Desiree-Rose's HomeLondon 2003/200421/22 December
Sun. 21 Dec. Sunny – yay! Met Gretchen and Ben at London Bridge at 11a.m., having taken a bus and ordinary train. We’ve had such lovely adventures on our own! Took over an hour to drive to Richmond Park. She has a nice little 4-door car. Many people (as usual) and this time mostly families, enjoying the sunny but very cold day. There was an absolutely freezing wind that just cut through us. Des wasn’t wearing enough layers and was cold all day. Shame!
We had a long walk to Hampton Court and a freezing wait while Gretchen and Ben went to buy tickets. (Once again needing the loo, but none in sight), But most of the interior was heated, so that was O.K. We visited the Queens’ apartments and the Tudor kitchens. Very interesting – one could actually do with a day there, and good walking shoes. We had coffee and cake, then walked in the model gardens. Saw the oldest vine in the world. Very big, and still bears grapes in season. Then to the entrance gate for a long, cold wait for Gretchen and Ben. (Which if Des had listened would not have been so bad, but she had to wait outside). On the way back (it was dark, of course) she took us over Waterloo Bridge and we saw the lit-up-for-Christmas bridges over the Thames River. Very pretty. We passed very close to the London Eye. It’s high!
She dropped us and we caught the tube to London Bridge and phoned Tammy to bring us an extra layer of clothing. Then bought coffee and Cornish pasties from a stall at the station and found some steps out of the wind, where we sat and ate like homeless people, wondered what the kids would say if they saw us. Thence to Southwark Cathedral at 6. Rachel had kept us all seats and just as well, for though the service was scheduled to begin at 6.30p.m., it was nearly full already. A good, old-fashioned cathedral, long and high with vaulted ceilings and a parade of churchmen before the Carols by Candlelight service, Incense and all. We sang and the choir sang, interspersed by readings and prayers. And peace. Quite a contrast to the hustle-and-bustle and scurry-and-murry outside. This lasted till 8, then we all went home by tube and bus
Mon. 22 Dec. Des with flu. Rose had a late lie-in. We only left at 11, this time with Tammy. Cold and windy, with a watery sun. Caught a bus to the Horse Guards palace, then walked through and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where we just missed the Changing of the Guard. Thence up a long hill through Green Park to Piccadilly, Soho and Leicester Square. Had ice-cream and cappuccino at Haagendaz. Then to Covent Gardens and the buskers. We watched them for a while, then met Vaughn at Belgo’s for roast chicken lunch in a beerhall-type venue. Food here is all so expensive!! Tammy left us and we walked a little with Vaughn, then caught a bus home. 6p.m. Seemed like midnight!
Locations Visited: None specified.
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