Unexpected Day Out

With a meeting cancelled unexpectedly at the last minute, it was not difficult to decide to use my train tickets anyway and have a day in London. I had missed the Viking exhibition at the British Museum on my last trip and as we Henshaws are said to be descended from them, it was a ‘must’. Despite planning to do some reading on the slow train down, this was not to be. From Stafford to Euston the woman sitting opposite me with two phones and a laptop was very loudly arranging the Fire & Rescue Services’ National and International Summer Camps. There is now nothing I don’t know about these events. Gazing out the window at the brilliant yellow of oil-seed rape fields under glowering black clouds, it was also evident that the weather forecast I had looked at the day before had not been accurate – it rained for most of the day. The British Museum was incredibly busy compared to my last visit in March with dozens of tour buses parked outside and lots of people inside. The exhibition was well worth the trip and has inspired me to find out more. Back in the rain, I headed to Oxford St to do some birthday present shopping and then back through Bloomsbury to some favourite book haunts – the remainder and secondhand section of Waterstones on Gower St, Skoob Books in the Brunswick and another shop in Marchmont St which specialises in the arts. I found a history of country music for James as he will be off on the gentlemen’s trip to Nashville and Memphis next year. Back at Euston several trains were delayed including mine. Still no peaceful reading on the return journey – as a (fairly) pleasantly intoxicated Glaswegian felt the need to explain at length why he had missed the Glasgow train (in the bar drinking G&Ts) and so was on my train (drinking red wine) as he had to go and stay with a friend in Runcorn. At least getting back to Crewe later meant the drive home on quiet roads was quicker.

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