Our day started well but we couldn’t help remembering our trip into London Town last year with the snow on the ground and the icy winds and have to say that this rather mild weather does not add so well to the Christmas atmosphere.  But it is one thing we can’t  control.  So meeting the others at Grays where Trudy was busy adding some Clarice Cliff to her display off we went into the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and with the Hog and Pound demolished to make way for a “Browns” sacrilege!! , we found a small pub round the corner and settled on stools with our drinks chatting and catching up.

Two rounds later we left and went for a wander around Selfridges and then found another pub just off Bond Street which had tables and chairs outside so we could also enjoy a cigarette too.  Tina wasnt feeling too well so she had opted to shop rather than drink . So Trudy Kate and I like the Three musketeers (Same as last year) sat and watched the world go by.  London is a cosmopolitan city and people watching is a fascinating past time. It was nice to just relax but we were constantly interrupted.  Firstly by people wanting to borrow a lighter and then by Beggars!!.

First an old lady who must have been eighty if she was a day leaning heavily on a stick and mumbling in some foreign language…I did give her a bit of loose change I know your not supposed to but hey its Christmas (Well nearly) Then a young guy with bright red hair and  no teeth.. well a few stumps,  who looked like a mad Scotsman as he was wearing a tartan hat.  He was begging for any change we might have and Kate feeling in good wine humour gave him a fiver stating that it was only because he was  a fellow Ginger.  Giving money away is supposed to be good for the soul ..tithing I think they call it.  You are supposed to get a return from the Universe with interest added!!.But it would seem that London still has elements of  “Dickens” like characters and if Fagin had suddenly appeared around the corner, it would have been no surprise. His spirit is still alive and well and organising pick-pockets in our city it would seem, as we were to find out later when Kate’s brand new iPhone was lifted from her pocket. 

A little the worse for wear we went to Debenham’s to meet Tina and did a bit of low-key shopping.  The nice girls selling hair curling irons demonstrated their appeal by curling my hair and then we made our way back to Grays to meet the others.

Stepping down into the market the girls were already in place pouring wine and offering it out.  So grabbing one each we said hello to my sister and tucked into the food she had bought.  I was starving ..breakfast had been a long time ago. So munching on some gammon sandwiches I chatted to some old friends.  But I have to say it was all too quiet. No music (They usually have a band) the bubbly was warm  and a bit sharp and the place was empty. It would seem that the recession has also effected the world of Antiques.  Talking of antiques most of the people passing through were rather ancient and after a while the three musketeers were rather bored.  I had been texting one of my TBs for something to do the infamous “Flakey” he was in a pub in Holborn and said why didn’t we join him.   We were contemplating this when the lady that runs the antique market rushed over to our group with a blonde lady leading a cute Bulldog called Matilda! ha!. I recognised her immediately but couldn’t place the face. She was introduced as Jo Good a BBC DJ and actress.  How exciting at last someone interesting we chatted about this and that and had lot in common and even a mutual acquaintance. She was great and frankly was the highlight of the last couple of dreary hours. After she departed we thought we should too and went off to try to track down Flakey and find some people who had a pulse and could walk without a stick.

The sky’s opened as we left Holborn station and abandoning the idea of finding Flakey’s ‘ Pub we dived into the nearest one .  It was here where they didn’t have any Sambuka!! by the way,  that Kate’s phone was stolen  This put a final damper on our day and we headed home. Tomorrow is another day and after a morning at work I am setting off with my mate Kriselda for a bit of posh nosh and wine in “The Wolsey” in Piccadilly. On to the next…


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