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Old 07-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #181
Sundae
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I've just introduced Mum to a series of books by Ben Aaronovitch, which marry the supernatural with detailed London geography and police procedure. I thought they might be too bloody and/ or densely plotted for her. She's nowhere near stupid, but she feels she only gets time to read a chapter at a time (insufficient commitment, tcha) and with the large cast of peripheral characters I thought she might lose interest. No, she loves them. She knows the London he writes about, and the police.

So I thought we'd go in search of J Sheekey's which is mentioned in all three of the books. We found it, but they do not have a bar licence. You can only drink if you are eating. Mum wanted a cocktail, but neither of us wanted to eat. And we'd have to take a a second mortgage in order to do so. But the staff were so polite to us.

So instead we popped into Browns. Mistake. I had some of the same issues I'd had in Browns in Oxford, plus the fact the toilets were down a spiral staircase, which would not have been good for Mum's gammy knee, and smelt of damp. Oh and the mocktails all looked like they would be sweet and sickly.
So we scampered out of there, feeling quite cheeky and (in my case) relieved.

Into All Bar One. No seats available.
Crikey me, 16.30ish on a Tuesday afternoon? Have we wandered into a Hogarth engraving?

So we went to TGI Friday's.
Are they authentically American? Or do they just pretend to be?
The portions are American sized, but the prices aren't.
Anyway, we sat in the bar area and Mum got her Kir Royale and as previously mentioned I had an ice-cream smoothie.

I ordered some garlic bread with cheese because I knew we'd be there at least an hour and by then it would be teatime. It was good. Mum had already snaffled a piece before I got the camera out. It was very good.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #182
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Still too early to go, sez Mum.
Okay. I wanted to make a day of it too.
So we wandered Covent Garden Market. Again, no intention to buy, just looking.

Then Mum wanted another cocktail!
Nah, not making her out to be a dipso, she was very respectful. She had two cocktails in two different places and that was it.
But she feels she can't do that with Dad, because he moans about price, or feels uncomfortable in the surroundings, or has trouble with bar stools or stairs etc.

We went into the Covent Garden Grill. Really lovely place. Again, we'd have to think long and hard before eating there, but the drinks were normal price for Covent Garden and the staff were marvellous. I will defo write up on Trip Advisor. Mum had another Kir Royale, I had some sort of strawberry blended drink which must have been made with real strawberries from the taste.

1. View from the inside out.

2. handwash in the Ladies.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:34 AM   #183
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And finally.
On our way home.

1. Fast food at Marylebone station.
No, did not partake. I'm not sure if I'll ever need to eat again.

2. Blue plaque for one of my heroes.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #184
Perry Winkle
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From what I recall, TGI Friday's in Britain is pretty similar to TGI Friday's in the US. Definitely Britishized American food, but the menu in general is in line with what's offered here.

We went a couple of times in Newcastle, as it was one of the few places that gave free soft drink refills, which is a big deal to me.

Looks like a fantastic day out.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
I wish I had been able to spend more time at Camden Lock when I was there last year. Very cool place. I never saw the moped seating, but that's really funny.
We rode that water bus from Camden on the canal to Little Venice. That was fun, to be in a boat seeing hidden parts of London, insulated from the hustle and bustle, but right in the middle of it all.
Sorry Glatt, missed this in my frenzy of posting.
I've done boat trips to & from Camden over the years and I agree, it's wonderful to see things that even many Londoners don't.

Camden Lock & Market can be very crowded; Mum told Dad it was packed. She's never been on a weekend, where they actually close the Underground station because it's an old Northern Line branch and can't cope with the volume of passengers. It's like Oxford Street at Christmas, only all year round.

Then again, she thought we were being pounced on by stallholders. She followed my lead and became a bit more blase. Trust me, once you've been in countries where stallholders follow you halfway down the street thinking you are trying to haggle, when in fact you just have no interest in what they are trying to sell, Camden is not running the gauntlet.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry Winkle View Post
From what I recall, TGI Friday's in Britain is pretty similar to TGI Friday's in the US. Definitely Britishized American food, but the menu in general is in line with what's offered here.
We were okay in the bar area, but people who were seated in the restaurant at the same time as us waited 45 minutes or more to get their food. That's reasonable in a cook-from-scratch/ independent place, but not impressive in a half-full chain.

Bet the service is better where you are.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:07 AM   #187
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Once again, not Greenwich, just London.
We went to Sydenham, South East London yesterday for my Uncle's funeral.
As we live North of London, this meant a trip across the capital.

Sadly, it was all travelling, rush rush rush.
I really must go back and take some photos of Peckham for you.

We left early and got the train to Marylebone.
The Ladies toilet is undergoing renovation, so it's free - yay!
But there are only two working toilets for the whole station - boo!
This meant Mum & I had to queue long-time, and in fact this put us well behind.

Down to the Underground and a trip along the Bakerloo line to Elephant and Castle.
Now when I booked the trip, I thought the 45 minutes between getting off at Marylebone and getting onto another above ground train at E&C would be more than sufficient, even knowing Dad walks very slowly these days.

But I hadn't factored in the long wait for the Ladies and I didn't know that although the stations bear the same name they are in two separate locations. The Elephant & Castle British Rail station is across a very busy traffic junction and through a shopping centre! And of course it's elevated, so another three flights of stairs to negotiate.

The three of us looking like we're off to a funeral. Or a day in Court I suppose - I think Mum & I both look quite sinister.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:10 AM   #188
Sundae
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Needless to say we missed our connection.

Still, it gave us time to recover.
Mum & Dad shared a cheese & ham panini, I had one all to myself (they'd had breakfast whereas I hadn't.)

We also found out that rather than going to a pub after the service, we were going back to my Aunt's flat. I've never been there but apparently it's quite small, so we figured we'd better get some scran in while we could, as the chances were we wouldn't have room to move afterwards, so even if food was laid on it would be hard to get to.

Dad had a very expensive (IMO, but I was paying) double espresso.
I think he felt he needed one after all those stairs.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:18 AM   #189
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Once we got to Peckham Rye station, I was sent on ahead to get the taxi.
This is the part of the trip I wish I'd been able to photograph.
It's an ethnically diverse neighbourhood, so there's lots to see.
Or as Aunty Joyce's friend Beryl put it, "It's all full of blacks these days. All their hair shops and nail shops. And there's always someone in there, I don't know where they get the money..." I moved my chair away at that point, before she started on about them all being on benefits or something.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The taxi office was quite a bit further away than expected, but at least it was in the direction of the Crem.
We did miss the start of the service, but at least we were there.
Uncle Ted's flowers. Close family only, donations were requested otherwise (in case it looks like no-one bothered).
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:36 AM   #190
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Back to the block of flats where Joyce lives.
It's sheltered accommodation, which means all the flats have alarm cords in each room and there are always staff members available to help. There's step free access to all areas and disabled toilets on the ground floor by the Community Room.

Aha! The Community Room! Mum & Dad hadn't been there when they went to visit, so it didn't occur to Mum that this might be where we would go after the service.
It made sense, because that way all their neighbours could come, whereas many of them would not have made it out to a pub. It was a functional space, but there were plenty of tables and chairs and room to move around. I'd say when we left there were about thirty people, which is a decent tribute.

All nicely catered by a rather familiar supermarket. You know, one which employs really sexy staff on their Deli counter.
The "boys" (Ted's sons, both older than me) provided the wine and sherry, or there was tea & coffee.

Mum, Dad and I all managed to have a good chat with various different family members. Auntie Joyce has promised to come and visit this year - she's more sprightly than Ted was, and being very honest she was tied down by him in the last year, because she didn't want to leave him alone. And of course once he went into hospital she wanted to be close anyway.
She'll be coming with Beryl though... it'll be a treat for her to come to Aylesbury and be surrounded by white faces I suppose.

We got a taxi back to Peckham Rye, and the driver took a mini-detour for us to show us London spread out in the sun, it's postal districts packed like squares of wheat.
Nice chap. Jewish.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:37 AM   #191
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On the way home.
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