Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day One

On May 8, I arrived at the Arran House, pulling my luggage through Russell Square with my umbrella up as there was a slight drizzle. This is London after all. This was the view from my room, I wonder if these flats are Edwardian like The Arran House.
You can use the back garden to sit and chat or have your breakfast. There's an area sheltered by a marquis on the lower left that my camera angle caught, that's why the photo looks funny.
The front step had the most beautiful mosaic tiling and a boot scraper, of course! I was so happy to see flowers in bloom, in Canada the spring bulbs were just starting to peek out.
My first stop was Tesco for some snacks in my room, you can buy the most scrummy yogurt flavours in England! Then it was off to The British Library to visit the Treasures Room and these a few of the very special things that I saw there:
Entry from King Edward VI diary
Thomas Hardy's draft of Tess of the D'urbevilles
Charlotte Bronte's draft of Jane Eyre in her tiny, tiny writing
Jane Austen's draft of Persuasion and her fold out lap desk (shivers)
Captain Scott's last diary entry before he died at the South Pole
Writing and drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci
Sheet music composed by Mozart, Beethoven and Handel
After that fascinating exhibit I hopped on the tube to Waterloo Station, there's a wool shop nearby called I Knit. Three skeins of wool found themselves in a bag going home with me. These will make three pairs of 'London Socks'. By this time I was getting hungry, around the corner from the B&B is a small shop called Planet Organic and I had a piece of veggie lasagna and some roast veggies, yum! A fifth year medical student struck up a conversation with me, he was interested in the way the system works in Canada and we discussed the similarities and differences of each. What a fantastic Doctor he'll be one day - he listens!
One of my favourite things about where I stayed is that there is a Waterstones (bookshop) across the road. I went in for a browse to see what was on the shelves, happiness is a bookshop no matter where you are in the world. I left empty-handed but there were plenty of days ahead for book buying, what was needed most was a cup of tea and my pj's. And if that wasn't bliss enough, just as I settled in all cozy, the first few notes of Coronation Street came from the telly! Life is good.


  1. Oh, what a wonderful day... and I have a feeling each one held something special! I just love those boot scrapers...

  2. JoAnn, You know the feeling don't you. I would so love to have a boot scraper installed on my front step!

  3. Just lovely. I love that line...'happiness is a bookshop no matter where you are in the world'. I couldn't agree with you more. I am so jealous over your seeing the sheet music of such great composers. That would thrill me to no end.

  4. This sounds wonderful. When I was in London I only went to galleries and museums--nothing very literary (except bookstores). I'd love to visit the British Library. Lovely photos. I'll have to remember the name of the place you stayed....if I ever get there again!

  5. I am reading backwards here, and am thoroughly enjoying your London posts. It looks like you had a wonderful time and visited some fascinating places (that I didn't make it to when I was there.)

  6. I've so enjoyed reading about your trip (which I read in reverse!) I must appreciate London more next time I'm there...