Sunday, January 1, 2017, London

Last night's fireworks on video; streaming broadcast of the New Year's parade; lunch at Garfunkel's; snack run to Tesco Express; rainy weather so hanging out and using the hotel's treadmill; dinner at Ask Italian

Best Western the Cromwell


I was showered, shaved, dressed and downstairs having breakfast before 8:30 AM. I've been typing these notes up since then, and it's now only 10:30. So what was I going to do the rest of my day?

Most everywhere, including all the museums and apparently movie theaters if there were any here in my immediate neighborhoods, are closed today so that means a quiet day off. Just as I'd gone to the Christmas service at Abbey Presbyterian church back in Dublin because there was little else to do that day, I thought I might go around the corner to St Stephen's, which is a lovely little church, for their New Year's service until I saw that both of them are masses honoring the Virgin Mary. Even though I think of myself as post-Christian, I still have leanings closer to the Protestant churches than Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism, so I decided to not go to church after all.

So what am I going to do today? There is a New Year's parade today. When I was checking online just now to see if I can watch it streaming I saw I can watch a video of the fireworks from last night as well so I'll do that next. The parade is then on from 12:00 to 1:30 PM, and I can indeed watch that as well. I know that at least the Garfunkel's and Richoux across the street are open today so I'll go to one of them for lunch about 2 PM.

I'll take a long walk sometime before dinner. It gets dark here not much after 4 PM so I think I'll wait until after then so I can take pictures of the holiday lights. I'll at least walk down to the Thames and back.

I'm also going to take some time to work on my lists of music played the past week on the various podcasts I listen to and keep track of.

Another thing I've been working on is quickly going through all the pictures I took on my trip this past summer, choosing a couple of dozen of them I might want to have enlarged to hang back home, and thirteen of them for my 2017 calendar from Costco which I'll order shortly before I leave here. I haven't even started looking at the ones I took beginning in September and have already selected over 80 possible candidates for the 13 for the calendar.

I'm also going to further refine my list of where I might want to go while here in London, looking up what days and hours they're open. I also want to check the web sites for St Paul's cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster cathedral and see if there are any organ recitals or concerts happening this week.

More later, of course. Time to watch the video of last night's fireworks, which were actually the only reason I booked the cruise in the first place.

It's now about 12:30 AM Monday morning and I'm just getting around to typing up these notes for today but it's not going to take me long to do so and then it's back to bed. That's because I didn't go anywhere all day except out to eat and even did my walking here in my hotel, using the very good treadmill in the small exercise room in the basement.

My day turned out to be almost exactly like I thought it would when I was typing up my notes from New Year's Eve this morning.

I watched a video of the fireworks from last night. Here's one that's even better than the one I first found. After watching it I decided that I did a right thing by deciding to skip the party cruise and just come home after my concert instead. I know I would have loved the fireworks, which were very well done including the music although I would have preferred classical music myself. The fireworks only lasted 15 or 25 minutes if you include the 10 minutes of preparatory ones before the main event. I think the crowds were body to body, which I don't enjoy at all.

I finished watching the fireworks video right before the live streaming coverage of the parade started at 12 PM. I watched only the first two hours of the entire three and a half hours, going to lunch at 2 PM. The crowds there were body to body also, with an estimated 500,000 people watching along the route, many of whom had been there for hours before the parade. I enjoyed what I saw, despite some technical difficulties with the video feed.

As forecast, it started raining sometime while I was watching so I put my light rain jacket on over my heavier vest when I went across the street to eat at 2 PM. I had a very good lasagna at Garfunkel's. The Waitrose across the street was closed today so I then stopped at the Tesco Express before coming back here.

After I came back I mostly worked on my list of where I want to go here in London. I even added a few places I'd never heard of before until I looked at the list of concert venues in the brochure for the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London I picked up at the performance of the "Messiah" I went to Friday night at St Martin in the Fields. I managed to find the open days and hours for most of the places I'm interesting in visiting, and also checked St Paul's cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster cathedral to see if there are any concerts or organ recitals coming up at any of them before I leave on the 8th, and there aren't.

I also went through the pictures I took from September 1st through the 23rd to select some for possible enlargements and for my 2017 Costco calendar. I'll finish looking at the pictures from the 24th through 26th tomorrow, and probably select the 13 for the calendar then or the day after so I can upload them to Costco, add my dates to the calendar and order a couple of copies so they'll arrive in the mail before I leave here or shortly after I get home.

I also read quite a bit and finished the book I'd been reading.

I wanted to take a walk for exercise before dinner but it was still raining and seemed even colder outside than it had earlier when I went downstairs about 6 PM so I decided to just use the very good treadmill in the small exercise room here in the hotel instead.

I came back up here to put on my heavier winter coat and rain hat before heading across the street to dinner. Tonight I ate at the Ask Italian where I had a pretty good dinner. The food was very good but service was slower and more inattentive than it usually is.

I got back here around 9:30 PM, watched something streaming and read, and maybe even dozed off for a little but that's not going to keep me awake very long after I go back to bed.

So what am I going to do tomorrow before my 7:30 PM concert at St Martin in the Fields? I don't know but will decide after breakfast.

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