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Monday …

December 22, 2014

As you know I don’t immerse myself in Christmas and less this year without the Brazilian contingent.  I do buy gifts but never make a special journey to do Christmas shopping.  I usually give cash to the children and grandchildren and pressies to ‘unwrap.’These are usually collected during advent and often have the response ‘Oh No! Nanny its another book.’ For my daughter (the other, oft forgotten) this year a poetry book ; for me by a future poet laureate, for her, with a busy lifestyle maybe a pig in a poke!

So it was my intention to look for something a little more for her; noting as previously mentioned her  overlookedness!

So, on Saturday with this in mind we caught the  9.32 train from Reading to Paddington and took the Bakerloo line to Waterloo.  By 11 pm we were walking along South Bank to Borough Market; the wind was cold but the sunlight almost too bright.  

At the market we bought some succulent delights, that will not make it to Christmas.  Also, I found a very nice tea stall while the tea situation at home is fine; there was a sudden need to buy some new Japanese tea cups to replace my rather chipped collection.  

Ready now for a coffee break we retraced our steps back to a little French restaurant we had see earlier, to rest a while. This was a wise choice, not only was it quiet away from the bustle but the coffee was good. Also, it was nice space to make use of my sketchpad and camera; accoutrements that win a place in my bag over Christmas gifts any day,  even for the overlooked!

So back to the South Bank via the old London prisons in Clink Lane and the Globe Theatre  to the Tate. Here, I planned to see three paintings on floor 4, room 5. I was not disappointed; although my husband was a little bemused to come all this way to see  paintings each about A2 of a bucket!

Now, it was time for lunch at  the Tate in the restaurant with one of the finest views of the Thames and the City.

So after a window seat, beer, wine and delicious food, we,  replete went on for the next part of the journey.  A stroll to the nearby Bankside Gallery, my favourite exhibition place to see the works of contemporary printmakers. Peased and refreshed we cross back over the river and headed for Covent Garden ; to a Brazilian Cafe where we could sit awhile before our Christmas shopping was complete.  So here at Canela, I enjoy Banana Cake and Lemongrass tea and a beer for the long suffering one; while the shoppers gathered a street or two away.

Once more out into the streets and skirt around in the back doubles to Regent Street and the final frontier, Oxford Circus.  Although the crowds were beginning to gather in Chinatown and Soho the the lights and the atmosphere was colourful and festive. In the vicinity of Hamlings, it was as I feared ; crowded.  The throng, shoulder to shoulder and devilish strong with no spirit human or  otherwise. I was considering a contingency plan but we had reached the point of no return. My husband; resolute having come this far and still warm with a recent sustenance break, soldiered on. We found the item, now conveniently reduced in the sale.  Then the final 100 yards or so thrust to the underground and home for supper.

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