That’s all folks!

Saturday is market day in Notting Hill and it was elbow room only down Portobello Road – we bought a few tacky souvenirs to toss out later. Bond Street was very lively on a Saturday and people were packed in the streets like a packet of frozen peas. In the Tube, people were pulling others in so the doors could close on the train. 1,065 million people use it each year!

We treated ourselves to an amazing exhibition of artisic goldsmithing at the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square. If you get a chance check out Kevin Coates on the net. They were the sort of treasure people would marvel over when Tony Robinson digs them up in a thousand years.

And then, that was it. Last day, last blog, last photo. The holiday, the tour, the road trip, the wedding announcement, the engagement announcement, the endless B & Bs and hotels, the eating out, the giving directions to tourists, the churches, the Dales, the Moors, the cliffs of Mohr, the ruined castles, the forts, the fairy forts, the stately homes, the cottages, the museums, the galleries, medieval festivals, fringe festivals the wildflowers, the rain, the fog, the drizzle, the wind, the sun, the pebble beaches, the fishing harbours, the cities, the food, the good times, (such a good time, I flattened the battery on my watch) All over.. Lucky I wrote it all down and drew a few sketches and took the odd photo to bore a few of you later.

Back to work next week. Going from soft & fizzy blog to hard and busy, slog.

Arrive Brisbane Monday night. See you soon. Ta Ta , Tooroo!


Time Team

I must be becoming like a local. Two people asked me directions today. I was able to help a Pakistanii couple find Christies in Old Brompton Road and direct a man to Trafalgar Square. It’s a pity we have to leave in a couple of days. I could start driving cabs.

A slow stroll over the Tower Bridge led us, after the coffee shop on the other side, to Borough Markets, a maze of food stalls under the railway bridge. The selection of food was vast from all over, but we managed to limit ourselves to just lunch, seeing we are down to counting meals left on one hand! While I was buying my Thai seafood curry, Sharon spied Tony Robinson of Time Team fameso I introduced myself and we had a little chat about the series he is making in Australia shortly for the History Channel about walking. I asked if he is doing Fraser but said Brisbane was as far north in Queensland he was going! He invited me to accompany the team for a week in Scotland for a dig on Skye, but said I had a Seafood curry to eat.

We walked down the road, past the Globe Theatre to the Tate Modern to spend an hour which turned into three – a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography and installations on display in the old power station. Good stuff! The Milleneum Bridge heads directly across the river from the Tate towards St Pauls and being low tide, I decided to join the mud larks on the bank and do a time team on the “beach” Gee, you could have some fun there given time, Tony, a couple of mates from Dorset, and a big bucket – pottery, clay pipes, glass, bones (people?) nails, tiles, you name it. It was scattered everywhere.

A couple more hours were spent in the Portrait Gallery. A string quartet was playing in the 18 th Century gallery and I found a few John Singer Sargent portraits which were good. After an Italian dinner in Leicester Square I found an art shop on the walk down Charing Cross Road and stocked up with a few pressies for myself. A most enjoyable, sunny, “arty” London day. We’re going to miss this place.


Chislehurst Chalk Caves are massive and have been around since the Druids and if we are to believe the guide who told all the ghost stories he could summon, it’s haunted.  But the most interesting part of the cave system, once a mine for chalk, is that during WW II it was home to 15 000 people who paid a penny a night and sixpence a week to stay there. It was good to see Kate and Jess again after Ireland. Kate took us around town in her Mini Cooper S, but my offer to drive was declined. Lunch at Shoreham, a pretty little Tudor town with a lovely churchyard. It was there that Kate explained the mystery of the skull and crossbones on headstones. Apparently they were put there as a warning to others that the deceased buried below died of the Black Death. A great day, very relaxing.