Well, it was time for another museum! Back at Lincoln's Inn Fields there's a place called The Hunterian Museum housed at The Royal College of Surgeons of England. I knew that there were interesting artifacts such as these skeletons (look closely, there are three) and a dental bridge that once belonged to Winston Churchill. What I wasn't prepared for was all and sundry pickled in chemicals and lined up in jars! There were rows and rows of every insect, amphibian, mammal and human to be seen, yes, human! No need to go into detail unless you really want to know. I'm not usually squeamish but this was a bit much, yet I couldn't look away. There were the skulls of children and now I can't look at a young child in the library without picturing their adult teeth, secreted away in their upper jaw just under their nostrils. We'll leave it there shall we. What do you know, it's time for dinner! This lovely window box, and many like it, decorate the gates at the Russell Hotel which I would pass every day at some point. Were the flowers diverting enough from the last topic? Charlotte Street is located in Bloomsbury near the Goodge Street tube station and has a nice selection of restaurants so I wandered into a Pizza Express. This was more than just a pizza place, the tables had flowers on them! I ordered the lasagna and a bottle of sparkling water, a scotch neat may have been what I really needed after my last experience. I digress. My dinner was delicious and you could tell that it was Friday night, the atmosphere was abuzz with couples meeting for dinner and drinks and girls dressed up for Hen Night. I decided on a quiet night in with a couple of newspapers, cups of tea and a scone from Patisserie-Valerie that I picked up on my way back to The Arran House. There was a young couple from New Zealand staying there as well and they usually watched telly in the lounge at night and we spent some time chatting. I loved how Kelly, with her Kiwi accent would say "Bean" when she mentioned her boyfriend, Ben. Tomorrow will be my last full day in London, sigh.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I could get used to having a full-english breakfast laid out for me every morning and I'm not shy about being one of the first guests in the breakfast room at 7:30 am either. There's another Persephone Books on Kensington Church Street that I wanted to visit so it was back onto the tube, boy do I ever get my money's worth out of a Travel Card! As you can see, the High Street Kensington station is quite lovely in design and just the place if you happen to be hungry for a snack. The bookshop was very quaint and it had literary works other than Persephone titles. I spied One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes on the front counter and couldn't resist as Nicola Beauman had mentioned it as being such an excellent read during the book chat the day before. After a lovely visit with the sales assistant I strolled around the shops for awhile. Then, I spied a nail salon and decided that my pre-trip manicure was looking a little worse for wear. There's nothing quite like a holiday abroad to make you suddenly start acting as if you're a lady of the world! Before I knew it I had my hands soaking in a little tray. With my cuticles looking smart I departed once again for Piccadilly, Hatchard's was my destination. The Dowager Duchess was popping in to do an informal signing of her latest title, Home to Roost. I was told that if I arrived after 12:30 that I would probably get to meet her, oh the excitement! Sadly, it was not to be. Upon arrival at the specified time I noticed two neat stacks of both her latest works, bearing labels that said 'Signed Copy'. I carried one of each up to the counter and said "The Duchess has been hasn't she?". The young man replied "Yes, she had a change of plans and left an hour ago". I felt like Hyacinth Bucket, my brush with aristocracy was not to be. BUT, the redeeming factor is that I have two excellent books with her signature and just knowing that her delicate hand brushed the pages of my books is enough for me. She probably wouldn't have noticed my beautifully trimmed cuticles anyway.