Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Sleeping well; late breakfast at Garfunkel's; warm weather; a trip down the street to the V & A; a lovely late lunch at Paul followed by a pint at the Stanhope Arms; taking the rest of the afternoon off; a wonderful Lebanese dinner at a new restaurant; the usual snack run followed by a quiet evening at home

Best Western the Cromwell (Cromwell Road)



Although I've actually been back in my room since about 8 PM, it's now 11:30 and I'm just getting around to typing up my notes from today. It's not going to take me too long to do so, though, since I really didn't do much at all today and had a very quiet but very pleasant day.

I slept quite well last night, and woke up about 9 AM. After going through my previous travel diaries and slide shows for this date, I went out for a late breakfast at 11. I went across the street to Garfunkel's and had a very nice omelette. One thing I enjoy about going there is that since this is now my fourth trip here to London, and this hotel and neighborhood specifically, I remember some of the wait staff from previous visits.

The weather was again lovely and warm enough for shorts, which I wore. One reason I prefer wearing shorts, and is why I wear them almost all the time back home, is that it's much easier to adjust my knee braces and tighten them if they start slipping.

I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this before–of course one reason I love summer is because the scenery walking around isn't wearing any heavy coats or jackets. I've seen lots of lovely women in short shorts, short dresses and short skirts, and summer blouses and tops and am enjoying that very much.

I decided I would just do local things today, and go to one or two of the museums here in the immediate neighborhood starting with the Victoria & Albert since it's the furthest away in the neighborhood by a block or so. I've mentioned in the journals of my previous London trips, and of my trips to Paris, that a few years ago I discovered a bit to my surprise that I'm very fond of the decorative arts and of well done museums focusing on them. The V&A is one of the best and biggest of them all.

Today's visit was a little confusing at first. The entrance I've been through before is on the Cromwell Road side of the building but as I was getting to the corner I saw a sign pointing to a new entrance, and assumed that meant the other one was closed. When I went in and told one of the guides working there and mentioned I had a London Pass she herself was a little confused, and led me all the way through the museum to the entrance I've been through before to the ticket desk there. What she didn't know, and I didn't remember, is that entrance to the museum is free for everyone and that a London Pass gets a free ticket to one of the special exhibits. That would include the current one, "Balenciaga–shaping fashion", but not the one about and by Pink Floyd which costs 20 GBP for everyone. I decided I wasn't interested in either exhibit.

As usual I know I didn't see everything there, and will probably go back because I know I missed several areas completely including the jewelry area, but also as usual I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed just wandering around.

By the time I left about 1:30 PM, however, I decided I'd just take the rest of the day off because my knees were bothering me a lot more than usual probably because of the stairs I'd been climbing in the V&A. I'll go back to the Natural History museum some day I can get there soon after it opens and do the same for the Science Museum. I had a very nice lunch at the small outlet of Paul, a Parisian bakery chain that I've also been to in Paris, and stopped for a pint at the nearest pub in the area, the Stanhope Arms, before I came back to my room.

I took the afternoon off, and think I even fell asleep for a couple of hours. I left again for dinner about 6:30 PM. I had thought I might have an iced coffee or other drink at the small Starbucks around the corner first but didn't see any free tables inside or out so I gave up on that idea. Earlier I had noticed that what looked like a very nice Lebanese restaurant, the Comptoir Libanais had opened since I was here last (In fact, it turns out they opened not long after I left this past January) so that's where I went and I'm quite glad I did. It is indeed a very nice, very well done place and I'll have to go back even if it's just to take pictures with my real, regular camera instead of just with my iPhone. I had a very good and enjoyable dinner and a wonderful dessert, their baklawa sampler which has pieces of their six different types of baklawa and all were delightful and delicious.

I made my usual snack run to the Tesco Express and was back here by 8:30 PM. I spent a couple of hours going through my lists of places to see here in London by area and noting which ones I most want to go and then looking up what their open days and hours are. I didn't finish, having only got up to the ones in the Piccadilly area before I decided I needed to give my knees and butt a rest. The nice, long desk where I have my laptop is very adequate and comfortable but I don't remember the desk chair being this uncomfortable even with two extra cushions. I took a couple of hours off to watch something on my iPhone and to read some more of the novel I'm working on (the third of Alexandre Dumas pere's D'Artagnan series) on my Kindle Fire.

It's now shortly after midnight. I need to be up early enough to drop a load of laundry off at reception before 9 AM. I thought I had packed more than a week's worth of underwear but apparently not. I'm going to quickly finish going through my lists, have the fruit cup I bought at the Tesco Express while watching something streaming, and get to bed.

What am I going to do the rest of the day tomorrow? I don't have any concerts tomorrow night. Sometime I do want to see if I can find a better, more comfortable bowler while I'm here and the store that has the most reasonably priced one (Christy's) is also having a 70% off sale on lots of other hats in their inventory so I might call their two stores in the morning and see if either one has any bowlers in. If they do, I'll see what else is in the vicinity or on the way I might go to first,

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