Thriller in the Smoke!

So it’s off to London with my old teaching buddy this weekend. Always love a trip to the smoke and this time staying with a relative of mine in Caterham. So boarded the train in Leeds only to be delayed at Retford for an hour.  Reading this book at the moment, set in France just around the corner from where we are, so am finding it very interesting.

The Ripening Sun by Patricia Atkinson

The Ripening Sun by Patricia Atkinson

Made London by 1.30 and did the usual walk up from KC passed Euston Stn onto TCR. Popped into Heals. We were lured in by some sales of mulled wine syrup at 20% off. So it was up to the toilets and cafe. Very unimpressed 3 toilets very poorly appointed and a cafe where the food was on display uncovered for all and sundry to cough and spray spit over. Needless to say we left. Discounted several other sandwich shops to end up having a salad from M&S. Together with pure pomegranate juice. It was lovely. Got our tickets for Thriller on Saturday evening.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Then to the national portrait gallery to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition of photos. She really didn’t have a bad side. Would have had a tea there if it wasn’t for the flies on the food yuk!  Meal at an Italian in the evening. Meat esters liked their chicken with sundried tomatoes. Bed and very tired but writing this before sleep takes over. Woke early as usual. At home 7am would normally be dog walking time, just can’t shake the habit for waking early.

Saturday 1/12/12
Took us a while to get going and quite a long journey into London. F was good to take us down to the station. Not sure if we will walk back at 11 tonight after the show. And we don’t.
We get to Ladbrook Grove and come across Jamie Oliver’s Recipease.



Well his toilets were a Crapper but the service was crapper still. We waited over 15 minutes for a cup of tea while the waitress fiddled about drying cups. Complained and were told the drinks were on the house. Made our way to Portibello Road passing a very full vintage jewellery shop on the way.

Portobello Road

Portobello Road

Had some Bakelite bangles just like the Mississippi mud ones I was wearing.

Hirst Antiques

Hirst Antiques



Portobllo was disappointing but we agreed that this was probably because we were very very cold. Finally made it to the West End via foot and bus. I was no help at all and seemed to take us in every wrong direction possible. Tea at Pizza Express. Every where else full. Then to the Lyric.

Michael Jackson

Thriller was brilliant. Fantastic singers and dancers, their energy and talent amazing. Had all the audience on their feet dancing . This show is a chronological trip through MJ’s musical career. Would love to take Cal to see it. MJ rules OK!

Sunday 2/12/12
F made breakfast for us then took us to Purley station to catch train into London. We are going to meet J’s son at Waterloo for lunch. Lovely lunch at gastro pub south of the thames. I had a chick pea dish with aubergines, squash and onions. Couldn’t eat a pud. Then we were dropped off at the bottom of old bond street where we walked through a Christmas decorated arcade onto new bond street and then onto Oxford street.

Super Christmas street decorations.

F had a really eclectic style in her home and I asked if I could take some shots for this blog.





F is an artist too and this is one of her pieces.  One of my favourites and just the sort of painting I have wanted for home.


It also brought a lump to my throat to see one of my mums paintings on her wall.


Also recommended a must see French film Untouchable about a quadriplegic millionaire and his immigrant carer.



Wimbledon Weekend 1 to 2 July
A lot of marking was done the night before in-order to be able to meet the deadline but that meant I could leave on the Friday with a clear conscience . The train to London from Leeds left on time but was delayed for half an hour at Doncaster because of signal problems between Grantham and Retford.  Arrived London KX at 1.25 and took taxi from station to Blomfield Road, Maida Vale, to have lunch at the Summerhouse.  Met J’s son there.  This restaurant is right by the Canal in Little Venice.  Super spot.  The weather was sunny and warm.  Ideal.   After lunch went to the garden centre just off Warick Avenue.  This area brings back so many memories as it is my old stomping ground with BFF.   Lived just around the corner on Sutherland Avenue.   Drinks at pub on the Canal to watch the start of the Andy Murray match with Nadal.

Next morning (Saturday) dropped off at top of Portobello Road, in search of all things vintage and managed to pick up 3 new Mississippi mud coloured Bakelite bangles and a lovely enamel bracelet. Also found a lovely vintage Barbara Hulanicki purple dress and a very now autumn colours play suit. Super sunny day with lots of stalls right up to the Harrow Road flyover.  Took me back to my days living in London.  See blog
Then to Nottinghill Gate tube station to take Central Line to Bank, out and over London Bridge to Borough Market.  Perhaps a must if you are a foodie but not if you are a fussy veggie like me.  Disappointingly I could only find one veggie stall.
But I had the bit between my teeth now and wanted to go to Beyond Retro a place that I had identified online,  it sells all things vintage, or so that’s what the piece said in Timeout. It’s on Cheshire Street off Brick Lane.  Walked passed lots of vintage shops to find this place and it was a big big disappointment.  If you are into retro then avoid Beyond Retro. Really not worth the bother as it’s a chain (one in Brighton).  This sanitised vintage shop is all categorised and labelled.  This is High Street vintage for the lazy and not for me. Good live music though.  Much better to just mooch up and down Brick Lane itself where there are lots of independent vintage shops and markets. Later in Covent Garden had super bruchetta and berry waffle at Cafe Pasta on Garrick Street. Food and ingredients freshly prepared and service excellent.  Great if you want to make the theatre.

Wimbledon – watched three very good matches.  Girls singles final, gentleman’s invitation doubles final (Pat Cash still has all the patter) and the boys doubles final.  All really good matches.  Very entertaining.

Sitting on the tube headed for Kings Cross and notice a young man with the most pock marked face I have ever seen, I listen to the automated female announcer say for the umpteenth time “this is the Piccadilly Line service to Cockfosters” and I wonder how many people on the train find this amusing (Benny Hill style).  On the train home with some drunken man singing out loud along with his iPod . Oh joy! It’s 11 o’clock and I most definitely don’t wanna rock I want my bed.  At work in the morning.