Family time

Milborne Port

8 August

The next few days were spent with the family. My sister arrived from Ireland so we tried to help Mum a bit and visited Dad.

Milborne Port

11 August

Rose and I had a day out in London today. We caught the 9.30am train to Waterloo, arriving at about 11.45am. Our plan was to go to the Tate Modern to see the Matisse Cutout exhibition, on to Kensington to see the Travel Photography exhibition and then to Oxford Street for some shopping. With hindsight, this was probably a little over ambitious given that the two exhibitions were in quite different directions from each other!

Start of the Big Day Out!
Start of the Big Day Out!

We firstly walked along the South Bank to the Tate and started queueing to buy tickets. It was at this point that we decided that we didn’t want to be in a crowded exhibition that cost quite a lot and we probably wouldn’t understand anyway, so we abandoned that idea and set off for Kensington.

London skyline
London skyline
Imax and the Children's Hospital
Imax and the Children’s Hospital
Inside the Tate Modern
Inside the Tate Modern

As Rose does not go on tube trains, ever, we crossed the Millennium Bridge so that we could catch a bus from the Strand. Unfortunately, when we were at our most exposed on the bridge, the skies opened and the rain poured down. This was to be a pattern for the rest of the day, with beautiful blue sky one minute and torrential rain the next.

Busker on the South Bank next to the Millennium Bridge
Busker on the South Bank next to the Millennium Bridge
The Shard in the rain
The Shard in the rain

Once on the bus, we discovered that they do not accept cash on London Transport, (very user friendly!) so we then had to go to the underground station to buy a day ticket. This seemed slightly unreasonable as it was expensive if you were only going to do one or two trips. (We took as many buses as we could afterwards to make the most of the cost.) Having wasted two hours by this time, we finally reached Kensington!

Gate to the Inner Temple
Gate to the Inner Temple
Entrance to the City of London
Entrance to the City of London

The photography exhibition at the National Geographical Society was well worth the trip, however, and we both really enjoyed it, coming away feeling very inspired. Luckily, the sun was shining at this point as the whole exhibition was in the garden. From there, we caught the bus to Oxford Street, amidst torrential rain, once again, where our first stop was the Marks and Spencer’s cafe for a resuscitating pot of tea and cake (large), before visiting the men’s slipper department to buy slippers for Dad who has mysteriously lost one!

London bus
London bus
A window in Selfridges
A window in Selfridges

We wandered down Oxford Street, which was absolutely jam packed with people, the volume of which neither of us could cope with, country bumpkins that we are, so caught the bus to Piccadilly Circus to go to the Superdry shop for Rose to buy a hoodie for her son. The service in the shop was painfully slow and when we eventually left (in torrential rain once again), we were wondering whether we were going to miss the 7.20pm train.

Very crowded Oxford Street
Very crowded Oxford Street

Luckily, we didn’t have long to wait for a bus but it progressed very slowly through heavy traffic to Waterloo. We boarded the train with about 5 minutes to spare. It was fairly crowded but, apparently, not as much as during term times, so we were able to get seats quite easily. The trip home was uneventful and we arrived back at the house at about 9.45pm, both very tired after a long day and much walking.

Milborne Port

13 August

After a quiet day yesterday, Rose was returning to Ireland today, so we had a trip to Bristol Airport via Street, for shopping, and Weston Super Mare, where our brother lives. As I spent a bit longer in Street than I intended, we were quite late getting to Adrian’s and consequently didn’t quite have as much time for lunch at the pub as we anticipated. I ended up taking Rose to the airport, as she was anxious about missing the flight, and then returning to the pub for lunch where the lunch party was slightly depleted after a bit of a disagreement.

We returned to Adrian’s for coffee and then drove over to Yeovil to visit Dad. I am plagued with closed roads at the moment, though, as there seem to be repairs happening on half of Somerset’s roads. We had a couple of detours to make before eventually arriving at the nursing home. Dad had just finished having supper and was very confused and upset for a while. However, he perked up a bit and was amused to tell us that he had won two prizes at Bingo when he had been asleep the whole time!

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