From the land between Wake and Dream. (sea_thoughts) wrote,
From the land between Wake and Dream.

The 30th Birthday Extravaganza - Part One (London and the William Morris Art Gallery)

It's now two weeks since my birthday and I finally feel ready to write about that amazing week; that is, say goodbye to it. Writing about my birthday celebration is putting it into the past and I was reluctant to do that.

My sister arrived on Wednesday night, late. She spent the previous two hours texting me about what to pack because, even though we've been planning this for months, she left the packing to the last minute. I was torn between anger and hysterical laughter, because this used to happen all the time when I took family holidays. I would be packed and ready, and she would come running into my room every five minutes (interrupting my book), asking whether she should pack this or that. Nothing changes.

We got the coach to London, took the Victoria line to Kings Cross St Pancras. We stayed at the Alhambra Hotel, the same place I stayed last year when I met rosengirl and jedicathy. Sadly, this time we were on the third floor and the hotel doesn't have a lift. Helen was unimpressed! We dumped our luggage, rested for a bit, then took the Victoria line again to Walthamstow Central. This is where you'll find the William Morris Art Gallery: I've wanted to visit for years, but it's impractical to visit if you're only in London for the day (unless that's all you want to visit) because it's so far from central London. We had a mix up at Walthamstow Bus Station and boarded a bus that was going the wrong way(!) but Helen noticed in time and we got off and got another bus back to the tube station. We decided to walk to the gallery this time. It took about fifteen minutes, but the weather was beautiful and so was the gallery when we finally reached it. It's housed in the mansion where Morris lived when he was a teenager (which was a "downsize" from his previous home, which had ACRES of land!) and it's completely free to visit! Helen and I were only able to visit the ground floor, as the museum closes at five, but that was still enough time to see Morris's wallpaper, tapestries and furniture. Then we strolled back to the station and stopped at a café on the way to have some cake and iced coffee. (Best iced coffee I'd ever had, by the way.)

I wanted to go and see Brave but all the showings were over by the time we got back to the Alhambra and the BFI had stopped showing The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX, so we decided to have dinner and then go back to the hotel to rest. I took Helen to Ed's Easy Diner at Euston Station, because she's never been to an Ed's Diner and I wanted her to try the milkshakes. I had butterscotch and she had strawberry, we shared a platter of Atomic Fries (chips with chilli con carne, guacamole, sour cream and melted cheese dips) and separate burgers. Then we went back to the B&B to rest because our train was at 5:40am the next morning.

Tags: 30th birthday extravaganza, birthday, holiday, london, travelling
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