saturday

Today’s adventure –

I arrived at the train station about 40 minutes before my intended departure and noticed that the 9:02 went direct to London St. Pancras. Hopped on board. Oh the joys of the BritRail flexi-pass!

Beeston, Loughborough, Leicester, Market Harborough, Kettering, Bedford… and a few other towns in between. I love the names of towns and villages between Notts and London. I’m staying overnight, so I’ll take the tube to Victoria Station then walk to my B&B and drop off my bag. When I looked the activities I had planned for today, I realized that the B&B I stayed at in London 2 years ago would be perfect. It is very close to the Royal Court Theatre. I’ll be at the evening performance of “The Empire”  in the ‘upstairs’ room, one of 2 theatres there – this one seats 85. This should be an intimate performance. But before that, I’ll be at the matinee performance of “The Little Dog Laughed”. Two plays in one day. (Okay, I’m a little nuts but I couldn’t resist!)

The English countryside is lovely from the train. Green fields, horses, sheep and baby lambs. Spires of cathedrals or churches rise above many towns.  Old stone manor houses, brick cottages – like townhouses – are nestled one against the other with narrow backyards, some with beautiful landscaping or gardens. You almost feel like you’re spying on them, but it’s cool to see this slice of life. I don’t really see it in my daily activities in and around Notts.  My friends in the northeast corridor need to tell me if this is what they see when they travel via train!

Skies are overcast today but the sun and blue skies peek through now and then. It is supposed to rain this afternoon. I’m not sure there’s been a rain-free day since I arrived, but either way,  I don’t go anywhere without rain jacket in hand. At least it’s a bit warmer than the last few days, so I left scarf and gloves back at the flat.

Other slices of life: I love “way out” (exit) and “take away” (take-out), “mind the gap” (watch your step as you get off the train). Refills on coffee, tea, and soft drinks are not free. Getting a doggie bag is impossible at many pubs/restaurants. Tipping is not always required and it’s closer to 10% than the 15%-20% expected in the States. The majority of people are quite polite – they thank the bus driver as they exit , they queue neatly at the bus stop.

Okay… train will be arriving at St. Pancras in about 20 minutes so I’ll close this up.

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