Monday, 30 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

Was surprised this morning when I went down for breakfast. So many people! Mostly Americans too from what I could tell and the place was packed. Thankfully one of the staff said she would get my breakfast for me rather than have me waiting in line.

In the afternoon I took the underground over to the Vauxhall station to purchase another senior rail pass since my last pass expired in October. I’ll need it over the next week for my day trips from Bakingstoke and it will pay for itself after a few trips.

Then took the underground to Oxford Street and Soho to do some shopping and have lunch. Last year I found a burger place in Soho that serves an American style burger for a reasonable price. My American style, the burger has a little mayonnaise and mustard with lettuce and not any “special sauce” that some restaurants add that detracts from the taste.

So many people still out shopping and it was difficult to get around on Oxford Street. I dropped in at Sports Direct (very large store that carries most every brand at a good price) to buy new gloves and a new cap. My heavy duty gloves were in Wales with Prean where I left some of my clothes last Christmas. I doubt if I’ll get to them before I leave for Switzerland on the 11th. Then to Marks & Spencer to buy a couple of scarfs. Now I’m ready for Switzerland.

I’m becoming interested in a train that runs between the resorts in the Alps (Swiss and French). (I can tell I’m missing the snow.) I still need to plan out a longer visit to France in March (?), but haven’t committed to a plan.

I can tell I’m ready to move from London and looking forward to my stay in Bakingstoke and my day trips. One of my day trips will be to Winchester Cathedral and another to Salisbury Cathedral (perhaps Stonehenge too).

I’ve been enjoying watching the Merlin series at night. I should be reading rather than watching TV. One of my goals for 2019 was to read at least one book. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow. (Finish reading Mind Wide Open.)

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Sunday, 29 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

Glad I booked my stay in this hotel. This location has worked out very well for being able to easily get to events and getting around in general. Today was another sunny day and I was out and about walking around the Westminster area taking pictures and enjoying the sights and sounds.

While walking in the neighborhood of the hotel I met one of the organizers who are coordinating the appearance of bands participating in the New Years Day parade. She invited me to one of their performances prior to the parade.

Walking up to Buckingham Palace from Westminster was very enjoyable. So many people were out and about. I forgot that sunset comes early here and by 3:30 the sun was starting to drop below the buildings but I still was able to take some great pictures.

I sat in front of Buckingham Palace watching the people pressing up to the gates to get a better look. There is something about this building that draws people to it like no other I’ve seen. The White House in Washington D.C. doesn’t have the same draw as Buckingham Palace. I’ve never seen a protest in front of the palace but have seen many in front of the White House since my first visit there in 1970 and many times since then, regardless of who was president.

By now it was starting to get dark and I walked towards the Green Park station where I caught a train back to the hotel. I stopped by the local Sainsbury’s before retiring for the day. When I got back to my room I tried to book tickets for the New Years Eve fireworks but still was not successful. Think I found a scam website that was looking for my bank information. No thanks!

Glad I found a place to stay in Basingstoke for when I leave London on the 2nd. The Basingstoke location will be ideal for day trips to places in that part of England. I’m looking forward to my trip to Switzerland starting on the 11th as well. Will probably stay for a few days in London prior to my flight.

Starting to watch a new series on Netflix. This one is about another version of Merlin and King Arthur. I watched three episodes tonight and now I’m hooked.

After texting a friend in New York City, who I’ll see in July, I’m really ramping up for my return to the U.S. My recent conversation with Scott confirms that I should be able to find a flat at my old location when I return. Though still very much looking forward to new adventures in Europe. I feel that the next few months will be amazing.

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Saturday, 28 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

As it turned out Csabi wasn’t able to make it to London so today, on Boxing Day, I didn’t do too much. Though I did confirm that I’ll stay at this hotel until the 2nd of January and then booked a ticket to see Noises Off, a comedy that is playing near Leicester Square on Saturday. Also booked a ticket to tour Windsor Castle tomorrow.

On Friday the 27th I took the train (again) to Windsor and toured the castle. Many of the State Rooms have a Christmas tree and the place is decorated for Christmas. Every time I walk through the castle I see something different. I had a good conversation with the guide who was in the Waterloo Room who told me that there were pictures behind those that we see on the walls. During WWII, all the pictures were removed and a local artist painted pictures in the place where the historical pictures had been hung. She showed me some of the pictures that were taken after the fire of 1992 while the castle was being restored.

While in Windsor I returned to the place where I bought my replacement phone and asked why locations were not showing up on my Google timeline. They confirmed that the phone was configured correctly. While on the train back to London I had a text conversation with Google who confirmed that it was a known issue and that I’ll have to wait for a solution to be released.

When I returned to the hotel my luggage was moved to my new room since I had to give up the suite where I was staying. But I did get to keep the original price of staying there. I asked for the room I had when I arrived on the 13th. Nice to not have to get acquainted with a new room.

Today I took some clothes and my old boots to a charity shop (British Red Cross) to make a donation. It was quite a walk from the Sloane Square station. While in the charity shop I bought a bowl that I can use for my oatmeal.

Last night I went to see Noises Off and walked to the theater. Since I arrived early I bought a coffee mug in a souvenir shop across the street. I had seen this play when Portland Center State produced it sometime around 1985. The play is hysterical and I enjoyed it very much as well as the rest of the audience.

Tomorrow I’ll finally get over to see Buckingham Palace. Can’t believe I’ve been in London since the 13th and haven’t been by to visit the palace. It will be a good walk up there that is for sure. Yesterday I walked over 15,000 steps so I’m getting back in shape.

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Wednesday, 25 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

I woke to a very sunny Christmas Day, but first, my Hilton breakfast. I haven’t written anything about the breakfast served at this Hilton property. Not much to say since it has the usual offerings. Though it has taken the hostess over 10 days to understand that I am always by myself (no need to ask if there is anyone joining me), prefer a table by the window and prefer coffee rather than tea. I’ve mentioned before that hotel staff (reception, housekeeping, room service and executive lounge) get to know me fairly well after a few days. (It must be my engaging personality.) Guess it was a Christmas gift that she knew my preferences this morning as I walked up to her desk.

Today, my plan was fairly simple. Walk up to Leicester Square (just beyond Trafalgar Square), order Chinese food then watch the latest (and last) Star Wars movie that starts at 3:00. (I booked a ticket yesterday.)

The walk to Leicester Square was very nice and took about 45 minutes. A little cold but very sunny, and so many people were out with friends and family walking around as well. London’s Chinatown is next to Leicester Square but noticed that about half the Chinese restaurants were closed for Christmas and the ones that were open had lines running out the door. All of the other restaurants had waiting lines as well. It was 2:00 and I was getting a bit hungry since my breakfast was at 7:30. Plan B: Find something to eat in the theater.

After I walked into the theater (or cinema) I settled on a hot dog to fill me up since it would be at least 5:30 when the movie was over. I didn’t realize that the section where my seat was located not only had large, comfortable seats, everyone was escorted to their seats. So that is why my ticket cost so much.

When I booked the ticket yesterday I noticed that the seat next to mine was not reserved and wondered if there would be someone sitting next to me. Soon after I sat down to eat my hot dog someone sat down in the seat next to mine. He was talking with his friend when the advertisements were being shown and also through the previews. I’ve never done this before, but I leaned over and asked if he planned to talk to his friend during the movie. He said he would be quiet.

I enjoyed the movie, the 9th in the Star Wars story. It was 42 years ago when I saw the first movie. 42 years! The first one played at the Westgate, and only at the Westgate in the Portland area for what seemed like a year. While it was playing there I saw it at least four times. I’ve seen the subsequent movies in the series, especially the first three, more times that I can remember. I was looking forward to seeing the last movie, which to be honest, didn’t think would ever get made. The movie turned out to be much better than I expected and appreciated that the guy sitting next to me was quiet during the whole movie.

As I walked back to the hotel, the restaurants in Leicester Square were still very busy and I didn’t find any places during my walk. The hotel’s restaurant was closed as well. Thankfully I had a sandwich in the room’s refrigerator and a scone for my evening meal.

The second season of the new Lost in Space series on Netflix was now available. Even though I just watched a two-hour science fiction movie I was ready for more. I watched two episodes before going to bed.

Tomorrow Csabi said he would be here. Though yesterday I received a text that said he had a sore throat. Would be good to see him. He will be leaving for Hungary to be with his family starting on the 2nd of January. But as I usually comment at the end of my travel blog posts, we will see.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

This morning I decided to take the train to Windsor and see the Christmas decorations in the town and throughout the castle. I was a little late getting to the nearest station and even if I had been earlier, I saw that that the earlier train was cancelled. I knew St. George’s Chapel was closing at 1:00 today and wondered if not seeing the chapel would make purchasing a ticket be worthwhile. I decided to wait until I arrived in Windsor to make up my mind to tour the castle.

When I arrived I only had 30 minutes to get to the castle ticket office, buy a ticket, then walk down to the chapel. I know I wouldn’t make it so decided to visit the castle after Christmas. The decorations will be up until after the first of the year.

I did have my niece’s Christmas card with me to mail so I walked to the town’s post office. On the way I saw a Carphone Warehouse (same company that sold me my phone on the 14th). Going on a hunch I walked into the store and asked about my phone. I’m not happy with the quality of the pictures it takes. Since I was the only customer I immediately got their attention. They concluded that I had a faulty phone and ran some test to confirm that I should get a replacement.

They had phone in stock that was the same model and offered to process the warranty claim through their store. An hour later they finished with the paperwork and transferred my applications and everything I had in storage. Nice guys! Glad I followed my hunch. While they were working on my phone I walked down the street to mail the card to my niece and her family.

After looking around through a couple of stores it was time to return to London. The train trip gave me time to work on my new phone to get it configured to my liking. On my walk back to the hotel I picked up a few sandwiches from Sainbury’s since I knew many places would be closed tomorrow and a Amazon package at a pickup station. I bought a bracelet with magnets that are supposed to relieve pain and help me sleep better, and since it was less than $30, I thought I’d give it a try.

I was able to take a nap when I got back to the hotel, then finished getting my phone configured, talked to a friend in the U.S., and published a travel blog posting. At 10:00 I left for the service at Westminster Abbey. In the back of my mind I remembered that Paula and I went to a free service there but had to print out tickets beforehand, even thought the concert was free. I checked the listing again and it didn’t say anything about printing out the free tickets and left for my walk to the Abbey.

When I arrived at the Abbey I was told I needed to have a printed ticket. They pointed me to the line for non-ticket holders where I stood with the others in hopes that there would be room for us. I checked the website again and still didn’t see anything about having to print a ticket. I did stand next to some interesting people, one couple from France and another from India. Sure makes the time go faster when you have someone to talk to.

While in line I also called Cousin Donna to wish her a Merry Christmas. I had another hunch that I should call her. While she gave me news that there was a new baby in the family she then said since we last spoke a couple weeks ago her sister Mary Kay passed away. We both agreed that it was for the best since she was bedridden and hanging on by a thread. It was her time. Glad I followed my intuition today so I could talk to Cousin Donna soon after her sister’s passing.

Our line started to move slightly as they let a few people from our line into the Abbey. At about 11:20 we were asked to follow a woman who would take us to another entrance into the Abbey. Those of us who were near the front of the line were now at the end. I mentioned a saying, to one of the couples, that I say to myself when there is a change of plans: “This, or something better.” This little phrase keeps me calm and centered. Somehow I had a feeling that I’d see a Christmas miracle tonight.

There might have been nearly 100 of us who were being ushered to the alternate entrance. As we entered the Abbey an usher came forward and asked me if I was by myself, and when I told him I was, he showed me a seat that was near the alter and directly in from where the Dean would give the sermon. And I was only 10 rows away from the aisle. And there was my Christmas miracle.

The service was very formal and we were given a little booklet that contained the order of service, including the songs we would be singing. This service was for the First Eucharist of Christmas. The service also included communion.

So glad I went to this service. I felt very “Chistmassed” if there was such a word. It had crossed my mind that Christmas this year would be very different since I was mostly alone, but this service reminded me that my phrase “this, or something better” really does work.

When I returned to the hotel there were a number of messages on my phone. I have so many thoughtful friends and family who take the time to reach out to say Merry Christmas. I didn’t get to sleep until 2:00, which was okay since the only thing I had planned for tomorrow was to see Star Wars at 3:00 in the afternoon.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.” 

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Monday, 23 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

On Saturday the 21st I only went outside to pick up a few food items from the local Sainsbury’s Local. I have been wearing my new waterproof boots and the little toe on my right foot has a blister so I’ve been trying to let it heal for a day before walking too far in the new boots.

After putting a a couple of small band-aids (plaster in the U.K.) walking in the boots felt a bit better. Given that, on Sunday I walked over to nearby Tate Britain and looked around for about an hour then had a small lunch in their cafeteria.

After returning from Tate Britain I moved to a new room on the 13th floor. It is a nice-sized suite with a separate bedroom. The view is great and can see the river from the floor to ceiling windows. I finally have room to put away the clothes from my suitcase. The other room had two small drawers that were practically useless.

Today I found a nearby laundry and washed and dried a load of clothes. I really liked the woman running the laundry. She was very helpful and she told me she loves what she does. While I sat there waiting for my clothes to finish, I listened to her talk with her customers who must be regulars. The laundry seemed to be a little community center.

Earlier I posted a picture on Facebook of my parents on their wedding day, seventy years ago. Also a picture that was taken a year or so before our mom came down with cancer and posted both side by side. I spoke with my brother a few weeks ago and we agreed that we both had very fond memories of Christmas with our parents and our relatives. Even though I’m going to be pretty much alone on Christmas this year I have those memories to look back on.

Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve I plan to take the train out to Windsor to see their decorations and at night attend services at Westminster Abbey. Then on Christmas Day I’ll stop by a Chinese restaurant to pick up a takeout order, then watch the new (and final) Star Wars movie.

Yes, I miss Christmas with Prean and Viktor, but we had three excellent years together and perhaps one day we can meet up again and continue the festivities.

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Friday, 20 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

Lazy morning for me while I tried to decide what to do this afternoon. Eventually I decided to visit Kensington Palace to see the Victoria exhibit that is due to close January 5th. From there I’ll walk over to Royal Albert Hall for their Christmas concert.

On the way through the hotel lobby I walked over to the reception desk to see if I could get an room upgrade now that the hotel is clearing out for the holidays. It was my lucky day! On Sunday I’ll move into a suite on the top floor – with a view of the river. I’ll be there five nights unless I extend my stay.

Rather than take the underground to Kensington Palace I decided an Uber would be better since the palace closes at 4:00 this time of year and I didn’t want to feel rushed.

As I exited the Uber I noticed that the clouds overhead were getting dark and a light rain was starting to fall. I hurried to reach the palace entrance before the rain-heavy clouds got closer. Think I just made it inside, but not before taking pictures of the outside of the palace (like I don’t have enough pictures from prior visits).

I headed straight for the Victoria exhibit, which focused on her time while she lived at the palace with her mother and becoming Queen. While the space of the exhibit extended through the same space in the palace where Victoria lived, considerable reconstruction of the walls needed to take place since the original rooms were changed after Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace shortly after she became Queen. However, I learned that the furnishings were, for the most part, close to how the rooms looked nearly 200 years ago, thanks to local merchants who are still in business and through careful research from the archives.

I happened to arrive at the exhibit shortly before a lecture of Victoria’s life in the palace began. Much of the information followed from what was shown on the TV drama Victoria that is currently being broadcast and in production. Today’s presenter mentioned which facts from this drama were accurate and which were adapted to enhance the story.

So many items on display and you’d wonder where these items have been kept all these years. Then wondering how much from past monarchs is being stored in a warehouse somewhere. It must be immense.

In addition to the Victoria exhibit there was a small exhibit of royal jewels (mostly tiaras) that have not been seen for many years. Some were gifted back to the government to satisfy inheritance taxes.

From the Victoria exhibit I walked through the newly restored King’s state apartments that I first saw nearly four years ago. The palace is being constantly updated and refurbished. For many years this large complex of buildings were only remodeled when a guest (usually a grace and favor) requested updates. Such as when Princess Margaret lived there. More recently, William and Kate’s apartments were refurbished before they moved in. Now it is Buckingham Palace’s turn and will be worked on for the next few years, along with Westminster Palace which is now almost fully encased in scaffolding.

Before leaving the palace I stopped off in the cafeteria and bought a sandwich and a water since I hadn’t had lunch. I went outside and started to eat but the rains were beginning again so I found shelter to have half of my sandwich.

It was still a couple of hours until the start of the show at Albert Hall so I walked through Queens Gate in Kensington and found a coffee shop where I dried out and enjoyed a cup of tea. From there I walked over to the skating rink outside the National History Museum. Then walked up to the Albert Memorial across from the Hall. When I got into the hall I had another cup of tea and a scone while waiting for the doors to open.

Somehow I managed to find my way into the wrong box which I found out when someone else had tickets for my seat. My actually reserved place was next door. I paid a little extra to get a better view of the performance by reserving a seat on the Grand Tier level in one of the boxes there. 10 seats per box and all of us had excellent views of the show.

The show was loosely based on a skit where one of the hosts (actor Richard Kind) welcomed guests to perform along with the headliner Michael Giacchino, a well-known composer and many guests (mostly English who I didn’t know) and Kermit the frog. The show was fairly fast paced and the audience, including me, enjoyed the music and entertainment. There was a full orchestra and choir who augmented the performances.

I took an Uber back to the hotel because I was dead tired after (eventually) a full day of activities and walking. I had considered taking the underground but I quickly vetoed that idea. (One of the perks when you travel solo.)

Tomorrow is going to be a day of rest for me. I can see myself sleeping and taking care of the usual daily items of business (personal and travel) that usually wait for me when I have free time.

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Thursday, 19 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

The weather is getting a little warmer here in London with bits of sunshine here and there. No chance of snow, but snow is rare in London and glad I made plans to visit Zermatt, to be amongst the snow, in January. I have to remind myself that I should be careful what I wish for – Zermatt might have one of their winters when they get too much snow. We will see.

Tonight I saw the Mary Poppins musical that is playing in the West End. It wasn’t until later that I found out that it was written by Julian Fellows. Getting to the theater was easy by getting off at Oxford Station and walking the rest of the way.

The theater was very nice inside and I had a good seat to enjoy the show. Thankfully not next to a family with restless children. The production incorporated many of the songs from the movie and had a number of new ones. Though I missed not having “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” at the end of the production, the ending was spectacular nonetheless.

Think I’ll book another West End production before I leave. I’m getting hooked on seeing musical productions that are several notches above what I would see most anywhere else, except perhaps New York City

Yesterday morning I went to the Tutankhamun exhibit at Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road. Also easy to get to and a very short walk from the Sloan Square station. Along the way I passed by a Hugo Boss shop and briefly went inside. I made a mental note to stop in on my way back to the station.

The exhibit itself was very nicely done. One final grand tour of the artifacts before they become part of the permanent exhibit in the new museum in Cairo. Many Tutankhamun artifacts were on display and many had never left Egypt before. None of the big show-stopper items, but enough that made the exhibit interesting. Glad I was able to get tickets to this popular exhibit.

Upon leaving the exhibit I went to the nearby Calvin Klein shop to buy a few more pairs of underwear to replace those that are on their last leg, so to speak. Then walked to Hugo Boss and bought another cashmere sweater (or “jumper” as they are called in the U.K.). This sweater is much lighter than the other two that I have.

In the evening I went to another candlelight concert that was being held at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Gardens. Getting there was a bit difficult since my first attempt at securing an Uber didn’t work (long story) and arrived just as the choir started their first song.

The program was in two parts. The first half contained much older works, which could be considered early carols, but Christmas was much different back then. The second half were more contemporary. The choir, the Elysian Singers, are a well-known chamber choir. They performed most of the numbers a cappella with occasional accompaniment by piano or organ.

I took a Uber back to the hotel and had a wonderful chat with a Nigerian driver along the way. I received an Uber alert that he has over 3,000 five-star ratings. I really enjoy talking with the Uber drivers when they can quickly change topics as fast as I can. (I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing.)

Tomorrow think I’ll be lazy and perhaps go to Kensington Palace before walking over to the Royal Albert Hall for their Christmas program.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

I woke up to rain and a forecast of more rain. After breakfast and working through a few on-line errands, I left to watch a film that seemed interesting: Last Christmas. I’d seen Emma Thompson talking about this movie on a talk show, that she wrote with her husband, and was the film’s producer. The story, which takes place during the Christmas season and in London, seemed like a great way to spend the afternoon.

The nearest theater was a good 40 minute walk away and I could see that the rain was letting up so off I went. The walk took me along the Thames until I reached the Chelsea bridge where I crossed over to the Battersea Power Station development.

In the spring of 2018 I stayed across from the Battersea Power Station development (thankfully the flat was soundproofed) and was fascinated with all of the work to restore the old power plant. Today I saw how far they’ve come in nearly two years and was impressed that some parts of it were finished and occupied.

As I walked across Chelsea bridge I took a picture of the development and will include a picture from a Pink Floyd album that featured the old power station and post both on Facebook and Instagram.

As it turned out I was the only one in the theater as the movie started. It was a new movie house that was built under the railway bridge that runs through the development and across the Thames. The theater was small and cozy.

I enjoyed the picture very much and it had a surprise ending which was fun to watch unfold. Music by George Michael and Wham was featured throughout the movie which added to the fun.

When I left after the movie it had starting to rain again. I decided not to walk back but had a problem getting an Uber driver to where I was waiting so walked across the bridge towards Victoria station, which worked out much better. Then was notified by the driver that he arrived at my original location. He charged me a cancellation fee but I’ll contest it since he didn’t confirm that he was on his way.

After getting back to the hotel I picked up my dry cleaning and my order for a wireless phone charger that was delivered to a local shop that serves as a location where you can pick up Amazon orders. By the time I returned to the hotel a second time I was beat.

I tried to nap but couldn’t. Ate a couple of sandwiches that I bought earlier, replied to texts from friends and watched a couple of TV programs. Then I went to sleep.

All I have planned for tomorrow is the Mary Poppins musical in the West End in the evening. I’ll need to figure out the rest of the day when I wake in the morning.

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Monday, 16 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

I’m finding it difficult to begin writing a daily blog again after having so much time off. That is my excuse for not staying current and I’m not in the habit of making excuses. Perhaps another indicator that I’m getting close to wrapping up my travels, though I have another six months before returning to the U.S.

The trip to London went well and arrived at the hotel in good shape. I found out when I arrived that the hotel is in the process of remodeling so I’m prepared for hearing construction sounds during the day, but since I plan to be out and about it shouldn’t be an issue.

I visited a nearby Sainsbury’s and found a few items for dinner, milk, and some beer for my room’s mini-fridge. On the way to the store I dropped off a sweater to be dry cleaned. The hotel is in a very convenient location to a number of local business and to an underground station. Think I’ll like it here.

Csabi said that he would meet me in London tomorrow so will look forward to having his company for a couple of days.

On Saturday I decided I needed to do something with my phone. It seemed to be a bit better, but not much, in London – but it still gives me a message that there is moisture in the phone. I visited a nearby Carphone Warehouse store and decided to get a new phone rather than try to get the phone repaired. I found one that was an upgrade and had a few more features. Of course I enjoyed loading up the new phone with my applications and getting it configured.

Saturday evening I walked to St Martin-in-the-Fields church to attend a candlelight Christmas concert. While it was a bit chilly outside I had enough warm clothes to make the walk enjoyable. I found my seat next to a couple, who were about my age, and enjoyed talking with them about travel adventures during the interval (intermission, as we call it in the states). They lived in West Germany during the 70’s and I heard about what it was like to live there when the country was divided.

The concert was made up of the church’s ensemble singers and a small brass orchestra (Brandenburg Brass), along with the church’s pipe organ, who accompanied the singers. Of course we had a few songs that were sung by us in the audience. The carols are almost like the ones we sing in the states but I have to be careful with some of the words and melody.

Since I hadn’t had dinner before the concert so I stopped at a McDonald’s on the way back to the hotel. It was about this time I decided to take an Uber back to the hotel rather than walk. (I didn’t want my food to get cold?)

Yesterday morning I met Csabi at Euston station and we got caught up at a nearby Costa Coffee. We took the underground to the Pimlico station and visited the store where I purchased the phone to pick up an additional USB charging cord since the new phone’s charging port needed a different kind of USB plug.

That night we went to a nice Italian restaurant and shared a bottle of wine while we talked and ate our dinner. After dinner we took the underground to Covent Garden to see the Christmas displays and then walked over to Regent Street to see their displays.

Csabi wanted to buy a few treats before we ordered an Uber to take us back to the hotel. I was a bit sore from walking so much during the day and was thankful that we could get an Uber. (Also thankful for the treats.) I’m still getting used to walking after being, for the most part, lazy while on my “vacation” from traveling while on Cyprus and Malta.

After Csabi left this morning I visited the Wallace Collection again (near Oxford Street). There is so much to see in this medium-sized museum. I may have to got back again, for the third time, to fully appreciate everything they have on display.

After the museum I decided to see one of the movies that were playing, now that I’m in a country where the movies are in English. I selected Knifes Out, a who-done-it that was fairly fast paced and had several well-known actors playing key roles. By the time I left it was dark.

The theater was in Covent Garden, but unlike last night, I was able to walk the entire distance back to the hotel. I stopped off at the Sainsbury’s store and picked up a couple of sandwiches for my dinner.

Tomorrow I’ll run a few errands and watch another movie. So far I’m enjoying my time in London. More events to take in over the next few days.

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