Off to London to see some culture : two visits, two different kinds of English culture!

Last week, I went to London to see a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was by a modern playwright, based on books by Hilary Mantel, called Bring up the Bodies. This play, along with it’s companion play, Wolf Hall, ( Both set in the time of Cromwell and Henry VIII) was highly recommended to me whilst I was in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the season has now ended in London, so I only just managed to see it. I had heard that each day, the Aldwych Theatre ( where they were both performed ) released 25 tickets that only cost £10. You just had to be there at 10:30 am to join the queue to buy one! I had hoped to see both plays but Wolf Hall was sold out!
So, the animals had early breakfast and I set out on my journey! 15 minute walk to the bus stop, 20 min bus ride to Chatham station, 50 minute train ride into London Victoria then a very brisk 27 minute walk to Aldwych Theatre, arriving there at 10:20 am! There was quite a queue, but when I finally presented myself to the ticket office 20 minutes later, I bought the last ticket to the 2pm performance of Bring up the Bodies! Yay!
Clutching my £10 prize, I then went straight for a coffee, a pastry and a good sit down! (I , of course, also charged my phone there! )
The next 3 hours were blissfully spent wandering around the theatre district, taking in the view from Waterloo Bridge, having lunch in a quirky little cafe , soaking up the sunshine ( after rain earlier!) and just “doing” a little corner of London! The play, I’m happy to report , was brilliant! Very enjoyable even from my back row seat!

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Above photos were taken on my 27 min brisk walk, which just happened to be past Buckingham palace, down the Mall, around Trafalgar Square and down the Srand!

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To finish off the day, I caught the tube from Temple station (too tired to walk far by now!) back to Victoria station, got to experience peak hour in the London Transport system, before finally catching the train and bus back home! The animals were very happy to see me, and I was happy to fall into bed…….but what a wonderful day!

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We often comment on how it sounds like/feels like being in a Monopoly Game, being in London. I snapped the photos above whilst on a different trip to London, from Warwickshire, but thought I’d pop them in here! I think they are at Marylebone station! ( 3 of them in the ladies’ loo) Hehe! ( or Charing Cross? )

Now….to my second cultural experience in London ……last Sunday I went to the FOOTBALL! My nephew, Simon, kindly accompanied me, and we went to see Tottenham play Southampton, at Tottenham’s home ground, White Hart Lane. Patrick (who is a supporter and member) had organized the seats for us and he got us prime seats, very close to the Ground!

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It was another amazing experience, even if I didn’t always understand what was happening! Tottenham very obligingly won the game too! I’ve always wanted to hear the crowds , feel the excitement and hopefully not see any punch-ups, and now I have !
This time, it involved a 15 minute walk to the bus stop, a 10 minute bus ride to Maidstone East, followed by a 50 minute train ride( different countryside to look at from previous trip) to Victoria station, then a 20 minute tube ride to Seven Sisters station ( where I met Simon) then a thirty minute stroll along the high street ( in the autumn sunshine) to the football stadium. And of course, the reverse to get me home. Another big day, but thoroughly worth it!
I’m so thankful to be able to have these wonderful experiences !
Needless to say, I follow up these huge days with very quiet, stay-at-home days! Very necessary both for me, and my animal friends! We do a lot of cuddling, patting, watching TV together, and generally having a companionable, lazy day! Thankfully as they are both elderly I don’t have to throw balls or run with them. Cassie just likes her twice daily, 10-15 minute, gentle walk in the woods, whatever the weather! She even got these on my busy days, just not quite at her normal times! Gemma just likes to have my lap, or my bed , to sleep on!
Enough rambling from me…….Bye!

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