T + 653 Down the Smoke

It's my Birthday week and in recent years I've started taking the whole week off work and that's not to avoid buying cakes for the office as I will be doing that once I get back in on Monday.

On my birthday itself, Sunday 27th June I kept up another mini-tradition, namely that of taking my Dad to watch the Warwickshire Bears play 20-20 cricket as his Fathers' Day present. This year was slightly different as the only reasonable Sunday game was away to the Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

It was a gorgeous day and we really enjoyed ourselves. The effective use of the Big Screen and the Public Address system at Trent Bridge added a lot to the enjoyment. Unfortunately the Bears lost rather badly. Chasing an achievable 150 the Bears were all out for 117 off the antepenultimate ball. ( It's not many days I get to use the delightful word, "antepenultimate").

On Monday and Tuesday of this week Gareth and I had a little trip away to that London place. Also known as "going down the smoke".

We spent the first afternoon at the Victoria & Albert Museum, a place I have never been before but always wanted to visit. It is a great place but absolutely huge. We just skimmed the surface looking at a few sections; it is one of those places you prolly want to have a specific topic in mind to look at such as jewellery or textiles so you can concentrate on one area. Definitely a place I want to go back to.

We stayed at a very nice hotel near Russell Square called the Bloomsbury Park. The rooms were very nicely decorated and for just over £100 for a room for two so close to the centre of London it was a pretty good deal.

On the evening we went to the Apollo Theatre, Victoria to see the musical "Wicked". This tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz and how she came to be wicked. Or rather how she came to be thought of as wicked. It is a very good show with some great set design and a clever story. The character of Garlinda ( or Glinda as she becomes ) almost steals the show. It is perhaps a trifle long in the first half though it ends with the amazing "Defying Gravity" number, but the second half really zips along and is very dramatic in places.

On Tuesday morning we visited the British Library ( which was in walking distance from the Hotel ) and St Pancras Station. I mainly wanted to go see these for the architecture but there was an excellent exhibition about maps on in the British Library.

For lunch we went to Camden Lock a really vibrant market area with each stall or alcove housing a different set of merchandise and having its own unique smells and sounds ( usually provided by a radio or ghetto blaster playing different kinds of music). We had lunch there over looking the canal, seated on old Scooter seats as you'll see if you look at the pics of the trip below.


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