We bought a mattress and went to dinner--wow!

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, October 6, 2011

A riveting day! 

Most of it was spent in a trip to Bromley and on the Internet shopping for mattresses: we decided that we couldn't have our guests sleeping on a ski slope any longer.  So we became instant experts on open springs, pocketed springs, memory and other foams, double vs small double, king vs super king.  Absolutely gripping stuff.  But a mattress was ultimately ordered, and now our guests will all have rested backs and sweet dreams.  At least that's what we were told.

That done, we rewarded ourselves by meeting our niece Ashlin at the South Bank.  We strolled along the Thames and ran into the World's First Mobile Poetry Emporium (see photo--click on it to enlarge--and note: this is today's world's superlative).  Of course, since today is National Poetry Day we shouldn't have been surprised to see it.  As Ashlin and Annie found out (note them in the photo in earnest discussion with the resident poets) it works like this:  You step up to the counter and are assigned a poet.  You tell him or her what you'd like the poem to be about, who it is to be dedicated to, and other relevant particulars.  Then you continue on your errands.  Half an hour later you come back and collect your poem, which is read to you by said poet.  Then you're given a copy to take away.  There is no charge for this service--poetry is free!  So if you see the MPE in your neighborhood, step up to the counter!

Alas, by the time we arrived they had a pretty big backlog so weren't accepting new orders.  So we continued our stroll along the river, and backtracked through the concert hall complex, where we caught the tail end of a poetry reading.  Then we met Daniel for a lovely dinner at Le Pain Quotidien. Delicious food.  And, as usual, outta this world bread.

Dinner was a nest of Puy lentils in a delicate spicy sauce with fresh tomatoes, surrounded by tiny roasted potatoes, onions, mushrooms and green beans.  Optimistically, I ordered a coconut passion fruit cake for dessert.  It was dry as a desert.  The server came by and asked how things were.  "Well," I said sheepishly, "the cake is pretty dry."  "Yes," she said, "the cakes are dry" and walked away.  I chewed on that for a good long while.  Did she mean, "yes, the cake is supposed to be dry; that's the way it's made," or, "yes, I know that those cakes are dry, unfortunately they are quite stale"?  Before I made up my mind which it was she returned to the table and asked if I wanted another dessert.  "Actually, I'd love something else; frankly I'm not enjoying this at all," I managed to say as I choked down the latest bite of dry cake.  I ordered a pear tart.  It was nice and moist.

Ordering a mattress and having dinner with Ashlin and Daniel--a lovely day after all!
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Hillary on

Custom poetry for free? Wonderful! :)

Julie on

Looking forward to your travel posts. So, if we were to be your guests, what kind of mattress would we be sleepi g on???

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