In and Around London

Trip Start Jun 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 19, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, July 2, 2010

    It has been great to be with Catherine, Dave, Ryan and Connor.  Weather is extremely warm and humid, and Sheila and I have been slow to adjust.  Today, Catherine, the boys, Sheila and I went to London and got tickets at Leicester Square for the play "Oliver".  The play was packed with schools and their students, and they proved to be an intense, yet appreciative audience.  The play was great with the singing and dancing of the young boys in the play outstanding.   
   The Drury Lane Theater opened in 1812 and famous for the best "effects" machinery in the world and was equipped with 10,000 pullys and ropes.  The chariot racer in Ben Hur was contrived with four great cradles, each with a treadmill each with a treadmill supporting four live horses; the chariot rotated by rubber rollers.  Invisible steel cables held the horses and a continuous panoramic background gave the illusoin of a rade.    In "Oliver", the stage elevated to show the underground living area where Fagan lived with his boys and in another scene, the buildings moved away from each other when there was a chase in the streets.  It was so well done!  
    Prior to the play, we had lunch at Tuttons in Covent Garden Market area, and our timing was impeccable, because there was a large influx of folks just after we were seated.  It was fortunate that we went to the Matinee, because the streets and shops along our return to the underground were filled with people, tourists and others.  The heat never got to me until the train ride back to Cobham, as the sweat rolled off my face onto my shirt without me moving an inch.
Once home we enjoyed the Wimbledon matches and some World cup football. 

I got a round of Golf in today and walked the Pachesham Park golf course.  Sheila watched the Woman's Semifinalls which took up most of the afternoon.

We went grocery shopping at Tesco and Marks and Spencer.  Sheila watched Wimbledon most of the afternoon (the Men's Semifinals) and then the World's Cup. Connor is on a regional soccer team and is an intense fan and so are Dave and Ryan.  Sadly, both England and the US were eliminated a while ago.

Because we wanted to watch theWorld Cup  that evenig, we decided to go out to lunch and have snacks for dinner.  So, we went for a walk  along the River Wey  and had lunch at The Anchor Pub.  There were many barges on the River - some looked like people lived on them and some were obviously for rent or hire and some where very nice and some ratty.  We think we walked about 2.5 miles and it was HOT!!  Their dog Magic loved the walk but not the heat!   Then we had lunch - Sheila had Buffalo Wings that were not very good.  What do yo expect?  I had chicken tikka masala.  We also shared some camembert and bread; Catherine had plowmen's plate; Connor had fish sticks with beans and fries; Dave, macaroni and cheese which wasn't too good; and Ryan had a hamburger which looked good.
Then we watched the World Cup.

Happy 4th to you all!!!!  Dave and Catherine went off to Wimbledon to watch the men's final!      Sheila and I had a good walk into town of Cobham.  We walked along High Street and there wasn't much open, just about what we expected.  We want to buy the Mishoes a croquet set or Bocci balls - they have the perfect area in their back yard for a family game like that.  We walked home along the River Mole and saw a swan being chased by a huge black dog. 
We enjoyed a cook out of Chirozo and Cumberland sausages along with hamburgers on the Barby along with chips and a variety of fixings for the burgers and sausages.  The evening highlights were a great display of fire works ala Dave.   Ryan and Connor had R and C sparklers that were some what less than exciting,  The weather is less warm than earlier, however, locals still feel that this is an abnormal period for rainless weather.

Catherine was kind to drop me off at the Silvemere Golf course. I had played this course before and played with Harry, a local gentleman, who serves as a marshal at the course.  It is obvious to me that the course does not have an adequate sprinkling system.  The course was brown for the most part and some of the greens were not well kept.  I played ok, but seemed to have lost some of my swing and direction.  I did manage to do well on the 18th which is a narrow fairway with a lay up to shoot across a pond to an island green.  A par on that hole made the entire round worth it.
Sheila read during the morning and we had lunch with sausage and some sandwich material.  We did go out shopping for food and supplies at Sainsbury's and prior to that went to Garsons Farm Store.  This was quite a treat as they had some fresh vegitables, some grown on site, and they had some deli selections that were unique to this store,  Ryan and Connor guided us to a section that had a number of items from the U.S. that can not be found in most of the U.K.  The price must have included import costs along with shipping and other fees because the cost of the items appeared to be triple of what they cost in the U.S. 
The late afternoon was time for naps and chilling out.  Dave did a rib roast for dinner on the BBQ which was delicious along with fresh brocoli and spinach.  We have been totally spoiled by Dave and Catherine cooking and providing the meals.  We are blessed!

We had a leisurely morning and got our selves together for a trip to London.  Catherine, once again provided chauffer service to the train depot and we caught the Southwest Train to Waterloo Station.  We walked to the underground, the Northern line and went two stops to Charing Cross station.  This gave us direct access to St. Martin-In- the-Fields at Trafalgar Square our primary destination.  Sheila and I had attended a noon day concert a number of years ago and when we were here in 2008 it was closed for repairs.  The concert was scheduled for 1 pm so we had a snack in the Crypt Cafe, Sheila had some quiche and I had a pastery and two bottles of water.  The cafe and lower level of the church were modified and quite roomy compared to our last visit.
We went across the square and saw a human statue in silver with a unique mask.  As people placed money on his plate he would make mechanical moves and greet them or have someone ake a picture with them.  We went to the the National Portrait Gallery which is adjacent to the National Gallery.  We purchased a quide and went up to the top floor for the start of the sequence of portraits of the Royal Families.  It was far more extensive than we had time for viewing, so we left to go to the 1 pm concert at Saint Martin.  The concert was performed by the Duo Cantilena; Odinn  Baldvinsson playing the flute and Patricia Romero playing the piano.  Their first selection was Suite Antique by John Rutter and the second was Sonata for Flute and Piano Op. 94 by Serge Prokofiev.  Sheila and I have sung some music by Rutter so we had an appreciation for his style, but Prokofiev was unfamiliar to both of us.  The musicians were excellent.  The Rutter piece was melodic and the instruments seem to flow into one another in a complementary way.  The Prokofiev piece was a distinct contrast to the Rutter as the instrumentation seemed to insure the differentiation of flute and piano.   They recieved quite an ovation and they performed "The Flight of the Bumblebee as an encore. There were at least one hundred that attended the free concert. The did accept donations of 3.50 pounds, which was totally worth it. 
Following the concert we went back to the National Gallery to see a number of paintings including Rubens, Van Dyck and some dutch painters. 
We returned to the underground to return to the Waterloo Station catch the 3:03 pm train back to Cobham.  Catherine and the boys saw the movie Trek in three D and she picked us up at the station.  We did check out a pastery shop near the Cobham station and bought a fresh loaf of bread. 

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