Saturday, September 3rd–London

UK cell phone stuff; lunch at Paul's; by Tube back to St Martin in the Fields; dinner at Prezzo again; the Festive Orchestra of London performing Vivaldi, Mozart, Pachelbel, Bach & Vivaldi; by Tube back home; another late night snack from Tesco's

Best Western Cromwell



Once again it's almost midnight and I'm just getting around to typing up my notes from today. That's OK since they won't take very long. And although I am rather tired, I actually feel more awake than I did before the concert ended around 9:30.

Today I wound up only doing the things that were at the beginning and the end of what I thought I'd do today. Most of my time between 11 AM and leaving around 5:30 PM to have dinner before the concert was occupied with phone related stuff.

Sometimes I'm so organized I disorganize myself a little. Before I left to walk down the street to the Carphone Warehouse across from Harrods I took my Florida driver's license and passport out of my neck wallet pouch because I might need them to get the phone. They too couldn't unlock my Irish Android smart phone so I could just buy a SIM card and put one in it, but they were very willing to sell me an unlocked phone or at least one that could easily be unlocked, a SIM with pay as you go and more memory for the phone. I was getting ready to pay for everything when I realized that I had left my neck wallet pouch with my debit and credit cards back in my room, so I went to the nearest cab and asked the cabby if he could bring me back here, wait for me, and take me back to the Carphone Warehouse which he did.

The woman at the shop told me that all that was necessary to unlock my new Samsung phone was to call a UK number on it and stay on the line for five minutes, which we did, but she said that they couldn't make sure there it was actually unlocked so I might want to go into the Samsung store and have them check. There's one not far from here.

I took the Tube back here to Gloucester Road and had a very nice lunch at the outlet there of Paul, a London chain of French patisseries where I also bought a couple of small pastries I'm going to have after typing these notes.

What the woman at the Carphone Warehouse didn't tell me and which I didn't find out until after I got back here to my room and was checking out online the O2 calling plan/SIM card I had just bought with the phone is that only UK credit cards can be used to top up the credit on the phone, and I'd have to go into a O2 store and have credit put on it there. There's an O2 branch up on Kensington High Street not far from here, and so I went back across the street to take the District line over to the High Street Kensington station but there seemed to be some disruption of service. Usually they list how long it is until the next trains and which ones they are, but they listed nothing at all for the District line. I took a cab over instead, and took another one back here.

I had just over an hour to hang out here before I needed to catch the Piccadilly line back to Leicester Square to have dinner before tonight's concert at St Martin in the Fields. I had another very nice dinner at Prezzo, the Italian place I ate last night.

Tonight's ensemble was the Festive Orchestra of London whom I heard before, last Saturday night. They may have had a slightly different lineup then or maybe I just didn't recognize the cellist tonight because he was wearing a kilt. At the max, there were nine of them–lead violin, two first violins, two second violins, viola, harpsichord, cello & bass.

Tonight's crowd was a full house on the lower level and there were also some people up in the balcony.

Three of the pieces on tonight's program were also in last week's concert but that didn't matter since it was all lovely music very well performed.

The pieces tonight were: Vivaldi: Concerto for two violins in A minor; Mozart: Salzburg divertimento No 3 in F; Pachelbel: Canon & gigue; Bach: Concerto for two violins in D minor; and, after the break, all of Vivaldi's "Four seasons".

I've probably heard the "Four seasons" more often than I've heard most other pieces but I have to admit that I'm still not so familiar with them that I can identify which part of which season any bit of it is when I hear them.

After taking the Piccadilly line back here from Leicester Square I stopped in at the Tesco Express to pick up a sandwich and some fresh fruit salad for a small late night snack.

I also worked out exactly where I want to go on each of the remaining four days I have here in London before going on to Paris on Thursday of next week. I have time commitments on two of the days so I'll be trying to go to places in the area of where the performances I'm attending are.

Tomorrow I have my last two BBC Proms concerts, one at 3:45 PM and one at 7:00. I plan on going over to the Samsung store in the morning and stopping by a clothing store on the way back. I've decided to pick up three or four waistcoats to snap up my wardrobe while I'm here. Then I'll wander through the Victoria and Albert before heading over to the Royal Albert Hall about 3 PM.

I have my last of two plays at the Globe Tuesday night, with dinner in their Swan restaurant before hand. I'm going to try and actually make it to the National Portrait Gallery & the National Gallery that morning, then walk on over and across the Thames to use my tickets for the SeaLife Aquarium, the London Eye, and the London Dungeon (all of which are right next to each other) before my dinner reservation.

Monday and Wednesday I don't have any commitments, so on those days I'll do one of the following: Go to the Museum of London; walk over to the Guildhall art gallery; walk to the Monument commemorating the Great Fire; and walk from there to the Tower of London; or, Start at Tate Britain; walk to the Imperial War Museum/Churchill war rooms; walk from there to the Cenotaph; and walk from there to the Jewel Tower before coming back here.

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