This is the year I am going to DO stuff, remember.
I went on an adventure last Friday. Well, my daughter and I went on an adventure. We had planned to go away for a weekend to some place neither of us had been before, like Helsinki, Trondheim, Lisbon....
However, time ran away from us, and, given that neither of us is in a position to walk further than a couple of steps without complications, we decided to DO something. To cross something off my list. To make it possible to go and enjoy something new.
So, armed with foam blocks, ear plugs, medication and a change of clothing, we set off for London. As we could get incredibly reasonable tickets in advance, Diana decided we would go first class. This simply means that someone writes First Class on the windows and it is likely you will have a seat, by the way. We discovered this quickly.
And, once ensconced on the train, we sat. And sat. And sat. And went nowhere. Finally, there was a series of announcements re a problem on the track ahead, and so, after well over an hour, and with a few trainloads of people now waiting, we were moved on to an extended train. Then they declassified First Class, and all the rabble (I can say that, even though I am usually part of the rabble) burst into our compartment. We closely resembled sardines, but we were finally on our way to London.
The guard announced that we were welcome to claim compensation as per the regulations, and before we made the first stop, my daughter had sorted that one out. We wait to see what happens next.
I tell you, we took a great many selfies in 24 hours. You will get to see some of them, grainy though they may be. I need a proper camera which will take night photos.
We were sitting there, talking about where we were going, and Diana started laughing, and informed me that I looked like Mufasa.
Hah. Now you know where we were going......
The collar of my cardigan looked like a mane.
Right. I like to look the part.
We finally arrived in London, and were virtually the last off the very long train, and were hobbling our way up the ramp to the station concourse, when a herd of wild animals came stampeding towards us.
Actually, the wild animals were people, who had obviously been waiting for a couple of hours for the delayed trains, and they charged for the platform the moment the number was displayed on the board, and believe me, two women with walking problems were totally ignored. We had to flatten ourselves against the wall - Diana on crutches and me with the stick. It was terrifying.
One of the things we both noticed ever so clearly, was the complete lack of any form of empathy in London. On the streets. The hotel and the theatre could not have been more accommodating. People just seem to care only for themselves, and mow over anyone in their way.
|The Royal Festival Hall is on the left, the red thing is the London Eye and in the middle you can see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.|
We stayed at a hotel near Waterloo station, and this is very much Diana's home territory, because her university (King's College) is at the Strand, and she graduated at the Royal Festival Hall, and went ice skating in Somerset House. It is a part of London she knows very well.
So we took a taxi to the hotel, and flopped on the beds for a while before setting off for the chosen restaurant for an early supper. It happened to be a block from the hotel, in the direction of the theatre, so that was good. The GBK proved to be as good as we hoped, and the avocado bacon burgers were fantastic. The best bit though, was the bowl of little fries, Just sensational. (The photo of them is down below. I can't move it at the moment.)
You can tell I don't eat out often, can't you??
|St Paul's, the Gherkin, the Shard, and assorted other Important Places.|
After supper, we rolled out of the restaurant just as the evening rush was beginning, and found a bus to take us the couple of stops across the river, and then we walked back to take some photos. Grainy. But we were there.
And then, we reached the theatre, just at the top of the road. I tell you, things could not have been more simple. It was all right there. The legs just needed to be in working mode. I did look so incredibly elegant clutching my bag of foam. I will cover it one of these days, but the whole thingwas an experiment to see if it worked. If I could go to a show. And survive. The foam, by the way, worked very well on the bus. Busses are not known for smooth rides. They rattle and shudder.
I can't tell you how excited we were. Diana picked up the tickets and we hobbled inside. Our seats were AMAZING. We were in the stalls, in a wide gangway, so had plenty of room to stretch out the legs.
The grins were very wide. I looked at the rows of drums with a baleful eye, but you know, when it all started, the music was not all that amplified. There were bad moments, of course, but the foam, the meds and the ear plugs deadened a lot of the sound and vibration, but I could still hear the music. I had to sit forward at times, but we will modify the foam next time. And there will be a next time. The Sangoma was just sensational. The whole things was unbelievably beautiful, and where we were sitting, the cast ran right past our feet as they flew around the auditorium.
The old theatres in London are really beautiful.
We had the most amazing evening. And then we caught a bus back to Waterloo Station, and walked to the hotel. Slowly.
Even at approaching 11pm, the city was full of people. It never stops. And neither do those people. Diana was trying to get onto an escalator in the station, and no-one paused to let her on to it - they pushed past with no respect for her. I got to the bottom, turned around and saw her still struggling and couldn't believe how uncaring the world appeared to be.
Nothing could have dampened our delight in our day, though. It was worth it all.
Those little fries, I talked about up there at the top. We still hanker after them, let me tell you. They were that good.
So, we fell asleep. We were mega tired, and in fact, I am still falling asleep as soon as I sit anywhere. I will tell you about Saturday tomorrow. I need some coffee if I am going to stay awake and it is only 12.40pm.
I started with the snow - on Friday morning, we awoke to a white world - finally some snow fell on the village and it all looked so beautiful. Not a lot, and not enough to cause a problem, but snow, nonetheless. It is very cold at the moment, but it really feels like winter now. It has been mild so far.
I hope the sun is shining for you today.....