I met up with Angela C at King’s Cross and we headed to the Barbican and the Museum of London. This was the first part of our ‘educational’ day in London.
The Museum was fab – I haven’t been there for a good 10 years and it’s changed a lot. It was good last time…. but even better this time round. We bought some tickets for the guided tour about the East-End of London – and being a weekday, it was quite quiet so we ended up being the only two on the tour! Perfect! Sixty-minutes later and suitably educated about Cholera through to Dr Barnardo, we had a quick look around at some other exhibits (there was so much more left to explore!) before the obligatory coffee-stop in their basement err, coffee-shop.
Then it was back on the Tube towards London Bridge, where the first priority was lunch! Anxious not to end up spending a fortune, we slipped into Prets for a wallet-friendly, sandwich and salad.
Then, it was off to the second part of our educational day – The Old Operating Theatre very close to The Shard. We nearly missed the entrance as it was so small. We were greeted by a very steep flight of 30+ stairs with the added challenge of a spiral staircase (glad we skipped the alcohol at lunch!) before entering through the narrow entrance door. Being a National Trust property and both being members, that meant that we got in for free – only we didn’t, as both of us had left our cards at home, in spite of reminding each other a few days before to bring them!
I’m getting old!
Once inside, we were transported back to a much more primitive time for surgery – some of the exhibits were downright scary – and I’ve never seen a hacksaw that big!!! And don’t get me started about the collection of forceps – they made me wince just looking at them!! Ouch!!!!
Suitably educated – and frightened – we took a short walk around Borough Market, and after a brisk walk through, and a bit more searching, we discovered The George Inn that turned out to be one of the oldest Pubs in London and owned by the National Trust (I didn’t realise they did ‘Pubs’!). It was a massive property (with a great range of ales!). We easily found a comfy seat and reflected on our time at the surgery! (I still can’t get over the forceps!). After a brief stop at The Parcel Yard (another Pub!), an hour later, suitably refreshed, we headed towards our final destination – Humaira Tandoori in Judd Street, where me up with Philip P and Antoinette U for our regular thrice-yearly get-together.
The service was a bit crap to start with (they weren’t that busy!), but they soon got into their stride. The food was delicious and the prices very reasonable for London (drinks, starters, mains including service: £22.50 each). The time flew, as it always does when we get together, and the next time I looked at my watch it was 8.30 and time to head for Platform 3 at St Pancras – and home!
It’s been a great day (I learned something AND I got to meet up with good friends over a great meal) – and in spite of my best intentions, I DID fall asleep on the train, but fortunately woke-up in good time for my stop. The taxi I’d ordered was already there at Kettering – perfect!, and I was home by 10.15.
I love retirement! (smug b******!)