Home Alone, Windsor and Family

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Wednesday up for breakfast. The full nine-yards: smoked salmon with scrambled eggs; bacon, sausage, etc; and a fruit salad. Took a while. But the first of this visit 😉

Then in the pouring rain, took Barry to Victoria coach station, and waved a sad farewell.

Next stop, the Imperial War Museum……

Then a cuppa at a nearby pub. Need a rest from the drink.

Followed by a random route back home. Any bus. Then a stroll. Another bus, etc.
Included a stop at the Canadian consulate to see if there was a New Year’s Levee. (No, according to the Brit security). Boo. Hoo.

Back at the hotel was time for tea……

Scones like stones 🙁 Though everything else was good.

Then up to my room to sort out the logistics for tomorrow.
And bed.

Thursday morning up before the alarm, and off to catch a bus to Waterloo station.
From there onto the Windsor&Eton train.
Arriving in Windsor I was wondering if I would find the castle. hahahaha. It’s right there!

Strolled up the hill, stopping for breakfast at the first sausage-roll.
Just as well.
Unfortified I would have balked at the size of the queue. As it was, I walked past most of the queue, presented my pre-paid ticket, and went to the front of the line 🙂

Inside was another queue for the security checks. Same as an airport.

Then pickup my audio guide and set off towards the State apartments.

My favourite memories of Windsor Castle?

The first is the moat turned into a garden. A first. And I have been to lots of castles. This one even has a waterfall.

The Albert Memorial Chapel, just as you exit St. George’s chapel.

The ‎Waterloo chamber with windows, straight off a galleon. And five HUGE leaf chandeliers, from Birmingham.

A clock statue that shows the time in the eyes.

Finished up around 2pm.
The huge lineup was gone.
Checked with train, and could go back London.
Safer, that way. Otherwise another panto. “Oh no………” 🙂

Back in London, I picked up some items from Marks&Sparks.
Dissuaded myself from their Christmas cake. Now that took real will-power.

Then laundry. Took 3 laundrettes to find one open.
Nice chat with a lad from Morocco.

Back home for a couple of pints then bed.

Friday morning up before the alarm.
Picked up a couple of hostess gifts. Then off to visit family.

Got on the train.
Wrong train.
Pulled out 30mins earlier than my alloted time.‎ Ticket inspector dinged me ten pounds for that. Ouch. That’s three pints at the hotel. And for that, I could lurk at Kettering railway station for an extra half an hour.
Bring back British Rail! Says I.

Got off at Corby station to find a disaster. It had snowed. And no-one had cleaned the snow away. Now all the sidewalks were covered in lumpy ice-fields.
Yea gods. If they’d shovelled/swept two days ago, it would all have been gone!

Luckily I had purchased a Corby bus-pass.
Arrived at Walter’s for a cuppa and a chat. Quite a long chat.

Took another bus to June&Graham’s for chat, home-made Christmas cake, and supper 🙂 And a care package! More Christmas cake to take home.

Was even more treacherous in their neighbourhood. So cab to station. And the trains took me home.
Nightcap and to bed.

Saturday morning up before the alarm.
Did some admin stuff.
Then off for brunch.

Arrived early, to confirm the restaurant location.
Then checked out the London Museum. hahahahaha. Architects have gone mad designing a museum on a roundabout, then making sure it was difficult to get into.
Back to Foxlow ‎Clerkenwell, to find they have bottomless drinks. Signed up. A bit later, the Hollands arrived.
Don’t worry, each successive drink had less and less alcohol, IMHO.

Breakfast followed……

Lots of chat.

So much chat that we had to skip the museum, and grab a cab to the Sky Garden. You have to be on time.
And we’d already been delayed by mulled cider enroute 😉

The Sky Garden was underwhelming. As far as gardens go, Windsor Castle did a much better job.
The view, however, was outstanding. With the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge, really close……

Some prosecco, whilst enjoying the sunset. Though not much sun. But nice to see the view in daylight, and then night-time. Especially with the Christmas lights.

Cab to Chotto Matte. Best dishes were the calamari in tempura, and lamb chops.
I had a vegetarian bento box…….

A really clever, double-decker, bento box. A first for me.
Came with a glass of prosecco and desert. What was I thinking? Gave them away. Though I was forced to eat the tiny creme brulee.
One tiny wafer thin mint” ring any bells?

The Hollands and I parted company at Oxford Circus.
Lynn to Victoria train-station.
Rachel to her new flat.
Me back to the hotel.

Sad to say, the walk did nothing to reduce the impact of the bento. hahaha.
An early night.

Sunday morning up and do my paperwork. Been a month since I verified my receipts, so took some time.

Then downstairs to see if there was a spot for the hotel’s New Year’s Eve party.

What happend?
See the next blog 😉