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Friday 28th June, 2019
Saturday 29th June, 2019
Sunday 30th June, 2019

Friday 28th June, 2019

a09 Platform 0 Stockport photograph

Platform 0 Stockport

Drop Cap e achieved the journey with no real hassle. Shrewsbury to Stockport was easy and we were in good time for our booked train to London. Mac found the platform next to ours was labelled Platform 0, which made us giggle. It was obviously a new platform, completely different architecture from the Victorian style of the rest of the station, but since the old platforms started at 1 it had to be 0.

Drop Cap he journey to Euston was comfortable in first class, we were given drinks (coffee and diet pepsi) and lunch (egg and bacon roll for me and cheese and onion bagel for Mac) and it was all good.

Drop Cap he final disaster of this holiday (I hope!!!) occurred when he forgot the camera and left it on the train, I can only assume. Mac had been wearing it and took it off to use the i-pad. Then when he went to collect the luggage from the luggage rack when we got to Euston he forgot it. I didn't know he had left it between the seats and completely overlooked it. If we had not had the i-pad this would have been devastating. We went straight back to Euston to the lost property office but nobody had handed it in. Mac filled out a report and claim for a lost property reclamation firm, and it may turn up. Not holding my breath though.

Drop Cap e packed up the dirty laundry and took it to the local laundrette, who say it will be ready tomorrow afternoon. Good. Then we went to the PO and bought a post box to send paperwork and some unneeded clothes home. We will post it tomorrow.

Trattoria Verdi Menu photograph

Trattoria Verdi Menu

Drop Cap y this time we were bushed, it was very warm in London, and we did not want to go far afield for a meal so we walked across the road to Verdi and had a nice meal with a complimentary amaretto afterwards. So we staggered back to the Bedford. We are on the 6th floor this time, it is very hot in the afternoon, the sun streams in, but is cooling down a bit now the sun has gone. Don't know what tomorrow will bring.

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Saturday 29th June, 2019

Australia House photograph

Australia House

Drop Cap nother very hot day after not a very good night. The mattresses in the Bedford are very firm. On the news app we saw that France was having its hottest weather since records began and there are bushfires in Spain.

After breakfast we went out and posted our box. It will go by courier (apparently no surface parcel mail anymore) and will probably get home about the same time as us! That will be a change.

St Clement Danes photograph

St Clement Danes

Drop Cap hen we walked off down Southampton Row to the Strand which is dominated by Bush House, former home of the BBC Radio. Next to Bush House we discovered Australia House, the High Commission, the first time I had actually seen it. I was sorry it was not open on Saturdays because the interior was used for Gringott's Bank in the Harry Potter films and I would have liked to see it. Across the road in a sort of traffic island surrounded by busy streets was St.Clement Danes Church, of Oranges and lemons fame. Also, my maternal ancestor, the first Eldershaw in Australia was baptised there.

Drop Cap e continued on to the Victoria Embankment and wandered along beside the Thames passing the Temple and Inner Temple areas, Cleopatra's Needle and views of some of the strange new modern buildings Prince Charles hates so much. Can't say I am enraptured by some of them either.

New Sewerage Works photograph

New Sewage Works, backed by new Skyscrapers

Drop Cap e did, however, notice some of the infrastructure for the new and huge sewerage tunnel under the Thames which we saw a television doco about some years ago. Apparently, despite several changes of government, the project is still going ahead and will be a new state of the art facility replacing the Victorian sewerage system which was in its day also state of the art. That it has lasted this long is a tribute to Victorian engineers.

Drop Cap t was getting so hot that we were looking for shade all the way and finally gave up and made our way home, on foot. We passed the famous Savoy Hotel and Simpsons in the Strand Restaurant, which I had never seen before but found ourselves some lunch at a Pret a Manger on the way to Holborn.

Drop Cap hen we got back I collapsed on the bed and actually fell asleep. While I slept Mac went out and collected the washing, it fills a suitcase. Then we went down to the lobby which is airconditioned to delicious coolth and spent an hour people watching. Then went back to the room and made a cup of coffee with a Pret a Manger cookie, And did this a couple of times. We are going to the Indian Restaurant we tried last time for dinner when it is a bit cooler.


Drop Cap e changed and sat in the foyer in the cool for a while and suddenly Lesley and Cliff walked past and Lesley saw us through the glass and came in. They looked really hot and sweaty after a three hour boat trip to Hampton Court. They thought we looked so good that Lesley took our photo. We didn't spoil her day by telling her about our camera, losing hers would have been a devastating blow for her.

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Sunday 30th June, 2019

Drop Cap oday was a fine, sunny but not too hot day. A fresh breeze and some cloud cover made it much more pleasant. We set out after breakfast for Kensington Gardens - walk to Holborn Underground Station, Central Line to Queensway. Haven't been here since 2000 when we stayed at Berjaya in Bayswater. A lot of water has flowed into the Bay since then!

226 Time Flies photograph

Time Flies

Drop Cap here was an exhibition of art works on the fence around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and we met one of the artists who had painted in Australia. One of his paintings was unmistakably Australian, a bark bush hut and gum trees. We had quite a chat with him then went into Kensington Gardens.

227 Elfin Tree photograph

Elfin Tree

Drop Cap e strolled around all morning, seeing the Time Flies Building (a refreshment room with a clock), and the Elfin Tree, a sculpture set in an old tree, fairies and cute little animals etc. It was very old and fragile and had a strong fence around it for protection.

Round Pond photograph

Round Pond Kensington Gardens


Round Pond photograph

Swan Lake

Drop Cap e walked around the Round Pond where the selection of bird life was really amazing, so many different species of duck, swan, goose, gull, even some of the very large black backed gulls among the normal silver gulls. An old guy was sailing a really beautiful five-masted model boat, radio controlled and quite lovely.

Round Pond photograph

Model Ship Round Pond Kensington Gardens


Kensington palace photograph

Entrance to Kensington Palace

Drop Cap e noticed quite large crowds at Kensington Palace but we have been there before so did not feel the need to join them.

Mac at Kensington palace photograph

Mac at Kensington Palace

Drop Cap e spent some time admiring the lovely sunken garden at Kensington Palace. It was in full bloom and looked beautiful. There were arcaded walks with benches all around it and vine laden arches made it seem cooler, too.

Kensington palace photograph

Sunken Garden Kensington Palace

Drop Cap e had decided to have lunch at The Orangery, but had not done our research. The Orangery has been closed for major renovation and restoration and a fairly permanent looking "temporary" Pavilion has been set up instead. It looked like a large wedding marquee, but was very well appointed.

Sunken Garden photograph

Sunken Garden Kensington Palace

Drop Cap e walked around until after midday when they started serving lunch, then went in. It was a very large area and served everything from classical "high tea" to Sunday Roast.

Pavilion photograph

Lunch at Pavilion

Drop Cap e had a window table, rather warm, but the breeze blew through from time to time. Mac had the Sunday Roast of Beef with all the trimmings including yorkshire puddings and I had roast chicken ditto. The yorkshires weren't a patch on Polly's, rather solid, not light and crisp but the rest of the meal was nice, plenty of gravy and vegetables etc and we had artisan bread rolls with olive oil and balsamic and a glass of Spanish rose. It was a bit dry for Mac but I liked it.

Kensington  photograph

Rosemary in Kensington Gardens

Drop Cap n our way back from Holborn Station we passed a "Gentlemen's Outfitters" called T W Lewins of Jermyn Street and it was open and having a sale. We went in and asked if they had any "tie your own" bowties. Of course, they had a selection, both traditional and flamboyant so we bought a flamboyant teal patterned one for Geoff at half price, fifteen pounds. Hope he likes it.

Drop Cap e returned to the hotel and packed for tomorrow. Everything seemed to fit although we still have to pack what we are wearing now and our night clothes and sponge bags. We have decided on a Pret a Manger sandwich for dinner after our large lunch but at least we did get a fair bit of exercise today.

I will close this journal here, unless something else occurs! Really hoping for a very boring and uneventful flight home.

In general, despite the downs, the ups have been enjoyable and there are some things I would not have missed for anything.

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Drop Cap t was indeed an uneventful trip home, but by dint of actually using the entertainment channel on the plane it was not too boring. We overslept at Rydges and didn't wake until 0945, so had to fling on clothes and dash down to pick up our DJ shuttle which was waiting at the door.

Drop Cap verything was fine at home, food in the fridge and Cadfael still alive. Geoff came home from work with his usual winter bronchitis but otherwise OK.

Drop Cap e plunged straight in to our usual pursuits, and by the end of July I had just about finished typing my journal but have not had time to edit (or even look at all the photos). The best news was that the camera had been handed in and after a few emails back and forth, they sent it to us by courier (at a cost of course, but it was worth it) Our box of paperwork etc arrived within a fortnight so everything is in train for putting the journals together, just need a bit more time! Next year back to the canals, hoping for better luck, and also a week on Skye, so better get this done soon.

Post Script

Drop Cap uring the first week of our canal cruise fellow passenger Jill Webb and I collected some of the quirkier names of boats which we saw so often. I added some during the second week and a couple we saw at Nantwich on our day off. On the way home I put some of them into the following verses which have amused both me, Jill and Rosie from the Bywater boats.


"I met a HORNY TOAD,
and he said to me I've just been kissed
by the WATER WYCH on Llangollen Road."

Till I met TILLY TIMEWASTER and she gave me the eye.
We shared a ring on the towpath and broached a BARREL OF ALE
But when I woke I could but croak my sad and sorry tale."

"EUREKA" said the Nymph, I have a plan I know will work
Last night she was at Chirk.
I'll send my CRIMSON ROSELLA to bring her to this spot
I know she'll be prepared to help."
The Angel said "Y-KNOT?"

The genie came, said "STEPASIDE'" and brandished a BLUE PEARL
Reversed the spell, but warned as well, "Steer clear of that old girl.
Yon Tilly is a TEMPTRESS, and promises such BLISS
But you'll end up in REHAB if she gets you with her kiss."

Said Charlie "MEANDER are through. I'll see her nevermore
But LADY ISABELLA is awaiting by the shore
And after her there's CAITLIN, PENNY, LOUISE and IRENE...."
"A warning" said the Angel, "before I leave the scene.
Keep on the STRAIT AND NARROW as you ply the watery roads
For Champagne Charlies easily revert to Horny Toads!

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