"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Ok got a new toy and have been playing with it for far too long and I must get on with tea!! I Just needed to check that I could post on here with it :-) I just need to get a small keyboard which I am sure will make a difference.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

London - Thursday....

Another bright, fair day. we were so very lucky with the weather..
Not quite so lucky finding a pair of flat shoes for Milly though :-(  After trying a vintage shop near the hotel ( rip off shop more like! ) we headed off to Marks and Spencers thinking we were bound to be able to find a flat canvas shoe at a reasonable price... Wrong! Next was no better, nor the other 5 shops we trawled round. We were going at break neck speed as we had planned to be at The British Museum - which was just round the corner from where we were staying. I had planned it for today as I knew by this point we would be exhausted and it would not have involved much walking - oh well... the best laid plans and all that!

However - as it became obvious it was going to take longer than we had anticipated - I had two choices. I could have got angry and stressy that we were 'wasting' time when there was so much we wanted to see that day or I could accept that shopping was just as much a part of the 'London' experience and enjoy it... I chose to accept and try to enjoy it. I did loosen up but some stressy moments still crept in.

 Milly tried on at least nine shoes ( sometimes each shoe in a 7 and an 8 ) in Sports direct. They had a really large selection and we kept the young sales assistant very busy - backwards and forwards for shoe after shoe:-) Some didn't fit, some had seams that she could feel, some looked good until she got them on and she didn't like them. We found some pink DM - style - boots on sale at a very good price  ( she has been wanting some for ages )  no good though as they too had scratchy seams. One pair of flat sandle type shoes looked like a winner but the 8 ( her normal size ) was too big and the 7 too tight. After trying all the possible options on we had to call it a day.  Knowing we had given it a really fair shot she decided she had had enough of trying shoes on and Milly put her 'death heels' - as she called them - back on. She said she could 'bear' them.
We walked off to the tube to get to the British Museum.   

Got lost Took a scenic route to the Museum and whilst they nipped to the bathroom I took the opportunity to rest my weary bones. Thanks to the lovely Julia from Classroom free I was wearing the comfiest shoes I have had for years. I had seen them on one of her pictures on Facebook. I loved the style and asked what make they were and purchased then some :-)

Milly had been keen to show Alan the Relic trails that she had done last year. Unfortunately they no longer did them :-(  Could this morning get any better! After discussing it and knowing that Milly wasn't too keen to go around the Museum - without the trails - we decided to move on to Trafalgar Square, National Gallery and Tate Britain.
Milly was our Tube guide. Keeping us right on which line we needed and where we should go.
She loved the escalators and we had a routine so we all managed to stay together in the throngs of people that were often trying to get on at the same time.

We decided to get Milly some lunch ( Alan and I had filled up at the Travelodge breakfasts and had found that we didn't need lunches ) she ate at a small cafe before we headed off to Trafalgar Square.

Fire shooting from the top as he played!

Using over 8,000 plants, GE (General Electric) has brought to life Van Gogh's 'A Wheatfield, with Cypresses' in a ‘living wall’ outside the front of the National Gallery.

Milly wanted me to take a picture of this pose. Looking at her hair now it has reminded me about the colour debacle. The day before we travelled we had put some Cyclamen Crazy colour on to top up her streaks. After applying it Milly asked if she should wash it and I said not to worry just rinse it....Wrong!! The first morning she woke to find the white pillowcase bright pink and then when she went in the shower the curtain and towels were victims as well.... I spoke to the housekeeper the next morning who was unfazed and was very pleasant and said she would just get them changed.
After spending an hour or so in the square we went for a quick look around the Gallery - we all decided as it was such a nice day it would be good to walk down the Mall and see the Palace then spend some time in the park. We would put it on the list of places to visit next year with Tate Britain.

Outside just in time to see the Contortionist....

in a box!!

Down the Mall to the Palace.

Alan walked to the front of the Palace and Milly and I decided to go to the park.
 Squirrels everywhere! Although you can't really see it on here it is there! Just off to the left of
Milly  :-)

Back on the tube from Green Park and a breather at the hotel.
Milly chose to eat before we headed off to Shaftesbury ave to a Chinese restaurant we had seen with an all you can eat buffet for £6.50. She wasn't sure she would like anything on offer.

Milly 'hates' lifts. However we were on the 10th floor and she decided it was a better option than walking up the stairs! As a way to keep her mind of it she would stand with a smile and a peace sign waiting for the doors to open and a person to see her. In all the times we were up and down no one was there when the doors opened to get her 'peace' as she called it :-)

Alan and I had a really nice meal. Milly drank cola and shared a little of ours, trying some dishes new to her. It was soooo busy and we were glad we had made it earlier rather than later. After eating we strolled down to china town and bought Milly a beckoning cat :-)

We had to cut our nightime stroll short as Milly began to feel unwell .
Milly and I made our way back to the hotel but Alan had a big night out :-)
 He was going to see The Jersey boys. Family had given him money for his birthday so he could get a ticket and in the end it only cost £22 so he has some left to spend :-)
He has loved Frankie Valli's music for years, since his time in the Navy.
Milly and I had thought we would like to see Billy Elliot. However when we bought Alans ticket we decided against it as we were both exhausted and it would have involved traveling across London late at night. There is going to be another vsit next year so we can do it then ;-)) 
Al got back about 10.45 and - although we had thought we would be asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow - Milly and I were still awake to hear all about it. I think we were over tired and the room was really hot. However once Alan was back we all snuggled down and were soon asleep:-)

Friday, 21 October 2011

London - Wednesday.

Wednesday dawned clear and dry. We were so pleased we could leave the jackets behind - so much easier to get around with less gear.

The plan was to get the tube down to Embankment - which we did - then to get a river taxi - which we didn't. To cut a long story short Milly had been keen to take one so she could show Alan what we had done last year. The wait for the next boat caused her some anxiety though so after some discussion we decided to walk over the bridge. We had planned all the things we wanted to see and the boat would have set us down with plenty of time to walk along the southbank and see them all and then to be in the right place to get a tube to move on to the afternoon visits...

We just had to do it in reverse and do much more walking than anticipated. At least it was dry and we would still get to see everything :-)

One of the aims for the day was to introduce Milly to some modern /contemporary art. I had thought it best to walk along and if Milly was interested we could pop into some of the galleries. As with most things I keep an open mind about art - I know what I like and that coud be from any era. Milly is not at all interested in fine art ( boring she says ) and I thought she would get a lot from seeing a totally different style.
I had read of a straw fox at the Hayward gallery and I knew Milly would like to see that if it was still there - it wasn't but some underwear bunting was!
Pippiloti Rist was showing...
Milly and I went up to the free display of a few of her videos and were both intrigued by her work. Alan sat and looked out at the river - not his cup of tea:-)
Milly particularly liked one called you called me Jacky. Not quite so keen on the one with the naked man in the woods ;-))
We didn't know there was a larger exhibition and decided to leave but since returning I have found out there was another larger exhibition. I showed Milly online and she said she would have liked to go - had we known.

A stop for a coffee and some people watching then on the road again.

Passed by the Globe - decided not to go in on this trip - then walked on to the Tate Modern.

Some installations caught Milly's eye. We sat and watched this video by Igor and Svetlana Kopysiansky  for quite a while.

Some had visual appeal..

Some we just didn't 'get' :-)


A slide that made music as you slid down.

Back out into the Sunshine for the walk back to the Tube.

On to the Imperial war museum.

Berlin wall pose.

Museum visits with Milly are often very speedy and so that Alan could really explore we sent him off and Milly and I paid to see The Once upon a wartime exhibition. It was interesting and beautifully presented. Atmospheric and informative.

As we left the exhibition Milly took us off to the left. I felt sure we should be going to the right but she wanted to go so I followed and went in a door with a curtain over it - she thought it might be a cinema or something... It was a narrow room with benches along the side. Some people were already on them and so we joined them not really sure what we were getting into - but Milly was still happy and even when I asked if she would like to go out she said no... A voice from the tannoy explained we were in the communal air raid shelter and we then realised it was a simulation!
 Panic set in a little as she realised we couldn't get out but I talked it through with her and held her tight. It was quite scary with the bomb sounds and then the benches rocked as we were 'hit'. An air raid warden came to lead us through the streets. past the gas works - just before it took a direct hit and went up in flames and he then took us to the WRVS stand before exiting the 'Blitz experience'. Not an experience Milly is keen to revisit....

We had a wander around the main exhibition.

Afterwards we had a cuppa and cake.
Then as Milly had seen all she wanted to we sat on a bench and waited for Al to meet us. Giddiness took over. She laughed so much she snorted! She found it very funny and asked me to take a photo so she would always rememeber the moment.

Had to do the usual self portrait:-) The only place I remembered to do that was in the bathroom ...

By the time Alan met us at 5.30 we were all shattered. A longish walk to get the tube to Piccadilly. We had caught a glimpse of it late one night last year but I had wanted to see it again. It was a fleeting visit as we really needed food and rest - back on the tube to return to the Travelodge.

A very pleasant Wednesday was completed by having Dominos pizzas in the room :-)