Finding Doctor WhoSeptember 17, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C
Early start today (well anything before 10am is early for me) we are off to the Who Shop on Barking Road in Londons east end. The things we do for our grandkids, our eldest in this case.
As we depart the hotel I remind Basil that the wifi is rubbish. He says don’t worry sir, the IT man is coming today and it will be fixed. I also suggested the room should be cleaned today, something they neglected to do yesterday. “Don’t worry, don’t worry” he says. We leave but I am mulling through my mind what my TripAdvisor review will be like.
Like experienced commuters we board the train (Circle Line) 18 stops away to our destination, the train was packed with standing room only. MDW is always concerned someone will pick my pocket so I have one hand in my pocket whilst hanging onto the rail. Not the easiest thing to do, it makes me sway with the train. Chivalry is dead. Not one gentleman offered MDW their seat but surprisingly one lady did to which MDW kindly declined. This gave MDW a complex making her feel old. With just a few stops to go a man gets on the train talking loudly or was that yelling, sounded like he was preaching. Luckily he was down the other end of the train but I jokingly said to MDW “if he gets off at our station we will get back on the train”. We get to our stop and off he gets. He is well over 6’ tall and of Caribbean heritage, still talking loudly. I get out the iPhone to check google maps for directions when the gentleman I have just mentioned comes over and asks if he can help. I kindly decline but wonder if this is now typical of mankind where we are all too quick to judge and too busy to care about strangers. Here is someone who didn’t judge and was willing to help a stranger. This will affect me for minutes but then I refocus on the task at hand, The Who Shop! We find our destination and enter the shop dedicated to Doctor Who memorabilia, much to see even a museum. We may or may not have purchased some items (it’s a surprise Roman) but did get our photo taken by the proprietor.
Now it is Market Day well Monday with a visit to Spitafields and Brick Lane Markets planned.
Back to the underground, we are becoming confident commuters, well so I thought. We walk down the steps to platform 1 only to find it doesn’t exist. Back up the stairs I ask a transport guy for advice, back down the stairs, up the other side and down the ramp he says. Still confused MDW insists I get it right so sheepishly I ask again with MDW In ear shot so we can both be wrong. Now underground stairs are not a casual 10 steps, they are steep and many. Our legs have used muscles we didn’t even know we had. MDW wants to know why your backside aches after lots of stair walking.
Finally back on the train, both standing. MDW was just beaten to a seat by a young man who sat whilst his girlfriend stood. Another man offered this girl his seat but she declined, maybe she wanted to be close to him.
Finally we get to Spitafields Market with assistance from a council worker. I’m very impressed with MDW and her continual walking and that she didn’t buy anything. Probably more the latter. She was in the clutches of one sales lady but mouthed to me she didn’t want to buy it so I said (like a dominating husband) “come on let’s have lunch”. Whilst eating lunch I check the location of the East End Markets only to discover they weren’t open. So MDW says where else do you want to go.
Hmmm...... let’s go look at Jewellery.
Off to the Tower of London. Hopefully I won’t lose my head.
As we exit the train station we buy some caramelised peanuts, fresh roasted. To our surprise they are not crunchy or tasty, they are rubbish, so they find a home in the rubbish bin. Another peanut vendor is madly removing cooked wasps or bees from the caramel she was roasting the peanuts in. Not buying those ones. MDW asks where the entrance is, as if I would know, then we see the ticket office. Again we get our tickets at concession rates, being old has its benefits although MDW isn’t too impressed she gets a seniors discount without proof. She still remembers days when she needed proof of age to get into a hotel, not that long ago I say 😄
Off in the distance we join the queue to start our visit. Straight to the Crown Jewels, very opulent. So much gold and jewellery, big diamonds, big sapphires, big rubies. I went into the cafe to see if tea was served in a cup or a mug whilst MDW found a bench in the shade. Mugs and tea bags, disappointed I look for MDW who is still standing. Every time she went to sit down someone beat her to the seat. This is unusual as MDW has prior history of bowling people out of the way to get to the seat she desires. She must have been worn out!
MDW pointed out to a large raven that must be a local pet. MDW said it was real but I thought it might have been mechanical as it just sat there with very little movement but it was real. Lots of history with stories about beheading and imprisonment. They were ruthless times in the 1500 and 1600’s, also tough times because walking over cobblestones is not the most comfortable way of getting around. We were done and ready for a cup of tea, back to the hotel, internet still not fixed but had our replenishment of tea, a couple hours rest then out for dinner at another local pub. Surprisingly MDW had fish and chips, for the last time she said, thinking about ordering chicken schnitzel next time.
It’s been a long day as has this blog.Read more