|Monty has just managed to get his nose in, with the Crystal Palace TV Transmitter mast dominating the skyline.|
Today we took the No3 bus into central London - so easy from the site - and met James and Becka at The National Gallery restaurant for breakfast. What a civilised way to start the day. We almost had the place to ourselves. Ruth and I had the Classic (full English) breakfast, while James had Egg Royale and Becka the Egg Florentine.
Suitably refreshed we joined one of the free guided tours which last about an hour and look at half a dozen paintings in detail. It was something we had done years ago and enjoyed, but this time I didn't find it quite as interesting - perhaps because there were quite a few people and I found trouble hearing what the guide said - though that is probably down to my age more than anything else.
Then we split up, with Ruth and I off to a Metro Bank branch to open a current account. We have discovered this account is internet based, free from Bank charges (provided you don't go overdrawn) and most importantly will provide commission free transactions on all purchases and ATM withdrawals in the EEC and related European Economic Group countries. With trips to The Netherlands, France and Norway planned this year this seems a worthwhile venture. An account must be opened in person at one of their branches, which currently are only in the South East of England - so today was a good opportunity. We were dead impressed with how quick it was - everything was done at the branch and we walked out with Debit cards printed out there and then. Today is a Sunday as well - all branches of this Bank are open. It is all a bit of a lesson for other Banks on the way to go.
Then on All Saints church in Margaret Street, just off Oxford Street. This is one of the best examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in Britain. Highly ornate inside, with the walls lined with biblical scenes depicted with coloured tiles. It is all a rich kaleidoscope of colours, mixed with a heady scent of incense.
By now it was mid afternoon and we weren't sure quite what to do. In the end we had a coffee and cake at a place called Apostrophe, before ending up in a pub called The Green Man in Riding House Street. The intention was just to have a pint, then go back to James' part of the world for a curry. However the ambience in the pub was great - we got a big table to ourselves at the back of the bar and liked the look of the food menu, even though it was still only about 4.00 pm. Having seen a Trivial Pursuits game behind the bar we decided to play until teatime.
Over three hours later we emerged, with James and Becka triumphant TP winners.
We have all gone our separate ways tonight. Becka has gone home, I'm back in Monty, while Ruth and James have gone to his place. I will join Ruth tomorrow to help in the great spring clean of his room.