Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Finally made it.  Norwegian Air is a lovely airline with one exception. The cabin is freezing.  I ask for a blanket and was told, “ This is a budget airline, and if you’d like to buy a blanket, once we get underway you can buy one on the screen for six dollars.”  

‘How barbaric,’ I thought.  I waited for the Duty Free or blanket sales to open but nether ever did.  Even with a little sleeping pill, I shivered for at least six hours of the flight.  Arctic air flow certainly impedes one’s sleep. At least Inuits have igloos and bear skins.  Me nada.   

When in London, I like to stay in University Rooms -  You can book these on the internet, and they offer every room choice from a B&B room selection  with the bath down the hall, to ensuite rooms, some of which include breakfast.  Depending which location you choose, you may even have the use of their university gym and pool. Most also offer in room Wifi.  These rooms are less expensive than a regular hotel and conveniently located throughout central London.  But book early or or choices will thin.  I prefer to stay in South Kensington, but because I booked late, I am staying in perfectly adequate ‘digs’ within the University of London, next to the British Museum, around the corner from the Russell Square tube station.  Everyone is exceedingly helpful and the Breakfast (although some mornings not too delectable) has every choice one would wish for even Oatmeal on occasion.  Keep in mind these are student dorm rooms, not the Ritz.

My dear friends, Mark and Sarah were waiting my arrival and had glorious plans for the evening, but as I was falling asleep over my pub dinner, (I was alert enough to have a 

Pimms and lemonade

Pub Interior
Pimms and lemonade - delicious -see recipe below.), they went off on other adventures, and left me to regenerate so I would be fresh in the morning for our Sunday Birthday celebrations and adventures.  

On Sunday, the weather was glorious, and we walked from Russell Square to the far end of Kensington Gardens and the Palace to have lunch at the Orangery.  If you don’t know London this is quite distance.  So upon our arrival, we able to not only enjoy a great lunch but also a  scrumptious desert without guilt; Raspberry “Eton” Mess - meringue and whipped cream mixed together with raspberries.   

The Orangery
Mark and Sarah

After we attended a travel photography show with entrants from all over the world.  There is even a 14 and under category.  The contest is put on by if you are interested in finding out more, or entering some of your own work.  

2014 Photograpic winner

A show runner up  

After the photography show, Mark and Sarah headed home to Nottingham, while I headed of to another event.  More about that in the next post.  

My other planned event was with an friend Carol.  We meant at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to see a concert by Madhup Mudgal ‘one of the leading Indian classical singers of he is generation.  He is also a scholar in gharanas, Indian musical tradition and has received one of the highest civilian awards in 2006 from the Government of India, the Padma Shri.  

Carol and the bike she rode a half an hour to get to the concert 

Indian singer, Madhup Mudgal

During the first few days, I went to Covent Garden to the Apple store to have my Skype fixed.  There Acer kindly sent me Emma who was brilliant and helpful.  Then it was off shopping  at Harrods for three bears, Eliot, for my new grandson and Frankie and Gilbert bears for two little new borns in Leh, Ladakh, and some other adventures. 
Bears: Eliot, Frankie and Gilbert ready for their own adventures

Pimms and Lemonade recipe

Two shots of Pimms
slices of:
big chunk  of mint crushed 
then fill the rest of the glass with lemonade 

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