Well, I'm back! Did you miss me? Probably not, I suspect, not if you are under the Christmas Cosh, realising (too late) that there are only five "sleeps" before Christmas Day and not enough hours in the day...etc,
It's obviously too late for 2012, but I can thoroughly recommend the taking of a Pre-Christmas Jolly Jaunt away from it all. It is certainly true that everything that should have been done already,
still needs doing. And, with just a day and a half till we set off again on our Christmas travels, panic is setting in big-time. But I wouldn't change a thing because we have had a truly remarkable time on our Jolly Jaunt, Mr B and I.
Oh, yes, the weather. Well, it was every bit as bad as was forecast but it did not bother us one whit, not the rain, nor the wind, nor the puddles. We watched the rain-drops careering down the picture windows of
our river cruise boat and toasted our good fortune to be inside out of the wet with the help of a delicious bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. After which we took advantage of a brief lull in the stormy weather to scuttle across the bridge to the London Eye,
which carried us up, up and away, high above the city - enabling us to gaze spell-bound as all the lights of dear old London town came twinkling on in the twilight. Magical!
We watched The Jersey Boys
on Day 1 (Mr B's choice) and Wicked on Day 2 (my choice.) We each thought our own choice of musical was the better of the two but were in total agreement that the seats were much more comfortable on the second day. The older you get, the
more small details like this seem to matter. I loved Wicked. It was, well, wicked. Mr B, however, is not one for fairy tales at the best of times. He'd have left Sleeping Beauty to her slumbers, told Cinderella that her choice of slippers was asking
for trouble and advised Rapunzel to get her hair cut. Preferably in a short, easy to maintain, bob.
The best value for money was my daily Travelcard - £5.40 a day with my Senior Railcard, entitling
me to travel (if I so wished) across Zones 1 - 6. Mr B had to stomp up £7 a day for his, thus providing me with some welcome ammunition for a new round in our on-going debate on "Why Mr B should buy a Senior Rail card." What was more,
Mr B's £7 Travel card was only valid for Zones 1 and 2, I pointed out. Mr B said this was immaterial, as we were only travelling as far as High Street, Kensington in one direction and Embankment in the other. That's the trouble, he always has an answer
The worst value for money was the £8.50 per item we were charged to leave our cases in the Left Luggage at Victoria this morning. But we were off to see the Churchill War Rooms
in Whitehall and couldn't face lugging our cases around with us - so we paid up, but with bad grace.
I loved everything about the War Rooms. So easy to imagine what it must have been like, working
underground with the world as you knew it disintegrating above you. One of the last rooms we saw was where officers had the unenviable task of preparing for what was seen, at one time, as an almost inevitable invasion. Thanks to the excellent audio guides,
I was able to hear the diary entries written by one officer, each one more despondent than the last leading up to September 14th, the day he was certain Britain would be invaded. His entry for that day: "An ominous silence," he wrote. A month later, he
conceded that the invasion had not happened after all and things were not as bad as he had anticipated.
Just like Christmas. Before we know it, we'll be looking back and wondering why we were worried...