Kathleen and I took the train to London to meet Kirstyn and her two boys Oscar, 2 and Freddie 4 months and have Dim Sum in Chinatown. It is years since I have been to Chinatown in London and it seems to be much more developed than I recalled. We met Kirstyn at St Pancras and walked over to Chinatown via a park near the children’s Hospital that only allows adults in who are accompanied by a child! It has a range of play equipment and sand pits which Oscar enjoyed while Kirstyn fed Freddie. We continued on through Holborn and passed lots of interesting shops. Just as well I have a backpack because the sales have started and it is so tempting to add to my limited wardrobe.</
We went to a restaurant Kathleen's other daughter, Kate had recommended, the Orient. The food was great and for this little Aussie, such a treat to have Chinese food, and Dim sum (Yum Cha) in particular, after being in France and Germany. It was a very busy lunch with two little boys but also a treat for Kirstyn to have Dim Sum. I admired her ability to just roll with the kids and to come to London on the train. I could not have faced that with the twins!
Kathleen and I struck out after lunch for the outdoor shops. I had resolved to buy a day pack for the Coast 2 Coast after trying my large backpack half empty, and not finding it so comfy. Besides I may have to carry more on the plane when I head back to France and the foldaway backpack won’t carry much. I had done a lot of research and decided on a few styles but ended up buying another Osprey. They are quite a bit cheaper here than at home and they fit me well. My large backpack is also an Osprey. It was even more enticing when we discovered Cotswolds give 15% discount for National trust members. (Kathleen is one!) I bought some new socks and another quick dry shirt. When we left we realised Kathleen had dropped her scarf. After some backtracking we decided it has gone to scarf heaven and gave up the chase.
Next we headed to Clark’s shoe stores to buy a pair of sandals. Wearing the Tevas after a day’s walk is fine but I would like to look a bit smarter for ‘normal’ days. Oh, oh! Two pairs catch my eye and they are very reasonable (especially as they don’t charge me the VAT either). One pair is a very elegant bronze low heeled dress shoe and the other is a serviceable sandal in dark navy. And both in my size!! They are both lightweight so I snapped them up. Um! Now I will have five pairs of shoes to bring home because the sketchers I sent back to England with Karen’s Mum will be collected after the walk. Well that is why I have the daypack.
Kathleen and I had a good wander around Covent Garden which was the flower market but is now specialty shops with lots of floral decorations, buskers and singers. We headed up past Carnaby street towards Oxford street. By now the working day was done for most people and every little pub was overflowing with people enjoying a drink after work. Really amazing how many pubs there are! Literally one on every corner or every 300 metres.
We went up to Euston station so I would know where to go on Saturday and time the distance from St Pancras station. It is about 20 minutes walk between the stations and I am anxious not to miss the train to Carlisle with only ten minutes spare. I have decided to get an earlier train from Deal so I am not rushing.
What was so funny about Euston Station is that the concourse was chock a block with people all looking in one direction-the illuminated notice board for arrivals and departures. They all seemed to have such fixed gazes it was like observing a lot of zombies!
I am staying in tomorrow in the hope the replacement Amex card will arrive by courier but they are so security conscious that they are double checking I am the person redirecting it to Deal. I suspect it won’t come before I leave now. What a saga these cards have been. I feel like I am on personal terms with all the fraud staff of Amex and ANZ!