London February 2019 - Part 3

OK, here we go again. I realise I’m rather behind with these – my upcoming trip is now closer than the last one but I’m afraid life keeps getting in the way – and the fact that I’m still pretty disorganised at times. Anyway, here we go.

Another bright morning greeted me as I opened the blinds somewhat later than usual having enjoyed a nice lie-in. In truth it was not that late but it’s all relative and when you’re used to getting up at silly o’clock anything beyond sunrise is a bonus.

I went through the usual breakfast routine which, almost invariably, involves silencing the smoke alarm, then went out to check the water and waste. The chap from the motorhome opposite came over and said hello and after the usual pleasantries he mentioned that I’d left Rosie’s boot lid up when I went out yesterday. He didn’t call her Rosie, obviously, but you know what I mean, and when it started to become dark and it was clear that I wasn’t about, he went over and shut it. I thanked him profusely and thought that in a world that seems overflowing with nastiness and hatred, there are still decent people about. More than perhaps it seems. Anyway, having established that nothing had taken up residence in her I turned the key to make sure the battery was OK.

Unenthusiastic is probably the best way of describing the battery’s response but grudgingly Rosie came to life and I left her running for a few minutes to replenish some volts.

My assignation with the Rough Guide had resulted in a cunning plan which would give me plenty of opportunity to lens click while taking care of my knee and late morning I set off, back on the number 3 bus again, destination Lambeth Palace. What a wise decision that turned out to be.

At some point in the journey north – probably around Brixton, the nice lady that sits in the cupboard under the stairs and does the announcements declared that the final destination had changed and the service would now be terminating at Lambeth Bridge – the exact stopped I had planned to get off. No reason was given and yes I could have probably found out on the TFL website but it didn’t really matter. My money was on some protest around Westminster at a guess.

Anyway, by the time we got there it could – with a little generosity of spirit – be considered lunchtime so I sat in the little garden on the corner and wolfed down some sarnies and a cup of coffee before commencing my walk along the South Bank.

I had no idea how far I would – or could – go but considered that if and when my knee became uncooperative I could turn off at one of the many bridges crossing the Thames and hop on a bus.

It really was a very pleasant day as you can see from the photo’s – and side from the area around the London Eye, not very busy at all. Across the water was the Houses of Parliament, the tower housing Big Ben shrouded in scaffolding, Somerset House, and in the distance St Paul's cathedral and the City.

On my side I passed the memorial to the Special Operations Executive, the back of the famous old St Thomas’ hospital and the London Dungeon and London Eye, pausing to remember the last time we were here – three years ago – and how much busier it was back then. There were plenty taking their lunch outside, making the most of the sun in the nearby Jubilee Gardens.

I paused again in the area just ahead of Bernie Spain Gardens for a another coffee and to take in the views of the city before proceeding on past the Oxo tower and on to the Tate Modern, once again grabbing a picture of St Paul's from the Millennium Bridge. I contemplated checking out the gallery but time was clearly running out on the knee so decided to carry on, and anyway, it was too nice a day to be inside.

Further along I came across Shakespeare's Globe Theatre though to be honest it was the adjacent Swan that was pique my interest. With an unusual display of willpower I resisted and pressed on passing, next under Southwark Bridge, thinking it was very nearly time to bail out and get a bus.

Remember what I said about it being too nice to be inside? Well, ignore that because next up was The Clink Prison Museum, something I must confess I’d never heard of. At seven pounds fifty it was pretty reasonable as London attractions go so I thought I’d give it a try.

Said to be one of the oldest prisons in England it gives you a glimpse into London’s grisly past with gruesome artefacts from back in the day and displays and narrated tales of torment. Fascinating stuff but it’s not that big and would probably take up no more than an hour of your time.

Beyond the museum was a replica of the Golden Hinde, Francis Drake’s famous ship, sadly rather obscured by scaffolding, however the adjacent Old Thameside Inn wasn’t and I decided it was time for some medicine.

With said medicine duly consumed – a nice warming winter ale by the way – I briefly contemplated continuing, maybe as far as Tower Bridge but then decided to call it a day, passing Southwark Cathedral and taking in the mouth watering smells of Borough Market on the way to the bus that would take me to Brixton, swapping to the number 3 again for the journey back to the site.

Patsy was still basking in some sunshine and so was warm and cosy when I got back and, having had dinner – a portion of pre-prepared chilli, and rice - I pondered a walk up to the triangle for a pint or two, but in truth was happy to stay put. My knee had done enough and having changed into scruffs on my return I really couldn’t be arsed to get tarted up again. A couple of glasses of Merlot along with some savoury nibbles proved a good substitute though.

And that’s it for Part 3. A little short on words this one but it seemed a sensible place to call a halt to proceedings but stand by for what is likely the final part coming at some point – hopefully sooner rather than later – in the future.

Thanks as always for reading

Rich.

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1 comment:

  1. Looks like the weather was great. We would of loved the Clink, really like the little museums. Thanks for sharing Juliet

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