Last morning in London

One of the things I like most about wandering around London and other familiar cities is finding slightly different routes to places and coming across interesting specialist shops. This morning, with a few hours to spare before our train we headed past Soho Square and down Charing Cross Road then towards Covent Garden, diverting down side streets as the fancy took us. Lanterns were strung across the street in Chinatown.

China town 28 Sept 2015 (1 of 1)
We came across a shop which had the most extensive display of cufflinks I have ever seen:

Cufflink shop 28 Sept 2015 (1 of 1)
The trip to Covent Garden was to visit a couple of antique silver stalls which are in the Monday market there. I was looking for ideas for a present but instead found some retro coffee spoons which will go well with the coffee service I got in Brighton last year. There was a sheep installation outside which reminded me of the cows which were around the Northwest a few years ago. There are still two at Runcorn station.
Sheep installation Covent Garden 28 Sept 2015 (1 of 1)
It was then time to pick up our bags and head to Euston. The station and train were much busier than usual because of the rugby world cup matches over the weekend and it looked like quite a few children were missing school today. At Stafford there was not one or two trainspotters but several having an intense discussion on the platform. I do not know what the collective noun is for a number of trainspotters. Now we are back home to slow broadband, apples that need picking and work tomorrow.

On the rails again

The train manager and another member of staff both had American accents and I could have thought that I was back on the California Zephyr travelling from Chicago to San Francisco and on holiday. Unfortunately I was on my way from Crewe to London for a work commitment. Passing through Stafford I saw the almost inevitable train spotter. Most have now swapped notebooks for technology but I have yet to see a female and/or under 50 train spotter. In London it was sunny and as I walked through the university I came across a farmers’ market with several street food stalls with huge vats of curry and paella which smelled wonderful but it was not lunchtime and I was not hungry. I finally reached my destination in Chancery Lane and in the reception on the fifth floor of the building had a view over the incredibly elaborate chimneys of the building next door. So often in cities, we do not lift our eyes above the street to see what is up there. Fortunately the room my meeting was in had a much less interesting view so I could concentrate on the business in hand. Afterwards, as I left, I saw the London Silver Vault on the other side of the street. A notice said it had 25 shops but much as I love antique silver, I resisted the temptation and wandered on towards Covent Garden. It is an area I have known since my student days when a friend was working at Crown Court Church of Scotland and I used to come down from Aberdeen to visit in my holidays. Today the market was in full swing and there were several buskers. A tenor was singing operatic arias downstairs and several others were performing in the surrounding area.

Busker (1 of 1)

I dipped into Stanfords on Long Acre to pick up some more State maps for the Lincoln Highway drive and a coffee stop and browsed in a couple of second hand bookshops in Charing Cross Road on my way back to Euston. On the train we had a very friendly and helpful member of staff who was very chatty as there were only a few of us in the carriage. He told us (after only two people had cheese and biscuits) that any left over food would be thrown away and gave the remaining cheese to one passenger who had enjoyed it. Needless to say I have tweeted Virgin Trains to ask why they cannot donate uneaten food to a homeless shelter or similar rather than throwing it away. I await their reply.