Saturday, November 26, 2022


We've been down to London to visit Daughter 2. The trip didn't start well, since we arrived at the station to be greeted by this notice: all trains down the east coast - our route - were cancelled. However, after a couple of hours we were able to get a train down the west coast instead, with a different train company, which was a good deal since we could use the same tickets. The journey was considerably longer, but we got there. 

The following day we all went to visit my brother and his wife in their new house in Cambridge. This is not their new house; it's a bit of King's College. The bit to the left was covered in scaffolding, so looked less than usually elegant. We also met up with my niece, who already lives in Cambridge. Her parents' move (from Epsom, which is really some distance away) is so that she can look after them in their dotage (they are, however, still in reasonable fettle). It was very sensible of them to downsize, and of course we ought to, too, but it does seem a considerable faff. However, their new, smaller house is very nice, and think of all the decluttering they've done, and we haven't. 

On the Monday, Daughter 2 was at work and Littlest Granddaughter at school (so inconvenient). Mr L and I were to have met up with my best friend from school for lunch, but once we were on our way we got a message to say that her husband had been ambulanced to hospital with suspected deep vein thrombosis. (False alarm, fortunately.) It was pouring rain, so we proceeded to the Victoria and Albert Museum and had a wander round, choosing items for the house. (This, above, is the cafe. I like the huge sparkly lights as objects, but don't really think they go with the High Victorian architecture. I don't think they're just there for Christmas; but maybe.)

So this is one of the things I'd like for Christmas, please. It hasn't photographed at all well - what look like metal bits round the sides are actually just light, caught in the thick sides. It gives the impression of a very elegant crystal glass hand-sanitiser bottle, but it's actually...

Can you imagine some poor chap, 2000 years ago, carving that out of rock crystal??? It must have taken days. 

This would also be very acceptable. The colour is perhaps slightly dull, but I love the detail of the carving. 

It's much the same age - and look...

it had a baby one inside! They're for the ashes of distinguished teachers, so I kind of qualify. 

The next day we had a wander round Chingford, where Daughter 2 and family now live. It's quite pleasant. 

The weather was much improved. 

The English do cuter street names than we do, on the whole. 

We decided to walk home over Pole Hill. The obelisk on the left was built in 1824 to mark the meridian and is visible from the Greenwich Observatory, though a few years later they decided that the meridian was actually nineteen feet to the right, and built the smaller one to mark this. You can see why they didn't bother to lug another huge lump of stone up the hill.

It was a pleasant walk, though a trifle muddy in parts from all that rain. 

There were good views down to the reservoir near Daughter 2's new house. 

 and though it's not discernible in my photo, we could see the Thames in the distance. 

And then we came home and now I have a STINKING cold and cough. Most annoying. I'm hoping to be better tomorrow. I did test for Covid the day before yesterday and it was negative, but maybe I'll do it again. 


  1. Beautiful trip and enjoyable with your visits to various family members and your nice walks. I love the V&A! I too have a terrible cold and cough--which is finally starting to ease. My recommendation: take the medications! I held off for too many sleepless nights.

  2. The English street names baffled me when I visited (from Australia) an English aunt. "Why do your parents live in a street?" she queried. Where would she expect them to live? In a paddock? It took me some time to work out that "street" had a particular meaning in England. In Australia it's a synonym for "road".

  3. I think I'm on Blogger mainly for the armchair travel benefits!

  4. It seems that one almost always catches some annoying germ when one travels. I almost always do. If I ever get to Great Britian again, the Victoria and Albert Museum is at the top of my list of places to visit. When we visited several years ago, our train from London to Edinburgh had a similar issue and we had to take the Western route, through Carlisle. It worked out all right, as on the return trip we decided to stop in the Lake Country! It was wonderful.