I had a rather difficult time getting on the correct bus, because it was one that ended at Paddington so I was first trying to get on from the wrong side of the road where you couldn’t get on because the bus wasn’t going any farther, but eventually I got it figured out.
The result of all the morning’s muddling was that I didn’t have a very good view of the changing of the guard. But I got to see them ride in and out of the gate, so that was all right.
Afterward I walked around the front of the palace and admired it and recited more A.A. Milne poetry.
And then I walked to the hotel where the bus was – after having to stop for directions because I couldn’t find it. I asked the man if I had time to go into the hotel to buy a snack and he said that we’d be going to Victoria Station to pick up more people next and that I’d have time there. So I took a seat and waited.
He was true to his word, and I got a pasty at the station and ate it while we drove. I was so sleepy that I twice fell asleep for a solid half-hour with my chin fallen on my chest as though I were three.
The weather for Stonehenge was my idea of completely ideal
Toward the end, I was just sitting on the ground on the path looking at the stones, when I heard a man wondering where it was that the sunrise came in on Midsummer day. I knew, from listening to the audio tour, so I got up and told him about it. I felt like a proper wandering denizen of
I got back to the bus just in time. For this ride I turned myself with my back to the window and my feet up on the other seat, so I could sleep without giving myself a neck ache.
On the way back, I also pulled out my maps and lists of things I wanted to do, so I could figure out what I wanted to do that evening. My original plan had been to do the London Eye that night, but since my camera had run out of batteries, I thought I had better save that for a different time. It wouldn’t really be worth the money if I couldn’t take pictures.
So I looked through my lists and booklets, to find what I could do that would still be open and didn’t demand having a working camera. I concluded that I would walk to
This is Harrods.
It wasn’t long before I found myself in a ridiculously posh shopping district. Everyone everywhere was dressed in fancy clothes. I was glad that I was dressed in the nicest of my
There was a restaurant in a little lane that had a walkway over it, and I stepped into the lane to both see if the restaurant had any food that didn’t cost an arm and a leg because I was really hungry, and to look at my map and make sure that I was still going in the right direction.
A man came up to me and asked where I needed to get to.
“Oh, I’m going to
“Oh, I know,” I said cheerfully. “This is where I started from,” indicating Hyde Park Corner. “I’m just cutting through the side streets, and I wanted to make sure I was still going the right way.”
“Oh, I see, so you know where you’re going. Okay.”
“Thanks!” And he walked off, leaving me feeling rather pleased with my tendency to confuse other people by walking places.
I was still going in the right direction, and the restaurant was expensive, so I continued on. I found a pretty park, and walked through it.
One interesting thing was that I walked past a short doorway between buildings through which I could see the next street – and did a double-take, because it was actually a mirror! I don’t know if I have ever seen a mirror so clear and perfect – certainly not a mirror that size and outside. The illusion of it being an opening was almost perfect. It was so strange to stand there and see another girl, looking just like me. It is strange, but I liked her, that other girl, and I was sorry to walk away.
As I walked on, I suddenly stopped short, and just stared in wonder. It was a shop that was absolutely full of the most rich goldenness, richness like you imagine in an enchanted palace – none of the ugly modern expensiveness, or even of the pretty colorful modern expensiveness, but the old kind of wealth – exquisite wood and an abundance of gold.
I eventually made it to
When I was walking through the upholstery fabrics section, the lady asked if I was looking for anything particular.
“No,” I said, smiling. “It’s like a museum to me. I couldn’t afford most of what’s here in a million years. But I love to look at all the pretty things.”
She smiled and seemed to understand, and wasn’t at all patronizing. She told me a bit about the fabrics and things, and then I went on.
Eventually I went on down and out into the street. I wanted to get something to eat, but everywhere around there was expensive. It would have been convenient if I could have gotten on the bus, rode it until I saw someplace I wanted to eat, got off at the next stop, and then gotten back on after eating and continued to the hotel, but that would mean paying two bus fares instead of one. So I decided to just get off near my hotel and walk around there to find food.
Having got off, I was at first excited when I found a very classic-seeming pub with reasonable prices. Unfortunately, there was clearly some kind of important football game going on, because the entire place was so packed that you could hardly walk through it. So after trying to find the additional upstairs seating, and finding it reserved for an event, I managed to worm my way back out into the street.
Happily, just down the road I found a Garfunkle’s, which was a restaurant that I had seen before and wanted to try. So I went in, and ordered soup and bread. I did wish that I had a book to read, but I got out my
Then it was back to the hotel, and sleep. The next day would be Thursday, the day that I would meet up with Jan and Jack.