The final surprise during our recent trip to London was on the last day: my husband had squeezed in a booking to a photography exhibition for the morning before we were to head back to Chippenham. It seemed very straightforward: leave our hotel, hop on the Circle Line to Barbican, enjoy the exhibit, back on the Circle Line to Paddington. Simple.
Except that the Circle Line wasn’t running that weekend. Okay, not a big deal. It would take slightly more time, but we could reroute ourselves and get there a different way. Which worked perfectly, until we needed to change trains and discovered that the onward line wasn’t working either and we would need to take a bus. We had reached a decision point. Did we find the bus and try to make our way to the Barbican as the time ticked on to our
noon departure point? Or did we cut our losses and head back to Paddington?
We ended up going with the second option as we were concerned that we would not have enough time to properly enjoy the show. So we ended up back where we began, bookending our trip with a meal at the Mad Bishop and Bear at Paddington Station. The train ride back was then my turn to offer a surprise: on weekends, First Great Western allows you to upgrade to First Class for £10. I splurged and we were able to enjoy a comfortable seat and a number of First Class freebies. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I could certainly get used to these types of surprises!
And now for something slightly different … while killing time in London before performances, we would usually end up browsing the shelves at whatever souvenir shop happened to be nearby. I realise that tacky souvenirs have been around since tourists first ventured away from their homes, but London has really raised (lowered?) the bar. There were Union Jack clocks on springs and bells with telephone boxes as handles and, well, my mind just boggled at the bad taste on display. Yet oddly, this gave me hope for my own products—if these souvenirs could sell, then what’s stopping my greeting cards and gift tags?
So let me end this series of posts with a brief advertisement: If you have a chance this weekend, please consider going to Paul and Renate’s Crafts and Cream Tea event in Cleeve. You’ll find a number of products by local crafters, a beautiful garden, and some very tasty treats. Go on and be surprised at what you might discover.