Monday, 27 April 2015

Up the A24

I had some shopping to do, including a trip to Lakeland, so decided to head to Wimbledon and shop my way back up the A24.  As Lakeland is in the Centre Court shopping centre, it ought to have made sense to go by train, but they were running slow due to an earlier incident, so it took me half an hour longer than it should have done to get there.  However, I arrived in the end, and my errand was swiftly done.

It's a long time since I have caught a bus from Wimbledon station to Merton Abbey Sainsbury's, but it hasn't changed!  Again, my shopping there was swiftly done, and I caught another bus up the road to Tooting Broadway to finish my shopping in Primark there.  When I'd done that, I found I had just missed both a 355 and a 155, so decided to have some lunch.  A random Indian restaurants (they are legion in that part of London) yielded a delicious mixed vegetable curry, a naan bread (I could only manage half) and a side salad for just over £5.00, well worth it (the curry tasted as good as it looked, and it looked delicious). 

Then I arrived at the bus stop just in time for a 155, which took me as far as Clapham Common.  I was very amused to notice that as we passed Tooting Bec and Balham, the shops got progressively posher and posher as we moved towards Clapham!  Even the chains, from Primark and Wilco in Tooting Broadway, to the huge Waitrose in Balham.....it was so noticeable as to be funny.  Clapham itself is full of restaurants, of course, and not many shops except Sainsbury's and the usual chains, but Clapham South is definitely Nappy Valley!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Scooters and buses and trains, oh my!

Today was nearly the last day of the Easter Holidays, so I said I would take the Boy out and we would have some fun together. 

I picked him up at 8:30 am from Brixton Station - well, as Brixton is rather impossible in the mornings these days, from across the road.  Our first port of call was Lidl, to pick up croissants, a pain au chocolat for Granda (aka the Swan Whisperer) and orange juice for a second breakfast.  Well, it was my first breakfast, but the Boy's second.  He then played here for awhile, and we set out about 10:30, just in time to see the Scissor Lift on its progression round the building to wherever it was wanted today - a very splendid machine.  "But it doesn't move very fast!"

Then we got a bus to Herne Hill Station and just caught a Thameslink train by the skin of our teeth, which took us to City Thameslink, where we got out.  We walked down Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street, until we got to the entrance to the Temple Inns of Court, which we explored a bit.  We couldn't look into the Church, because it was closed due to the Globe Theatre's production of King John there, but we enjoyed the Fountain:
We explored a little further and then ended up in the Gardens, by the eponymous Tube station, where I was intrigued by this plaque, and wondered whether Lady Henry Somerset was any kind of relation (only vaguely):




There is an exhibition about hospital troopships in World War I on HMS Wellington, moored opposite, but further exploration showed us it was only open on Sundays and Mondays so we came away and decided to look for Shaun the Sheep instead.  But we missed him, somehow, and as we were getting hungry, we went into the Prets by Waterloo Bridge to have lunch.  Then we used the facilities in Somerset House, and on the way out, we saw a no 1 bus at the stop, and decided to go wherever it took us.  This proved to be to Canada Water. 

The Boy nearly gave me a heart-attack by insisting on walking along a wall that got higher and higher, and I said he couldn't possibly get down on his own.  "Well, I'll try my easiest!" he said, but I lifted him down anyway, and have adopted that expression for my own use.  We were intrigued by an exhibition of tents, which led us into Decathlon, and I bought myself some T-shirts, and - er - accidentally bought The Boy a new scooter.  Well, it was only £13.99, it would have been rude not to!  And he has outgrown his mini-micro, and now he can ride a bike ("I'm nearly five!" he says, although his birthday isn't until the very end of the summer term) he was having no trouble at all with even the adult-sized scooters in the shop! 

We then got on a 188 to go back to his mother's offices at Senate House, but because of the disruption at Kingsway it terminated at Aldwych, and although we got on a 59, it took aaaaaages and aaaaaages to go round the diversion, and even the Boy's notorious love of buses was tried to the limit!  So when we got to Senate House, I needed a cup of tea with the Daughter before getting back on a 59 to get home.  I'd planned on getting off at Waterloo and going to IKnit, but it was getting late, and I was tired.  So it was fish and chips for supper.....

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

London's Canal Museum

We'd been to the canal museum before, of course, but there was, I discovered, an exhibition about the use of canals on the Western Front, which is what we mainly went to see, as it finished that day.

It was a fascinating exhibition; the Canal du Nord hadn't yet been finished, and it was used as a highway for troops.  The allies, as well as the enemy, made use of the canals, to bring food to a starving Belgium, and to move men and matériel.  And there were hospital barges, and all sorts.  The Royal Engineers played a huge, huge part in keeping the canals going - or sabotaging them, where necessary - and building temporary bridges where these had been destroyed and so on.  There was even a secret port built, called Richborough, near Sandwich in Kent, from which barges could be sent across the Channel.

We saw the rest of the museum fairly briefly, and then went to explore the new King's Cross station, pausing for the obligatory shot of Platform 9 3/4:

and the roof of the new entrance area!  The Swan Whisperer hadn't really been aware of the refurbishment, so it was all new to him.