I’ve spent three days in London and haven’t even seen the Pope once! I’m getting out of London today though as Pope-mania reaches its zenith. Here in the First Class lounge at Euston Station the service at Westminster with the Pope is being televised live. Lots of hymns, candles and men in dresses.
On Wednesday Mum and I took the train to London from Liverpool in the early afternoon.
We checked into the hotel and then went via the Tube to Green Park.
Searched for the Queen at Buckingham Palace but she was in Edinburgh.
We had a wander through the St James area of London and ended up at Fortnum and Mason. I bought some jams, preserves and infusions. We ate dinner at the Fountain Restaurant on Fortnum’s ground floor. Mum says it was the best fish she’s ever had.
Thursday was our day in Enfield, the town where Mum was born. It sits on the northern edge of Greater London. We took the train to Enfield Town Station and had a wander around.
We went to the market, walked up the main street to Gentleman’s Row and looked at the smart houses which line the canal of the New River.
We took photos of the geese, or were they ducks?
We had a Back to the Future (Part Two) moment when we went past the Library. Like Marty McFly’s Town Hall, the Enfield Library of the future had a large ultramodern extension hitched onto it.
In the Enfield Town Park we looked for the pond where Mum used to go as a child, but we think they built tennis courts on it.
After lunch we took the bus to Hoe Lane to see Mum’s old house – this is where she was born.
That night, Mum and I had dinner, and then she packed her bags and prepared for her flight the next morning.
On Friday we took the Heathrow Express train to the airport and said goodbye. Mum had a great visit and I’m glad she had the opportunity to come back to England after all these years.
I spent the rest of the day wandering: I walked down Kings Road Chelsea in search of the Antiques Market, I had an amble through Belgravia and up through Knightsbridge to Harrods, where I looked at the puppies in the Harrods Pet Kingdom on the fifth floor. I had tea and scones at the Terrace Bar while I was there.
Later I walked up through Hyde Park back to the hotel. I had dinner at The Spice of India, and on the way home discovered the most enchanting mews (Bathurst Mews) located just around the corner from the hotel. I’d never seen them before – a cobbled laneway with simple low double-storied cottages hidden away behind the Georgian terraces they used to serve. Incredibly, Bathurst Mews is only one of two mews in London where you can still hire horses to ride around Hyde Park. As I surreptitiously peered into the windows of the mews houses, I would occasionally find the chestnut eye of a horse staring back at me – as some of the mews maintained their original use as stables. Outside one was a lovely sign just under a hanging plant pot overflowing with petunias: Do Not Let Enigma Eat the Flowers. Poor Enigma – how mean to taunt him with flowers at eye level just outside his stable. They’re very pretty though.
So now I’m at the station waiting for my train. The Pope has just blessed something and now seems to be nodding off.
Back home, Mark reports that Orlando is unhappy at the change in the human population of the house. It is also getting cooler in Liverpool as the days start to grow shorter, so Orlando’s protest may also encompass the need for the heating to be turned on. Summer has come to an end, the leaves are just starting to turn. I love how this country has such definite seasons.