Nothing particularly amusing happened today, because I met with my dear friend Kate (who is going to school in London) and we amused ourselves.
Firstly she took me to go see the Changing of the Guard:
|This was the only moment when I had a view of anything.|
Kate said that the story is, Queen Vic instituted the Changing after discovering all of the guards drunk.
Of course since they change the guards only every two days, they still have plenty of time for a bender….
|‘It won’t be too crowded,’ said Kate. Ah, Kate….|
Then we thought we’d walk through Green Park, but we went the wrong way and ended up enjoying a nice view of a wall instead. (They really ought to have these things on the map.)
We finally managed to find Hyde Park instead.
|Did I mention, it was SUNNY?! Oh my God was it sunny!|
|Not representative, but rather cool I think.|
|A swan in the Serpentine.|
When we arrived on Friday I’d taken the tube from the airport into the city, but I’d been half-asleep and strictly following the directions given to us by the help desk upstairs (‘Go downstairs, only one line stops here so you can’t get on the wrong train’). Kate showed me how to do it properly and a whole new world opened up.
‘Mind the Gap.’ Such lovely, evocative words.
Kate had to go catch her train after lunch so I headed back to meet my mother. (She’d been shopping, but had came up with a great big goose egg.) To show off my new-found tubular skills, I took her to the Pollock’s Toy Museum.
Pollock’s is a small, crammed patchwork of randomly shaped rooms stuck together – much like some of its dollhouses. We had doubts about whether the floors would hold us, and in a few places it was so dark that I had to use the light on my phone to view the displays.
And it was fantastic.
I didn’t see any sign about not taking photos – maybe it was hidden in the gloom? – so when I realized that we were the only people there, I helped myself.
It wasn’t like the clerk could sneak up and yell at me. We would have heard him coming two floors away. (CRRREEEAAAK….)
Due to the horrible light most of the photos didn’t turn out well enough that I’d want to post them, but here are a few of the best:
My favorite part was the stunning 3D paper theaters. The museum had a staggering array; unsurprising, as it was named after Benjamin Pollock, a maker of paper theaters.
No, I will not spell it ‘Theatres.’
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good picture. Except for this one which acted on sort of a pinhole action:
Or well, no, wait. Maybe my favorites were the dollhouses.
|And doll stores….|
|And doll schools.|
|She’s got a lovely face, hasn’t she?|
|The original Cabbage Patch Doll!|
There was (the Doctor would be pleased) a little shop. I couldn’t decide between a squishy two-headed dragon or a squishy green chick.
So I took both. It’s not often that one finds such a fine selection of squishy plastic animals.
There was an Oxfam (charity) shop a block or two away, which it took us only a half hour to find. Not much in the way of clothes but downstairs I discovered the books! Now here’s what I’m talking about.
Of course I don’t know most of the names but I knew for sure that Terry Pratchett, Alan Bennett, and the first Peter Robinson book were worthy of coming home with me.
Then I discovered the stash of Doctor Who books.
I’ll take those please – thanks!
And I know they’ll be horrible but the mere fact of having them makes me happy. And at £1.50 each, it’s an affordable pleasure.
|Plus my two souvenirs from Pollock’s.|
I have no idea what that book on the bottom is but it looked interesting, and it seemed wrong to get only things I’d heard of. Ordinarily, I would have checked reviews but my wireless transmitter had run out its battery, leaving my phone useless for the night; so I did, indeed, buy a book for its cover.
Then when I got home and checked Amazon it turned out it had four and a half out of five stars. Maybe I should buy more books at random? Who knows, it might be my new favorite.
Or, more likely, I won’t be able to get through it. I’m not sure whether optimism or pessimism is a better game here.
For dinner we ate at the Italian restaurant that’s under our flat. We shared grilled sardines (yum), she had a luscious Dover sole and I wasn’t terribly hungry after a burger for lunch, so I just had a small Salad Niçoise.
Which is French.
Et c’etait très bon.
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