I was not on grandmother duty today, as the Boy is on holiday, but I needed to get out of the flat, and I also needed to go to Lakeland. Our nearest Lakeland is in Westfield Stratford City, which seems quite a long way to go, but as I have free travel now, it is cheaper than shopping by post. And I never mind an excuse to buy myself some lunch.
The obvious way to go to Stratford from here - the quick way - is to get the Northern Line to London Bridge and then the Jubilee Line, but that's no fun! So I caught a 35 bus all the way to Liverpool Street station and then a "proper" train (as my grandson calls them) to Stratford.
My errand at Lakeland was quickly done, and I then treated myself to a falafel wrap at the Lebanese place, which I think has changed hands and is more expensive than it used to be, but still very nice. And then I made a mistake by going to Bubbleology and ordering a strawberry tea. I had first had a bubble tea in Hameln, which was lovely - it was a yoghurt-based drink and the "bubbles" sort of popped in your mouth, but these were huge, slimy, chewy, nasty bits of tapioca. Yuck! Not doing that again!
Because I hadn't done it last time, I decided to go on the Emirates Royal Airways cable-car across the river, so I took the DLR to Royal Victoria Docks station and went over the river on the cable-car, which was great fun, only I think I'd have liked to have been with someone. Beautiful views, only rather high.... Still, I would certainly take a visitor there, another time.
The cable-car drops you at the O2, so the next decision was how to get home from there. I could have been boring and got the Tube, but it was hot and I didn't feel like going underground, so I got a 188 bus to Surrey Quays, and then the London Underground. BIG MISTAKE - the train came at once, no waiting. I should have got off at Peckham Rye, but was actually planning to go all the way to Clapham High Street and then walk. BIG MISTAKE. No sooner had the train pulled out of Peckham Rye station than it stopped at a signal, and stayed stopped. Eventually, the driver came on the pa to tell us that there had been something dropped on the rails at Denmark Hill Station - a concrete beam, he thought - and we would have to wait while it was fixed. So we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally he came back to say the damage was more serious than had been thought, and we would have to go on to where we could reverse back to Peckham Rye. So we went about ½ mile further, and sat for another fifteen minutes or so, while the train ahead of us was brought back and joined on to ours (they must have been waiting even longer than we were, as the trains only run every 15 or 20 minutes).
Eventually we crawled back into Peckham Rye station and got out. My first port of call was McDonald's for some cold bottled water - I had had a bottle with me but it was tepid and not very refreshing - and then I decided to do my errands in the 99p shop, which didn't take long. Then a 37 bus came and took me rather slowly home, popped into Lidl (which has delicious Belgian cheese this week!) and home a good hour or more later than I would otherwise have been!