Sunday, August 28th–London

Catching a summer cold; by cab to Madame Tussaud's; by cab back home for an afternoon off; Boots; Waitrose; late lunch at Garfunkel's; dinner at Byron's

Best Western Cromwell



I didn't do a whole lot today and didn't even do my usual daily walking for exercise because I felt rather unwell all day.

It actually started last night during the concert at St Martin in the Fields. Shortly after the outside doors were closed right before the concert began I started having what felt like fairly severe allergic symptoms, primarily a need to cough strongly and fairly often. At first I thought maybe it was somehow related to the candles since this was a candlelight event but I soon realized that the flames on none of the candles I could see were actually flickering because they were all battery powered.

All last night I frequently kept kept having to wake up and cough and blow my nose, so much so I finally had to just put a roll of toilet paper and the trash can next to my bed because I didn't want to run out of the single box of kleenex here in my room. I of course slept quite poorly last night and this morning and for most of the day I had some of my recurring mild stomach problems as well.

I did wake up early enough to get to Madame Tussaud's on time but I took a cab there instead of the bus as I had to the Wallace Collection yesterday. When I woke up I felt more dizzy than usual in addition to having to frequently cough and blow my nose so I really didn't want to have to do any more walking around outside than necessary.

Even though I was there at 9:30 this morning there were lots of people who had arrived much earlier than I had. All the exhibit rooms were crowded, often with idiots who just stood in the middle of doorways and in aisles in families and other groups. One of my favorite songs of all times is Bob Dylan's "The times they are a changing" mostly because of the lines "Don't stand in the doorways, don't block up the halls". I had to keep asking people to either go in or at least get out of the way.

I enjoyed M T's quite a bit but have to admit that in the rooms with statues of models, actors, pop and sports stars I often had no idea who they were supposed to be. I did of course spot Einstein, Shakespeare, Gandhi, Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, etc. It was still fun.

The so called "Sherlock Holmes experience" is rather hurried where over the span of eight minutes you are rushed from one room to another where a costumed Holmesian character talks at you before you're rushed on to the next room and character.

The "Spirit of London" is a lot more enjoyable, and the 4D (3D with special effects like breezes and splashes of water) Marvel Super Heroes show is also very well done and was very enjoyable, especially the shrieks from some audience members every time a breeze blew on the back of their neck or there was a slight spray of water.

I still felt pretty crappy after Madame Tussaud's and haven't felt much better all day. I decided to not even try to go to any of the other places I thought I might and just took a cab back here. It was only around 11 AM when I got back and for the rest of the day and evening I took it very easy and even slept a lot. I did have the cabby drop me off at Gloucester Road instead of here at the hotel so I could go to the Boots and buy some cough syrup which doesn't seem to have helped much and some pocket packs of tissues since I have no idea what I did with the ones I bought back in Dublin but hadn't needed.

I skipped my walking and even using the treadmill because of frequent coughing to the extent that my ribs hurt, having to blow my nose fairly often, being more dizzy than usual, and having a sinus headache all day. Back at home I'd just use my treadmill or even the ones at the gym, which I am now very used to, and although the hotel does have a pretty good treadmill I used last year I decided I'd better not today.

I did venture across the street about 2 PM and had an omelet at Garfunkel's for lunch and a wander through the Waitrose. I like both that Waitrose and the Sainsbury's down the street very much, and if I really lived here in the area or even had a small refrigerator in my room here in the hotel I'd definitely be buying lots of stuff at either location. Both are very good sized stores with a wide variety of things for sale, including what look like very nice fresh meat and produce sections.

I bought a bottle of orange, mango and passion fruit juice to have with some of my Sainsbury's rum I bought earlier this week. I also bought a bottle of Pimm's because I thought it said it was premixed Pimm's cups but it's actually just the spirit itself which I found too strong on its own. It's supposed to be very good with lemonade which I'll try tomorrow and is very good with the orange, mango and passion fruit juice.

Afterwards I came back here until going back out for dinner around 8 PM, and probably fell asleep for a while somewhere in there. I don't think I'll have a lot of trouble sleeping tonight, even in spite of the naps, because I still don't feel well and also feel rather tired. I had a decent cheese burger at the outlet of Byron's for dinner and then came back here.

Tomorrow is the biggest day for the Notting Hill Carnival which I think I'll skip. I do enjoy watching scantily clad, beautiful women dancing around but prefer to do so when I'm comfortably seated somewhere. I can't find any information on the Carnival's web site about where to watch the parade from, or even exactly when the parade is–the web site says "10 AM to 8:30 PM" which is probably how long the day's events take place but not how long the parade actually is.

Instead I think I'll just go to the places I'd wanted to yesterday and today, the Sherlock Holmes museum, the British Museum, the London Transport Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. I've already checked their hours on their web sites and none of the places indicate they're closed on the bank holiday tomorrow.

And that's it for tonight.

Return to journal