March Birthdays Bonanza = weekend trip to London for a party and a hangover, Guys & Dolls and good food. Dad’s birthday back in Hereford.
Up early Tuesday to run Phil into Hereford for the 06.40 train to London. Home to continue with the catch up, including week 167 weeknotes and flickring in the weekend’s CWF walks.
Usual work days on Wednesday and Thursday. Topped up the bird feeders on Wednesday morning. Caught up with Tom on Weds evening and Val on Thursday.
Busy couple of hours first thing Friday getting things done: bit of cleaning, collecting things for the Charity Shop Drop, feeding the birds (topping up both peanut feeders AND the seed feeder). Packed, turned the heating down and drove into Hereford for the Charity Shop Drop, Dunelm, library book pick up, washing up liquid refill, a mooch in Mountain Warehouse and daffs and hot cross buns from Waitrose. Jobs done, on to dad and Jean’s for tea and buns, and to leave the car.
Dad ran me to the station and I was on the 13:18 to Paddington. Elizabeth Line to TCR and a short walk up to Torrington Place to rendezvous with Phil for his birthday weekend back in the Smoke.
We stayed in the Premier Inn Hub London Goodge Street Hotel – very reminiscent of some of the hotels Rosa and I stayed in in Japan, right down to the touch screen controls and the artful room layout that manages to fit everything you need into a very small space without feeling crowded.
At 6pm we wandered over to Simmons Fitzrovia and put up the 145 Birthday Party decorations. Six hours later after lots of chat and maybe one too many glasses of red wine, we were back in our compact and bijou room at the Premier Inn Hub.
A rainy, hungover, start to Saturday. One Veggie Bubble & Squeak Breakfast from Lantana later and I was starting to feel a bit less ropey and the rain was easing off.
We wandered down to Oxford Street and ticked off the Muji shopping list then on to Stanfords – no maps / guides dedicated to the Golondrinas or Carros de Foc – then back to base. Hot cross buns from M&S and two cups of tea from the Hub Lounge, then out again to walk to the Bridge Theatre. I’d forgotten how crowded the touristy bits of London can get….
Fantastic matinee at Guys & Dolls, immersive/ standing tickets were a win.
Jubilee Line to Green Park and Phil’s navigation got us to Andrew Edmunds for our 6pm booking and a really lovely birthday dinner.
Back to the Hub for an early night.
It was 8am (again) before we surfaced on Sunday and we headed back to Lantana for breakfast No. 2 – partly because it was good, partly because it was close and partly because it was open at 9am and not many places are.
Strolled around the quiet Sunday streets back to the hotel, packed, and walked west to Paddington. A nicer walk than I’d expected, and really not far. West London will always be a bit of a mystery to me.
11.48 train to Hereford, with a hen party enjoying a Magic Mike Night debrief.
Dad met us at the station and drove us back to the bungalow to collect the car. A quick COVID-cautious Hi ‘n’ Bye then we drive home for unpacking and relaxing. Phil’s first task was to top up the bird feeders…
Monday was dad’s 85th birthday, so I went over for birthday coffee and cake together with the Dinedor Neighbours and their 8 month old puppy (a teen in dog years).
Back via Lidl and Lock’s Garage (petrol) for a late lunch, then admin for a couple of hours until the lure of Robert Galbraith and the lounge sofa got the better of me…
The days are getting longer – dad’s birthday saw the days getting longer than the nights, the birdsong is getting richer and louder and in the garden as the snowdrops fade the daffodils are coming into their prime. The camellia survived the snow and is in full bloom. There are buds on the bird feeder pear tree.
The grass is going bananas. Just as the rain arrives thus complicating mowing opportunities….
Retirement Days Tracker: 24 days to go
Photos: Herefordshire week 168 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2023-03-19.