London, England (1 Pepys Street)
I’m looking forward to meeting up with Prean and Viktor this afternoon. We always have a great time together and looking forward to discussing world events and probably a few random conversations. We just needed to decide when and where to meet.
Around noon I heard that we’re going to meet at Fortnum & Mason at 2:00. From the name, I think it will be very posh, though I requested we meet some place more informal, but I’m okay with posh. It was a rainy Sunday and having tea and the extras in a nice place would be perfect.
More information about Fortnum & Mason:
As I was leaving the flat I received a text asking to meet at 2:30 rather than 2:00, which was fine with me. I’ll probably need the extra time to find the place. Fortnum & Mason is on Piccadilly so how difficult would it be? Well, when arrived, it was a little more difficult that I expected. When you get off at the Piccadilly underground stop you’re in the middle of Piccadilly Circus and it was difficult to tell which street that intersects with Piccadilly is actually Piccadilly street. Then crossing this busy intersection wasn’t easy.
I eventually found Fortnum & Mason and once inside secured us a table. Prean and Viktor were about 10 minutes late but I had already ordered a pot of Earl Grey. Viktor was ready to order a slice Victoria sponge cake (or as he calls it Sponge Bob cake). Think he was going to order the cake before ordering tea or coffee. In any case, we decided to have meal while we were there, then will have cake afterwards. I offered to pay, so I got to set the pace of our meal.
Our big discussion was regarding the value of the monarchy. I was pro-monarchy, Prean was anti-monarchy and Viktor was Switzerland (neutral). The discussion was going nowhere, and besides, non of us were citizens of the U.K. and really don’t have a voice in the matter. I knew that someone had calculated the cost of supporting the monarchy and after a Google search found that it costs each taxpayer 65 pence a year.
The tea shop in Fortnum & Mason is only a small part of the store. I’m not sure that there is a place that comes close to this establishment. And it was very crowded. Fun to look at all of the food and gift items. I’ll have to return.
I asked their help to find a new carry on bag. I’ve been seeing advertisements for travel backpacks for frequent travelers like me. For whatever reason I’m not too fond of backpacks and would rather have something I can carry by its handle or put it over my shoulder. After going through a few shops on Piccadilly I concluded that it also had to be relatively inexpensive. I was seeing prices that were over 300 pounds. I had to remember where we were shopping. No discount stores would be found nearby.
After an hour of walking around I was ready for a nap. Especially after having a big brunch. I decided to have eggs Benedict. What I was served was two large muffins piled high with ham, eggs and topped with hollandaise sauce. Then a large piece of Victoria sponge cake on top of that.
After returning home and having a good long nap, I worked on travel plans for the next week. I have a few missing pieces to put into place, then can book everything tomorrow. I had better since I have to move on Tuesday regardless if I have a place to stay.
Also this evening I also had a good long conversation with my friend Scott who I stayed with while I was in Oregon earlier this year. Think I had written that he is now the head of maintenance for the John Ross where I lived for nearly 10 years. Quite a coincidence. He filled me in on what was going on there. He mentioned that his two boys are getting bigger and they will be visiting his parents in Oklahoma next month.
Tomorrow I’ll (finally) get the letter mailed to pay off my American Express card and will continue to look for a new carry-on bag. Most importantly, I need to confirm reservations until the 19th. I’m still planning on visiting the channel islands. I’ll get it sorted out tomorrow for sure.