating the buses proves to be relatively easy and the trip on the bus to the West End is far more enjoyable than the tube with lots to see. But the problem is the traffic. A trip that should have taken 10 minutes takes us 30 minutes and 60 minutes to return. On the way to West End, we miss our first stop and end up at Waterloo station and then struggle to find the bus stop to get back. Waterloo is huge as the arrivals board shows you. We will have to work something out if we are to continue to use the buses.

We find the correct stop and very soon alight to make our way to Aldwych and the theatre presenting the Carol King musical “Beautiful”. We have shouted David and Veronica tickets to the show as a late sixtieth birthday present for Veronica and a soon to be sixty birthday present for David. They are both excited about it. On the way I spot my first Brompton – the folding bicycle made in London and proving to be a great success. We find the theatre on the corner of Drury Lane and I remember a restaurant I have wanted to visit. So I drag everyone to Sarastro a Turkish themed restaurant for a pre theatre dinner tomorrow night.

We are also booked to see “Sunny Afternoon” a play about the Kinks recommended to us by David Reyne when we bumped into him at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. So we decide to walk through Covent Garden Markets to the Harold Pinto theatre but it is over at Leicester Square so we stop for a drink and watch a street performer. It’s getting cold so we returned back to Fullwood’s Mews and a round of cards.

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