...the Journal

After the boat trip, we are staying in London at the Commodore Hotel, near Hyde Park (and next door to the Brasilian Consulate--we've stayed here before).

If you want to see some information about the hotel, this link is a good place to start.



Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.

Keep the discussion going while I'm away, will ya!


Who knows? I took lots of books with me!


The sights of London

Eat your heart out!

That's it for today!



20 May 2001

I realized when I got out of bed this morning that I've come a long way. There is no way I could have done two weeks ago what we did yesterday (or the day before). My body is starting to adjust to all this abuse just in time to hop a plane and head home.

It actually wasn't that busy a day yesterday, but just included a lot of walking. We started out at about 8:45 a.m. at the easyEverything (the fast-food cyber cafe) across from Victoria Station. I did some e-mail there while we were waiting for our friend diane [sic] who was taking the train up from her home near Brighton to see us.

She arrived and we did "what do you want to do?" "I don't know; what do you want to do?" for a bit and then I mentioned a new Japanese festival that was opening up in Hyde Park that day, so we decided to do that. We walked part way, past the back of Buckingham Palace, to the bus stop. diane told us about a man named (Michael?) Fagin, who had climbed over the fence of the palace and somehow got into the queen's bedroom while she was sleeping. When she awoke, he was sitting on the edge of her bed talking to her. Now they have barbed wire on top of the walls of Buckingham Palace. (But diane explained that this was how the country learned that the queen and Prince Philip don't share a bed.)

The Japanese festival was...different. We got there right as it opened, so things were still being set up. We watched a taiko drum lesson with some very intense English housewife types trying to learn how to drum the Japanese way. We stopped for coffee/hotchocolate/water (diane, Walt, me) and sat to watch some archers practice shooting arrows in preparation for a formal demonstration later in the afternoon.

We watched a children's taiko drum group, some "clown" types, a bit of a formal tea ceremony and then we had pretty much "done" the festival.

We continued out the exit and through Hyde Park back onto the street again. The last time we walked around Hyde Park it was a different time of year and nothing was in bloom. Now lots of things are blooming and it's very beautiful.

When we got to the street by Marble Arch, we parted company, diane headed back to Victoria Station to catch her train, and the two of us back to Charring Cross Rd. to look for half-price theatre tickets.

Walt bought matinee tickets for Noises Off with Lynn Redgrave and evening tickets for The Female Odd Couple. We picked up a quick burger at Burger King and then high-tailed it over to the Picadilly Theatre for Noises Off

For those unfamiliar with the show, it's probably the funniest thing you'll ever see on stage. Act One is the dress rehearsal for a play, where everything goes wrong. Act 2 is watching a performance of the play from backstage, where everything goes wrong, and Act 3 is watching the performance from the front, where everything goes wrong. The pace is fast and furious and it's a typical farce where there are lots of doors involved and everyone's timing has to be impeccable. The cast was marvelous and it was so much fun watching Lynn Redgrave work. We laughed our heads off.

There were a few hours to kill after the show, so we first stopped at Tower Records, so I could continue my "grand tour of the cyber cafes of London." Tower had a handful of iMac computers and their set up is ridiculous because you queue up with thousands of people buying CDs in order to pay for your 20 minutes on the Internet. The stools were uncomfortable, I hated the iMac, and it wasn't really much fun--but I did it so I could say I did it.

When my time there was up, we walked back up by the Picadilly Theatre and chose one of the three Indian restaurants on that block for dinner. This one was recommended as best by the "Curry Society" and with a recommendation like that, could we go wrong? We could not. It was a delicious dinner and we even lingered over a citrus sorbet dessert and coffee.

When dinner was over, there wasn't a lot of time before the theatre opened for The Female Odd Couple. We walked around a big, peeked in the Geilgud Theatre (which was loading in musical instruments for a Beatles show that's opening there) and fought our way through the ubiquitous crowd. I finally went in and sat down when the theatre opened. I was the first person in the house.

The show was funny and the cast quite good. Not nearly as riotous as Noises Off but still fun. And then we caught the bus to come back home again. No passengers with ringing cell phones, no motor malfunction this time, but it was the lurching of the bus, the unending traffic, the noise, the crowds. I am definitely ready to fly home tomorrow.

Today we are going to get tickets for the matinee (5 p.m. this time) of Art starring George Segal and then have dinner at a pub here in the neighborhood which we've been intending to visit ever since our first trip to London about 15 yrs ago.

And that's how it's going on this side of the pond. I've had e-mail from fellow journaler Miriam Nadel and we might actually be able to meet sometime today, if we can work out the logistics.

Not sure if there will be an entry tomorrow. There probably will be, but just in case...you've been forewarned.

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 5/5/01 by Bev Sykes