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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day out in London



On Tuesday we went, my husband and I , to London for the day. We both had meetings in the evening, so went up together to enjoy a few hours mooching. We had been promising ourselves an outing together for a while. We didn't give ourselves a necessary itinerary being more than happy to decide as we went along what we might do next. For me this was just what I needed and finding a bench while strolling  through St James' Park was an absolute delight. 
As I sat drinking in the atmosphere, the warmth of the sun caressing my tired bones, I just melted into the present moment and relaxed. Not what you expect when in the big city. It felt like the official first day of spring bringing up a collage of memories of other days like this in the past. The queen's swans, spotted through the blossom heavy trees, glided  majestically on the water in front of Buckingham Palace looking for all the world like proud owners of their home. 
It was so interesting to hear the many different tongues, chattering like seagulls, as so many nations of the world passed us by, all busy with their plan for the day. We felt like onlookers , not really part of the play, just viewing from outside. 
Eventually we walked off , but before leaving the Park I spied a Heron brazenly lunching on the picnic food that small groups of people, seated on the grass, were happily throwing his way. I was fascinated by the fact that he was going so close to them that I thought I'd take a photo of him. Hurriedly, because I thought time might be against me, I got my phone working on camera mode, which , as any one of my children will tell you is a miracle in itself, and took a couple of pictures. He didn't move. So I went in closer and took a few more. He didn't seem at all bothered, so I thought I would get as close as I could and when it was too close for him and he took to flight I would get a great picture of him taking off. But before that could happen I took flight after noticing his knfe like beak that just might pose a threat to my own  safety/life. I laughed at his audacity and my own cowardice. That's put paid to my dream of being a "Wild Photographer"  - the only wild now will be the grandchildren. Wild enough for anyone you might be thinking. Mmmm...



The next pleasant surprise was going to the exhibition at The Mall Galleries, where, because Peter is a member, we got in free. We spent a long while looking at the artwork, most of which didn't impress me a great deal. I did think that a lot of Peter's work is better than quite a bit of what we saw. There were a couple of pieces that really moved me though , one of which was this one of a mother and baby ( refugees). Beautifully done, it spoke a timeless message of reality to me, reaching in to my heart . I absolutely loved it.




From the Mall Galleries we walked to Trafalgar Square and "no," I said "I don't want to go into another gallery( we were standing in front of the National Gallery), not today" . So we walked into Leicester Square , where, unknown to us they were preparing for the premierre of Batman v's Superman or some such nonsense.
There was plenty of activity , with the red carpet and everything.







By this time we were a bit hungry and for once I hadn't brought lunch with me, so what to do. Not sighting any Kentucky Fried chicken outlet, my favourite "safe choice" ( you know how much, and it's not usually a lot, that you're going to spend) and also wanting really to be a bit more daring I looked around for another bargain sign , which turned out to be the Angus Steak House at the top of the square. Their lunch offer was reasonable :
Smoked chicken on a bed of salad which included walnuts (which made me jealous, momentarily) for Peter,
Loin pork chop topped with Mediterranean veg all on a base of mashed potato for me,
And a pot of tea each - such good value - two and a half cups per pot.
And all for just £20. I thought that was a great deal for lunch in the city.
The staff were brilliant too, making jokes and bantering with us. 
We really enjoyed it and promised ourselves we'd do it again soon.



Our next meandering took us to another place I'd not been before, China Town. I closed my eyes, imagining I was in a far off place, scents and aromas helping with the dream. What an amazing delight to the senses. Then , looking around and seeing all the culture of China on display to feast the eyes. The few pictures here do not do justice at all to the pleasure I found in soaking up all the sights, sounds, and smells , touching a colourful  kingdom tasting delicious adventures. It reminded me of my time in China with my mum and sisters.  I loved it all and I will be back. 

We both went on from there to our meetings and met at eight thirty , exhuasted, but happy ,at Victoria to take the train home to Kent. 


2 comments :

Jane Risdon said...

Exhausting day but what a wonderful time. Amazing what a difference a few weeks makes to the Spring flowers and better weather. It rained when I was last there. Love the photos and your piece. Thanks so much for sharing. Lovely to meet you.

Marian Green said...

Thank you Jane. Lovely to meet you too. Waiting for post on Westminster Cathedral...x