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Old 08-07-2018, 03:07 PM   #1
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Sailing, running... and sweltering in the heat in London! COMPLETED 8/23

Saturday 14 July – part one: these plans may be a tad ambitious…

A few months ago, I got an email about a new athletics event that would be staged at the London Olympic Stadium this summer. It sounded amazing.

The Athletics World Cup would be a team competition between eight of the world’s top athletics nations: USA, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa. They would be competing for a $2 million prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics and a series of track and field events would be taking place.

Now it was on over the weekend of the Wimbledon finals, which did pose an issue for me. For those who don’t know, I am a massive Wimbledon fan. Everything stops for those two weeks, so I can watch the action from SW19. However, the Athletics World Cup sounded so good that I decided I could miss the women’s final.

At this stage remember, there was no way I could miss the men’s. Andy Murray was out through injury, but there were hopes he’d be back in time for Wimbledon. Of course, that didn’t happen. I also thought (and kept thinking until the quarter finals) that Roger Federer might also be in the final. That didn’t happen either. In fact, the men’s final was a bit of a damp squib this year, after the record breaking length of the semi-finals. Oh well, these things happen.

There was also something else taking place that weekend… the World Cup. Now I am so not a football (soccer to you guys – but just understand, it’s football in the rest of the world, ok? ) fan at all. For starters, the season goes on almost the whole year. It starts here in mid-August and concludes in late May. So, for me, this wasn’t a concern. And, if we’re honest, neither of us thought England would even get out of the group stages. So imagine our surprise when the team made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.

And, just as an aside, I remember that semi-final so well. Back then, I was a fan of football, but only the national team and I remember the heartbreak. It got to the stage where it was too much to bear, which is why I gave up on it.

So, that was the starting point to this day out, an evening at the athletics. As you’ll know, if you read the trip report (and if you didn’t, then why not ), we were in London just a few weeks earlier. We bought membership to the Imperial War Museum and were planning to visit the Churchill War Rooms. Well, that didn’t happen thanks to a huge protest march against Brexit, Instead, we went to HMS Belfast, which was excellent, but we figured we’d use this day instead to go to the Churchill War Rooms.

We also got talking about afternoon teas. I knew there was one on the River Thames, which I was really keen on doing and Mark pointed out there was one on a London red bus, which I also checked out. In the end, I opted for the Thames cruise. It was cheaper and I figured it was what I was interested in originally, so I’d stick with that. I went ahead and booked it, paying a little extra for a window seat. After all, what was the point without one? I’d want to take photos!

I’d also been hoping to visit Kensington Palace for ages, as we had free admission to it through the Civil Service Sports Club (for those of you who read my trip report of our day trip to France, that’s who organised that). You see, I did mention in that trip report how good a deal it was to be a member…

So the plans were set for the day, and yes, they were a tad ambitious…

1. Get to Kensington Palace for opening at 10:00am and tour that
2. Have lunch there, then head to the Churchill War Rooms and tour there
3. Head to Tower Pier (right by Tower Bridge) for our afternoon tea cruise
4. Head over to the London Olympic Stadium for the Athletics World Cup
5. Head home and crash after a long day!

Did that actually happen? Well, you’ll find out…

Next: you can’t have two seats!
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:24 PM   #2
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WOW!!! That is an ambitious plan, for sure.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:45 PM   #3
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Wow thats the makings for a long day, but if anyone can accomplish it it’s you guys.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:14 PM   #4
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Sounds like a long, but wonderful day out. Can't wait to hear if you were able to accomplish it all.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:16 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great day with so many plans, so much to do and whether you have time to do it all....we'll find out in due course!
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:30 PM   #6
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Ambitious plans indeed!
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:38 PM   #7
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:48 AM   #8
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Saturday 14 July – part two: you can’t have two seats!

On the day, I said that we should leave the house by about 8:15am and we weren’t far off that. As we were loading the car, I couldn’t resist getting some photos of my showpiece flowers out front. First my double begonias….



… and my French marigolds…



Aren’t they amazing? I can’t take all the credit for them, as I get them from my dad and his plants are unbelievable. All I have to do is keep them alive, which is a challenge at the moment, given our current dry spell. We’ve had no rain in about six or seven weeks now…

And some of the roses we’ve planted at the front of the house as well…




We drove up to Ebbsfleet International, a railway station with Eurostar train services that run to France (some to Disneyland Paris!) and Belgium, hence the International part of its name. It’s about 20 minutes away from us and it was a quick run. We got our tickets and headed down to the platform. We’d just missed one train and had a bit of a wait for the next one, but there were seats, so it was fine.

When we boarded, the train was packed and, unlike our usual trips on the high speed trains, where we’re only going to Stratford International, which is only 10 minutes away, today’s journey was more like 20 minutes. I was not looking forward to standing that long. However, fate intervened.

There was a large school group (possibly French, I couldn’t quite make it out, as I didn’t hear much conversation from any of them) and one kid got up and went to sit with his mates. I grabbed his seat and Mark told me he started to come back and realised he’d lost his seat. Well, I’m sorry mate, you can’t have two! That’s just greedy…

Sadly, they were heading to St. Pancras International as well, which is the terminus station. I thought, from the way the teacher was behaving, that they were running late, but not at all. They barged their way off the train and the rest of us let them get on with it, then when we all got off, they were all in a group, taking selfies! What the heck? Oh well, thankfully that was the last we’d see of them all day, which was no bad thing.

We made our way towards the Underground, which turned out to be quite a hike. Neither of us was moving that quickly, as my goodness, it was pretty torrid down there. The weather has been hot over the last couple of weeks, stupidly hot for this country, let’s put it that way. We don’t have air conditioning at home and most people don’t, so if it’s hot outside, you get no relief when you get inside. It was the same here. No relief at all. The best way I can put it (and I apologise, as this is pretty gross) is that we were both sweating everywhere by the time we got off the train. And of course, the train was packed as well. Not what we expected at 9:30am on a Saturday!

We were so relieved to finally emerge outside from the Tube into west London, as at least there was a breeze blowing outside. Phew! We still had quite a way to walk to get to Kensington Palace. I will confess to no photos on the way. There wasn’t much to photograph, in my defence, but also I’m blaming the fact it was just too darned hot. Are you getting the message yet about the heat?

Next: enjoying the splendour of a London palace
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:34 AM   #9
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Oh, almost missed jumping on this TR!
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:45 AM   #10
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Your flowers are beautiful, we to are not having much rain this summer. Hopefully you will find a place to cool down.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:44 AM   #11
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Wow you planned a busy day. I shouldn't be surprised, though.
Sorry it was so hot. It's been unusually warm here, too.
I'm not a big football fan American or the rest of the world's.
Your flowers are beautiful. I finally got see my roses bloom. I have a huge deer problem. They tend to eat the rose buds before they can open. Luckily they haven;t been around lately.
I can't wait to read more.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:45 AM   #12
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Your flowers are beautiful, we to are not having much rain this summer. Hopefully you will find a place to cool down.
It seems to be the way of the world that everywhere is experiencing strange weather. Sadly I suspect global warming has its part to play in that....
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:00 PM   #13
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You have such beautiful flowers every year. I think you have a bit of your Dad in you! If it was too hot for you to take pictures, then I know it must have been sweltering.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:02 PM   #14
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Your flowers are gorgeous! I do not have a green thumb in any way, shape, or form so I don't even try to have flowers. I don't think I'd enjoy riding on a train where you aren't guaranteed a seat. But I guess we do that on the subway (or Disney busses!), so long as it isn't too long of a ride.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clio View Post
Wow you planned a busy day. I shouldn't be surprised, though.
I guess we are kind of known for that...

Quote:
Sorry it was so hot. It's been unusually warm here, too.
I'm not a big football fan American or the rest of the world's.
For me, there are definitely better sports to watch, although I know Mark disagrees...

Quote:
Your flowers are beautiful. I finally got see my roses bloom.
Cool!

Quote:
I have a huge deer problem. They tend to eat the rose buds before they can open. Luckily they haven;t been around lately.
Oh wow, I never knew they did that. Guess it's just as well we don't have deer here...
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Relaxing on board the Magic. The trip report for our back-to-back cruises on the Disney Magic has started!
My Countdown Counting down to: 2019
Happy New Year!
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My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
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