Tuesday, 29 September 2015

London ....Last day

How could we go to London and not stop by the infamous, extravaganza that is Harrods!!?:) Oh My Goodness, this has got to be the most amazing, exciting  ....and  most expensive department store that I have ever been in and one that I most definitely will  never be able  to do my weekly 'shop' in  ..hahaha ... I can't actually claim that I did  any  shopping as such ...more like eye bulging, gob-smacking, drooling! There was even a doorman to hold the door for you as you went in! (And a security man to keep his beady eyes on you too ;) ..hehe!)

Everywhere was so decadent and majestic ... we loved the Egyptian staircase and galleries ...really beautiful and very OTT! :)

We peaked inside the ladies department  ...but I knew their 'bargains' would cost me my house mortgage ...hahaha ...and they only had one of each dress out on display ...these dresses were au couture and made to measure!  Veeeerry posh!  And my figure would certainly not measure up ..hehehe

Can you guess where I did most of my drooling??? :)  Definitely the food hall ... Cakes to die for ... that cost a small fortune  ...hubby and I had a little treat ...2 strawberry mini trifles at  £4:95 ..each!!!! and gone in 3 spoonfuls ....but very yummilicious!

The chocolate department smelt just like heaven :) I could have died quite happily in there ..hehehe Again (remembering that we are 'tight-fisted-with-our-pennies-Northerners!) we did buy a very. very small box of chocolate's ..the cheapest ones ..hahaha ..  £15:00  !!  for 10 small chocolate truffles ...gone in a blink ..hahaha I saw some boxes ...that I most definitely could not persuade hubby to buy ...for in excess of 5 and 6 Hundred Pounds!!!!  Be still my beating heart! Poor hubby would have had palpitations and a very probable heart attack  paying that much for chocolate .... and I would probably still have preferred a Cadbury's dairy milk bar ...commoner that I am ..hahaha :)

We had a wonderful, frantic, whirlwind time in London, I can't honestly say I loved it ....looking at this sign still gives me the Heebie Jeebbies ....I really didn't like the underground...
 I felt very closed in and its sooooo deep ...if I'd been brave I would have taken a photo of those horrifyingly steep escalator's but I was gripping onto hubby's arm sooo tightly :)  And don't even get me started on those  terrifying platforms...
I was sure I was going to be the one person that slipped and fell in between the train and the platform onto the tracks  ...everyone pushing and shoving ...its dark and scary and  hot and smelly down there too .... I'm such a scaredy cat ..hehehe  I do know now that I am not a city girl ..all the hustle and bustle doesn't work for me  and I'm sad to say I couldn't feel the 'energy' or 'buzz' that supposedly goes with such a chaotic and hectic lifestyle ....I was very happy to board our train at Euston and head home to the familiar comforts of home :)

But I have made some wonderful memories with hubby,
We had such a lovely time being together, talking, walking (me running sometimes to keep up with his long legs) and just having no demands upon our time. I'm so grateful to have such a thoughtful and loving husband and  also such  a wonderful  daughter and son-in-law who made it all possible. But I think I may be all adventured out ... I may even need a very lazy week to recover..haha as if that's going to happen ... I'm already in a battle with the Angels on who gets to be hugged first ..hahaha ...Aaawww I think they missed their mama ... they certainly enjoyed my posh last two chocolates! ...little tinkers :)

I can share one last photo ...
the train journey's did give me some happy, quiet, sewing time and I finished  'Autumn on Marigold Lane' ...I love this piece and can't wait to frame it :)

Sooooooo for my next adventure .....    ????   ... I'm going to go shower two giggling Angels and hope for an early bedtime so I can rest my weary body ...hahaha :)
Hugs Wendy x x 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

London part 3

Today was the day of Museums and achey, tired feet! :) Even my beloved Skechers couldn't save me from a bit of rubbing and the beginnings of a blister on my little toe :(   ...we walked and walked and walked, soooo much walking that I should have lost at least several dozen pounds :) Alas once home the scales proved that not to be ...I blame it on the blueberry muffins...I needed sustenance!  ;)
First stop was the British Museum...
It was a glorious bright sunny day and we did spend a pleasant 1/2 hour sat on those cool stone steps after we came out... Inside is this beautiful glass and marble dome, that leads to the visitors enquiries desk, and a cafe ..it was actually just nice to wander around its bright and cool space :)
The British Museum is VAST ...waaaay to big to see everything in just one visit, so we made sure that we got to see the one exhibit that everyone else visiting wanted to see too ...hahaha Who isn't fascinated by ancient Egypt and Egyptian Mummies ??

I'm not sure which exhibit this mural was actually in, I've a feeling it was an Anglo one , but I was actually captivated by the bottom half
can't you just see a woolly penny mat in those lovely flower shapes and colours?? :)

Next stop ... The Victoria And Albert Museum
another beautiful building with the biggest stair cases that I have ever seem...hubby did get a picture of it but I was in it too so I'm not showing you that one ...hehehe ... I can't be an anonymous blogger if you get to see my face ...got to maintain that air of mystery ..hahaha

This was the very beautiful Renaissance gallery and we loved wandering around and enjoying all the beautiful sculptures.

even the cafeteria has statue's ...and very cool marble floors ..perfect for cooling hot toes whilst waiting for hubby to visit the bathroom ...hehehe

We had another 'sit down' in the sunny John Madejski Gardens (it is like a very large inner courtyard within the Museum grounds) We loved sitting and people watching ...very relaxing ..hahaha

We arrived at Museum Number 3 with throbbing toes .... The Natural History Museum
 Oh WoW!!! We loved this Museum from its spectacular, grand frontage to the exciting entrance exhibit ...really was like walking into 'Night at the Museum ' films ..hehehe

Everyone and their children were in the Dinosaur exhibit ... it was very busy with lots of little peoples squealing with excitement ...don't blame them, I loved it too...hahaha
I particularly like the beautiful stone carvings that just adorn the walls and entrances ...really beautiful :)

This was hubby's little piece of heaven ... The Cocoon...
Its a huge structure within the museum that houses hundreds of species of insect, bugs , creepie crawlies ...everything that excites little boys ...and hubby :)  He took loads of photos in side ...I could barely get around without shrieking and cringing ...I really do hate bugs! But I will dedicate this one   (the least scary) bug photo for hubby ...just shows how much I love him ...hehehe
Outside the museum and  in the middle of London, within  the grounds is a beautiful tranquil wildlife garden
it even has sheep grazing! :)
I think the Natural history Museum was definitely our favourite and I would soooo love to go back ...I know we missed such a lot..they were all just too big to see within one day.

As evening was drawing in we had to make one last stop and see  St Paul's Cathedral ...
because it was evening they were getting ready to close but we managed to sneak inside and have a quick peak ...again no photos were allowed but I had a naughty hubby who is just ..well..very naughty! He managed to get a sneaky shot of the central dome ..this picture doesn't do it justice it was absolutely breath-taking!
They even had a small hidden door around the back of the Cathedral ...would love to know who goes in and out of there! ..hehehe

Travelling back (the long way I might add!) to our hotel we managed a very quick passby of  the Old Palace Yard and the Palace of Westminister

Hubby managed a close up of the bronze statue of  'Richard coeur de Lion' (Richard the Lionheart)

and also a fly-by photoshot of Westminister Abbey

And one last lovely photo of Tower Bridge all lit up .
 By the time we eventually reached our hotel my toes and feet felt ready to drop off and I certainly couldn't even contemplate going back out for a meal  :( Sooooo my lovely hubby fulfilled a wish of my bucket list ...we ordered room service!!
A cheesy pizza and a steak sandwich and fries ...pure, heavenly bliss :) Curled up in my PJs in that mahooosive bed munching down on Pizza and fries ...well I didn't even mind hubby watching the football on the TV ...hahaha  It was a lovely treat for our last night in London ....although we had one very important stop to make in the morning before we headed home on the train ...have to share that tomorrow ...it deserves its own post ...hahaha :)

Hugs Wendy x x 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

London Part 2

So after a very comfortable nights sleep in a huuuuge bed and an  'Angel free' wake up (although I did miss Angel Esther's cold toes poking me during the night ..haha)   We grabbed brunch on the run  from our new favourite foodie place "*Pret a Manger*" (I know its not very exciting but we don't have many of them 'Up North' hehehe! ...besides their blueberry muffins are to die for) with refuelled bodies we hit the dreaded Underground...
(I was bad ...I ate my blueberry muffin first ...it was still warm ..I had to!) ;) 

First stop of the day ...

Covent Garden, if I'm honest it wasn't quite what I was expecting ...I was thinking there'd be lots of little covered stalls and curios and treasures to be found... street vendors, musicians and entertainers ..
There were a few little stalls but it was mostly  chic little cafes (with not a blueberry muffin in sight!) and some bespoke, boutique clothes shops, sadly for me not quite my thing.  Under a glass covered dome they did have an exhibit of hundreds of  'clouds' ... it was very pretty, reminded me of smoke from an old steam engine :) And there was one random lady trying to sing some opera, I say trying not because shes wasn't very good, she seemed to be, but because of people chatting and talking you couldn't really hear her too well over their noise :( I felt a bit sorry for her.

All in all I have to be honest and say I was slightly disappointed,  Covent Garden didn't quite live up to my expectations but we may just have simply chosen the wrong day/time of the year to visit. I'd be interested to see if there was any difference going back at Christmas time.

Soon we were back to wandering the streets to explore more of our capital city ...I really liked this random blue door, set into the corner of a building it looked old and worn and very possibly loved :) I made a rather grudging hubby take a picture of it ...which seemed to generate  interest for some other tourists, who started to take photos of it too ....hahaha :)

Try as I might, when I spotted this French Patisserie shop, I couldn't persuade hubby to go inside :(  

The queues were very long ..an indication to me that they were goooood cakes ..hehehe .. but long queues are always  a no-no for impatient hubby's! ...and it looked soooooo yummy...I probably was drooling looking thru' the window ...hahaha

We think ...
..this was Soho, we were a little lost at this point , we were looking for Chinatown and the Red Dragon Arch but only seemed to find these Chinese Lanterns...and some seedy and dodgy looking Chinese massage parlours ... we didn't wander around this area for too long, hubby was very considerate and wanted to spare me my blushes :)

We found  a very crowded Piccadilly Circus, and the Eros Statue, this was pretty much as close as we could get..the crowds were really thick and I was not enjoying the pushing and shoving..

We had a little wander down Piccadilly and admired some of its elegant and imposing luxury shops...didn't go in any ..felt too much like poor country cousins ..hahaha,  but we enjoyed looking  :)

We headed down Regent Street and past Pall Mall towards The Duke of York's Column, down the stairs ...
(Another door that took my fancy in the bottom of the Column)

...we reached The Mall ...here we are looking towards Admiralty Arch (not to be confused with Marble Arch which is up by Oxford Street and Park Lane) I loved it :) It was just like running around on a real live Monopoly Board ...although walking distances are a lot further apart it has to be said ...hehehe

Looking down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace..

We had a closer look at the Household Calvary/House Guards Parade ground that we'd tried to spy from St James's Park the evening before ...

Walking under Admiralty Arch we arrived at Trafalgar Square and Nelsons Column...

We couldn't actually get to see Nelsons Column ...or even sit on a Lion for our photo (which Hubby found out as a child is not allowed ...and a 'bobby' policeman will come and arrest you if you try ...well he didn't exactly get arrested ...he was only about 6, but his Dad got told of for letting him climb on the Lions!) hahaha  There was a Japanese festival going on  and the whole square was jam packed with Japanese tourists enjoying traditional Japanese dancing and Martial Arts displays ..it looked really good ...and really busy :) We managed to just about spot the National Gallery thru' all the crowds ...but we didn't stand much chance of actually getting inside :)

Following our trusty little tourist map we headed towards The Millennium Bridges (we think..hehehe) to cross the River Thames  .... I think this is the bridge in the  Harry Potter book/film  'The half blood Prince',  that is collapsed by the Death-eaters ... I'm full of interesting if not necessarily correct facts ..hahaha :)

Looking across the bridge towards the London Eye...
Also from the bridge you can see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament...

Across the bridge, down along by Jubilee Gardens I finally got to see street performers ...and also be scared by one very good 'bronze statue' ... much to the amusement of hubby and other passers-by giggling at my screeches ... I wouldn't have been amused if I'd dropped my ice-cream! ;) 

A Close up of the London eye from underneath ...we are Northerners ... we don't pay extortionate amounts of money to have fun! ..hehehe

A closer look at Westminster Bridge , the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben...

By this time it was early evening and we were flagging to say the least, we decided to brave the Underground (which actually if you want to see anything of London you have to use the Underground ...brave or not!) and we headed back to our hotel for a quick wash and change before I got to enjoy Hubby's next surprise ...

Tickets for a performance at the Fortune Theatre (not far form our first stop of the day at Covent Garden) to see Susan Hill's 'The Woman in Black' ...be still my very excitedly beating heart! :))
The Theatre was really small and intimate ...perfect for a scary and excellent performance ... I LOVED it! Yes I did scream and jump when the ghostly spectre suddenly appeared amongst the seating to seemingly fly up onto the stage shrieking like a banshee ..the ghostie,  not me! ;) Hubby again tried to take a sneaky photo but got caught this time and told to put his camera away ...hehehe ( fortunately it was a gentle telling off as the show hadn't started and he'd only taken a photo of the empty stage ...but trust hubby to try!)
We had a lovely evening, I really enjoyed the play (closer to the book than the film) I even survived the underground back to the hotel ... we were both too tired to find anywhere to eat so we made-do with a rather lukewarm hot-dog from a dodgy looking vendor on the way to the underground ... you have to be brave enough to try all the available a la carte menus in London ..hahaha :)  Honestly once we were back in our hotel room I don't even remember getting into bed I was soooo tired ... I slept like the dead! :)

There's still more to come! ...Part 3 is next ... hahaha  

Hugs Wendy x x x