Monday, September 5th, Labor Day–London

Back to the Victoria & Albert Museum; back to the Museum of London & Pret a Manger by Tube; back home again; another pint at the Stanhope Arms; a visit to the small hardware store around the corner; back to Garfunkel's for dinner and Waitrose afterward; backing up this past week's pictures

Best Western Cromwell



The first place I went to today was the Victoria & Albert Museum just down the road from here. I love the V&A and have discovered I'm very fond of any museum or section of a museum devoted to the decorative arts as the V&A is and also really enjoyed going to the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History in Dublin while I was there and the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris, which I visited when we were there to disperse of Mom's ashes two Christmases ago and plan on visiting again when I'm there starting later this week.

I had already stopped by the V&A shortly after I got here to London but only went to the two special exhibitions then. Today I went for a good wander around the rest of the building although many galleries and rooms were closed for maintenance of one kind or another. The only problem I have with the V&A is the same one I have with any other museum built around central courtyards–single or plural: it's easy to lose track of where you've already been and where you haven't been but would like to. The V&A was pleasantly not very crowded today which made getting around and seeing the exhibits and displays a lot easier this time around.

I then took the Tube from Gloucester Road over to the Mansion House station, walked from there to the Museum of London and had a sandwich and fruit cup at the Pret a Manger around the corner from the museum first.

The M of L is probably one of the best municipal museums I've ever been to, and municipal in both the sense of being owned by a city as well as being about a specific city and its history. What's also amazing is that the museum's free when it would be well worth a moderate admission price. I didn't wander outside this time to find the sections of the Roman wall as I did last time but only took pictures from inside. I did pay to see the special exhibit about the Great Fire of London, however.

I decided I really didn't need to go back to the Tower of London on this trip since I'm pretty sure it hasn't changed all that much when was there last year. I went to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House only a couple of weeks ago after all. Instead I walked on over to the Saint Paul Tube station to catch the Tube over to Holborn Station where I could transfer to the Piccadilly line back here to Gloucester Road.

It was somewhere between 3 and 4 PM when I got back to the station. I wasn't ready to come back and hang out in my room yet, so I had a pint at the Stanhope Arms across the street from the station since I could find a small table to sit at. I'd not been able to open my second and last jar of pickled eggs and hoped I'd be able to find something to use on it in the Waitrose in the station mall. When I asked at the Customer Service desk if they had anything they said they hadn't but one of the ladies there remembered the small hardware store across the street from the station and they did–in fact, it's quite packable and even better than either of the two openers I have at home so it is well worth the 15 GBP it cost. I still wasn't ready to come back here to my room yet, so I next went to the Starbucks for an iced coffee and went to the Boots to pick up some Slimfasts for my last three mornings here and some more cold medicine, and then came back to my room.

I basically just hung out here reading and watching something streaming on my Kindle Fire until I was hungry enough to go out for dinner around 7:30. Although I'll probably go to the Indian restaurant around the corner I liked the last time I was here for dinner Wednesday night I didn't feel like Indian food tonight and went across the street to Garfunkel's for their very nice chicken, ham & leek pie instead. I also wandered through the Waitrose as well–I was specifically looking for some more lined school paper but they didn't have any, so I'll have to go down the street to the Sainsbury's to get some on Wednesday. I did get some chips, a couple more pocket packs of kleenex, some juice, and a bottle of Pimm's cider cup which I think is what Garfunkel's called a Pimm's cup last year but don't have this year (it's pretty good).

It's now only 10 PM, which means I should have an early evening tonight. It's odd but I've actually been staying up even later while on vacation than I usually do at home; although I have been going to sleep at much the same times I'm usually at home in the evenings. Typing my notes up each night while on vacation does tend to push back my bedtime a bit, too.

I started copying the pictures from my camera over to my laptop before I went out to dinner so that was done when I got back. I've started backing them up to USB flash drives and that seems like it will take the rest of the evening.

I also began working on updating my lists of what's been played on the latest episodes of the podcasts I listen to and will probably finish most of that off tonight as well before going to bed. I still haven't heard from my London podcaster friend, Alan, but I did notice he hasn't yet posted a new episode which he usually does on the first of each month.

My plans for tomorrow are as follows, with the end of the day first: dinner at the Globe's restaurant, the Swan, at 5:15 PM followed by "A midsummer night's dream" at 7:30.

I don't think I'm going to be in a great rush to get moving in the morning, since the rest of my plans are to finally take the Tube over to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery, and walk from there down to and across the Thames and use the tickets for the Sealife London Aquarium, the London Eye, and the London Dungeon I got as part of the package with the ticket to Madame Tussaud's last week before dinner at the Swan.

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