Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Not enough sleep last night so didn't do a lot in the morning; concerned about the work supposedly going on in my townhouse back home; lunch at the Garfunkel's across the street; different directions to the Globe Theatre from Gloucester Road by Tube; back to Pizza Express for a more leisurely dinner; a wonderful performance of "12th night"; walking back to the Mansion House Tube station for the trip back to Gloucester Road; my usual late night snack run

Best Western the Cromwell (Cromwell Road)



It's now shortly after midnight and I returned here to my room only about 45 minutes ago. I've had my late night snack and finished reading the chapter of the book I'm working on. Today was on the whole a rather pleasant if mostly wasted day.

I fell asleep last night somewhere after 1 AM and slept quite well–until I woke up sometime before 5 AM and knew that even if I didn't feel at all rested I was awake to the point I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. I don't think my waking up so damn early had anything to do with that also being dawn, because the layout of my room means that no direct sunlight ever comes in to where my head is when I'm lying down. I closed the heavy drapes tonight, though, just in case.

I felt slightly unwell and a bit dizzy most of the day. I didn't do much of anything this morning. I watched something streaming on one of my devices, I read my travel journal entries for July 3rd, I watched my slide shows of the pictures I took on those days, and read a bit.

The company doing the work at my house is divided into two sections, United Water Restorationwhich handles the mold and water damage mitigation, and United Construction which handles the reconstruction afterwards. I've frequently been in contact with my project manager and customer service manager at United Water as well as my insurance adjustor, but have had some problems getting hold of my customer service manager at United Construction including apparently not having a working email for either of the managers I've spoken with. I wanted to let them know I'll be out of town until July 18th but can be reached by email, that they can arrange access to my unit with David, my project manager at United Water, who has a key and a spare remote alarm fob, and to remind them I need an estimate for the work removing the affected flooring upstairs since I'll be paying for that. I sent an email to the only address I had for one of the customer service managers and it came back undeliverable, so I went online and used the contact form off the web page for the local office.

I also planned out what I'd do today if I felt well enough. I was going to go to the Southwark Cathedral, the Borough Market there, have a pint at the George which is the remains of London's last coaching inn, then go to the Tate Modern before having dinner somewhere prior to the play.

I hung out here in my room until after noon even though I don't think I actually fell asleep again. Housekeeping came to clean my room twice, once knocking as I was getting out of the shower, and reception called after 1 PM to ask if I wanted my room done at all today. I told them I did, and would be going out in about fifteen minutes.

I don't shave every day when I'm not working, and usually do so on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. As I was doing so this morning I noticed that my sink didn't have a working plug and stopped by reception to ask for one on my way out to lunch.

I've really liked all the staff I've met on each of my three previous stays here, and think this place is quite nice and an extremely good value for the cost, but it is an older hotel and much of the carpeting is a bit old and dated and some of the walls could use a fresh coat of paint but on the whole it's in very good condition for its age (better condition than I'm in for my age). Each time I've stayed here, though, the elevator closest to the main entrance and the reception desk has gone out of service for at least a day. It was working fine when I left for lunch, when I came back, and when I left again at 5 PM but had gone out of service between when I left and when I got back this evening.

I went across the street to the Garfunkel's for lunch and had a very good ham & cheese toasted sandwich–a toastie–with some very good fries, and some ice cream for dessert.

By the time I got back from lunch, housekeeping had indeed cleaned my room.

I stretched out again, and I think I might actually have fallen asleep for a while. I was going to head on out for the evening about 5 PM since I wanted to have dinner before my play at 7:30. Before I left I think I learned something about the directions Google Maps gives since I noticed that I got different directions for how to get from here to the Globe Theatre on different occasions–for instance last night I took the Piccadilly line and transferred to the Jubilee line and got off at the London Bridge station, last night I walked down to the Westminster station to take the District line back here, and when I was looking up directions for where I might want to go today including just to the Globe and back it seemed that the Tube station actually closest to the Globe is the Mansion House station. I think what happens is that Google Maps tells you the route that's fastest when you ask for directions, so depending on conditions at different times of day it might actually be faster to transfer between Tube lines as I did last night instead of going to another station to take a single line.

Mansion House station is across the Thames and a bit inland from the Southwark Bridge which is only yards away from the Globe. You can't see the Thames from the station, and I might have gone out an exit that wasn't the closest as well, but I eventually figured out how to get to the bridge and was at the Globe just before 6 PM, which was more than enough time to have a leisurely dinner. I checked the menus at the other Italian restaurant and the Greek one on the same block but decided to have dinner again at the Pizza Express I'd been to last night. I'd liked it and saw they had a risotto with asparagus on the menu so that's what I had for dinner tonight.

I had done OK with my seat for tonight although there was a post blocking part of my view. I was part way up the first section and this time was sitting about 7 o'clock with 12 being straight in front of the stage.

Tonight's play was "12th night", usually one of my all time favorite Shakespeare plays, and I liked this production a lot more than I had last night. Most of the directorial changes were OK and didn't detract from the play for me. Feste, who is Olivia's jester, has much less of an active roll than in many other productions and many of his lines were assigned to Fabian, another of Olivia's employees. Feste for some reason was played by a bald black drag queen with a beard and a bass voice which worked out OK since he mostly did musical numbers. There were several added music & dance numbers which were very well done. Illyria, where Viola and her twin brother Sebastian wind up after they are shipwrecked was set somewhere in Scotland which was amusing. Malvolio, Olivia's steward, was played as a trousers role by a woman who seemed about 12 years old but she did a very good job with the role. This production's Viola does a very good job but I didn't find her as attractive as the woman playing Olivia and the sexiest and most attractive woman of them all was the one playing Olivia's confidential maid Maria.

Afterwards I had a bit of difficulty getting back to the Mansion House station because I'd not turned the volume on my iPhone up high enough and missed a turnoff in Google Maps directions and went a couple of short blocks out of the way. I got back about 11 PM and made a quick snack run to the Tesco Express on the way back here.

It's now almost 1 AM. My plans for tomorrow, July 4th, are to go the the Benjamin Franklin House for an event at 2 PM and then tomorrow evening I have a ticket for a concert at a church I haven't been to before and didn't know they had concerts until I was looking at my lists of places to visit here in London while planning this trip.

And now to bed and I hope to sleep better than I did last night.

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