Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Another decent night's sleep; a quiet morning reading; a good lunch at Garfunkel's; walking down to the Thames & the Chelsea Physic Garden; walking back to the hotel with a pint at the Hereford Arms and an iced coffee at Caffe Nero; checking for email from my insurance and contractors; working on my hobbies on the computer; a good dinner at Richoux across the street; what do I want to do tomorrow?

Best Western the Cromwell (Cromwell Road)



It's now just turned midnight and once again I'm just getting around to typing up my notes from today. It's not because I only got home a little while ago or anything like that. In fact, I've been back here in my room since about 9 PM but have been working on some of my other hobbies & projects instead. I still do much the same things I'd be doing for fun if I were home.

I slept pretty well last night until about 9 AM or so. I decided I really wasn't in a hurry to get moving but wanted to finally finish the book and series I'd started on weeks ago, the last volumes of Alexandre Dumas pere's Musketeers cycle. I decided I'd save the Natural History and Science Museums to some other day when I'd get there as soon as they open at 10 AM as possible.

After taking a shower and getting dressed, I headed downstairs to go out for lunch and the rest of the afternoon. Yesterday I'd stopped by reception to ask if I could get another of the little hotel note pads they have in the rooms but didn't get one so I asked again on the way out.

I went across the street to Garfunkel's and had some of their very nice cottage pie, which is basically shepherd's pie with ground beef instead of lamb.

It was a lovely day today, if a little cooler than it's been but still shorts weather.

I walked all the way over to the Thames and up to the interesting and lovely Chelsea Physic Garden, which is free with the London Pass, stopping along the way to sit on a bench in a very nice small park to read for a chapter or two. They have free tours of the gardens a couple of times a day and one was starting at 2:30 PM, shortly after I got there, so I went on it. Unfortunately the guide, although very educated, knowledgeable, and informative didn't project at all. She often spoke in the direction of the plants she was telling us about, and unless you were about five feet from her you couldn't hear her at all–and that wasn't even when any of the surprisingly frequent helicopters were flying overhead. I finally just gave up on her and wandered around the rest of the gardens by myself. I didn't stop to read any of the well done and informative signs along the way but that was OK–I was more interested in how the plants and the various areas looked rather than in the medical or poisonous uses. I was a little confused when I tried to leave because what is supposed to be the exit looks like it's very heavily armed and you have to find and push a small red button to unlatch it so you can leave.

I found my way around the Garden and back to the Thames where I sat on a bench by the river to read for a while before making my way back here.

My knees were bothering me a bit and I wanted to take a taxi but somehow I couldn't figure out where to stand to actually get one to stop and pick me up. I eventually gave up and just walked the half an hour to get back to the hotel's neighborhood. It wasn't long before I got to areas I recognized.

I stopped in at one of my neighborhood pubs, the Hereford Arms, which is just a little further away from the hotel than the Stanhope Arms. I was able to find a vacant small table so I had a pint of a wonderful Cornish hard cider. I still wasn't ready to come back here to my room so I stopped in at the Caffe Nero instead of continuing up the street to the busier Starbucks. This particular branch is apparently a bit older and has older, slightly dilapidated looking but still comfortable furniture.

I got back here to my room between 5:30 and 6 PM. When I came in, I saw to my amusement that someone had indeed dropped off another hotel note pad–which had about four sheets left on it.

I checked my email when I got back and was disappointed to not see anything from my insurance adjustor. I did see a reply from United Construction who is supposed to be doing the work after the mold removal is done. I was further disappointed to learn than Jessica, the manager I'd been dealing with before I left, indeed no longer works for the company and Jorge, the estimator/project manager I'd been dealing with, is out on vacation. In my reply I stated I think someone from their company should have been monitoring the job and kept me informed.

After that I started working on updating the latest version of my playlists for the podcasts I listen to. The Renaissance Festival podcast comes out a couple of times a month and I'd actually already updated those lists a couple of days ago when the most recent episode, which features my own Florida Renaissance Festival with interviews recorded at my dining table, came out so all I had to do after dinner was update the html versions. The World Beat Canada podcast usually comes out every Saturday and they usually update their own playlists by sometime on Sunday. I updated my lists and then did the html version when I came back from dinner as well.

Copperplate, one of the Irish & Celtic music podcasts I listen to, usually comes out the first of every month but Alan O'Leary, the host, himself has been out of town at some huge music festival over in Ireland so he hasn't done his July show yet. I'm hoping we can still get together sometime before I leave on the 17th. Celt in a Twist comes out on Sundays but they hadn't done their playlists yet, but three other shows had recent episodes so I added them to my lists. I'll wait and finish them after Alan's and Celt in a Twist's latest episodes are posted.

For dinner I went across the street to the Richoux. I knew that there were at least two items on their menu I really like, their beef stroganoff and eggs benedict. This evening I noticed another item that looked good, a chicken and mushroom bake with penne and cream sauce which was lovely as was the beer I had along with it and the chocolate mousse I had for dessert. I also bought a small pastry for later which I'm going to have as soon as I finish these notes.

I also copied all the pictures I've taken here in London from my camera's memory card to my laptop, and then backed them up onto the USB hard drive I brought along with me to backup those and my word processing and html files.

It's now a bit after 12:30 AM.

I have a ticket for "A tale of two cities" at the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park tomorrow at 7:30 PM. There's not a lot I want to see in the area and probably won't spend a lot of time before hand wandering around the park. I was interested in the cruises that go along the Regent's Canal but none of them start or stop in the Park but pass through.

At the moment the weather forecast for tomorrow is mediocre, with a bit chillier temperatures and perhaps some rain and drizzle forecast. I think I'll head on over to the British Museum sometime around lunch time or early afternoon. From there it's about a 10-15 minute walk over to the nearest Tube station where I can take a train to get to the Theatre at Regent's Park. Coming home afterwards it's apparently another 10-15 minute walk to a different station to catch a different train back here to Gloucester Road.

I'm still fairly awake if a bit tired. I'm going to have my small pastry and a small thing of milk and get to bed.

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