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.




2.5 hours on the train from Hgte, super friendly taxi driver took us straight to the hotel Hampton by Hilton.  Super hotel, very new and modern.  Then a short walk into the heart of Liverpool to Bold Street.  Paul McCartney appears to be working in Holland and Barratt.

Just off Bold Street is Slater Street which in the evening is full of live music at venues such as The Shipping Forecast. 

The people of Liverpool have great accents and are really friendly.  Which we were both blown away by.  It’s quite unusual to actually have a shop assistant go and look for an item of clothing for you.

Super meal at the Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant, not so sure about the two tins of tomatoes used as a table stand!

First vintage shop we enter and a woman pops out of the next door changing room and says “are you mother and daughter?” D and I both mouths drop open and just stare at each other, both wanting to point at each other and say her!
Lovely cherry tomato bruschetta for lunch then on to Quiggins hopefully? (vittorio tomatoes D tells me, are the best. Available from Sainsbury’s).
Then into various vintage shops before meeting Thelma Louise (in the British Red Cross charity shop) yes really who was 85 years and up for anything, even making executive decisions about saving a jacket for a gentleman until his payday on Friday. You go Thelma!

We both stuffed ourselves on pick n mix. Tonight it’s the Shipping Forecast and the Cavern Club if I have my way.
The Jacaranda on Slater Street is where you can hear a fantastic blues house band for free.
7.30 on Saturday night and just managed to nab a table at the Shipping Forecast so we can have tea. Looking forward to my cider and a good night of live music fingers crossed.
And I wasn’t disappointed. After mistaking the Cavern pub for the Cavern Club we got in. No charge and two live bands playing simultaneously. A London band and the regular house band the Cavedwellers.  Anyone can get up and jam with them. So we had an original merseybeater, Nick Crouch from the Mojos. Then we had a Lyndsey de Paul lookalike from Massachusetts singing jumping jack flash and not bad too. Then various other people from all over the world before Tommy a real blues singer guitarist got up from New York. The resident photographer took a picture of D and I but we couldn’t find a pen to write on the wall. Shame!

Sunday it was the Tate so suspended basket balls and Bridget Riley’s op art.  A really awesome, wicked, lush, COOL, NEAT weekend.