Today was the last week day of half term and the museums were packing them in. Of course, the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, as usual were by the far the most popular but even so, we had quite a few. So many that I decided to pop out to Starbucks for lunch.
The footpath that runs along Exhibition Road was wall to kerb full of people, strollers and tiny, grubby hands. It was a case of finding someone and walking quickly directly behind them. I find this works really well, particularly if you find someone with absolutely no scruples at all. They act like a snow plough.
I was lucky today for I found a mindless youth with very big headphones, singing tunelessly to himself (and all around him) in some strange language that wasn’t English while barging through, eyes down, impervious to all and any who tried to stop him. I almost thanked him when we emerged from the crowd at the pedestrian crossing but he raced across, between cars and I decided to wait for the cars to actually stop.
Starbucks was okay. Not too many people and somewhere to sit. There’s not a lot of places to sit in South Kensington so if you buy your lunch to takeaway, you either eat it at your desk or wander around eating as you go. There was little point in carrying it all the way back through the crowd to Imperial College so I stayed in.
I managed to finish the oil painting list this week, on schedule, making Ailsa very happy. Now I can go back and fill in the interesting stuff!
After work I decided to walk to Paddington Station rather than catch the Tube like last time, when I went to Bath. It was quite a pleasant walk, if you ignore the fact that I had a wheelie bag with me.
I’m pretty sure I’ve not been through Kensington Gardens before today but thought they looked like they’d be very appealing in the summer. I managed to avoid Diana’s fountain or pond or whatever it is and reached Paddington at 4:30. My train left at 5:30. I went to Starbucks.
People may think I spend a lot of my life in Starbucks. Well, I do. They’re right. There is little point in denying it. And, frankly, I don’t really care.
The rush for the train was exactly like last time, all briefcases, bowler hats and gentlemanly fisticuffs. However, my reserved seat was just that and I slipped in, happy as Lonnie and started my book up. I read all the way to Bath between texting Mirinda to find out what room we’re in.
I’d never been to Bristol by train before but it’s ok, I have to say. It’s an hour and a half, almost, but the trip was uneventful and the train comfortable. Ish. However, more than the trip is the proximity of the hotel. Talk about perfect. It’s about a five minute walk and halves the distance to the city. Perfect.
It was the Mint Hotel we stayed in. Very cool and modern and chilled, as you’d expect mint to be. Mirinda was certain she wasn’t going to like it and was almost disappointed she could find nothing wrong with it.
We wandered up to the futuristic and oddly pleasant shopping centre for dinner, deciding to enjoy some Yo Sushi, since this is what we normally do when I join Mirinda for a weekend during her residential.
It was lovely and afterwards we wandered back to the hotel, trying to walk between the, gradually increasing in size, rain drops.
The room was quite comfortable and the bed, which very effectively lulled Mirinda off to sleep, looked set to call me to Snoozehampton.