After grabbing some cash from Morrisons (legally, I hasten to add), I picked up one friend, then another and we all drove to J's home and from there to the station at Billericay to get the train. Our rail cards came in useful!
Travelling in a group is great fun and, as we all worked at the same school and go back a long way, there was plenty to catch up on.
Once in London it was a quick bus ride to St Paul's (they don't take money in London buses any more. I didn't know that!) and then over the Millennium Bridge. I've never walked over the Millennium Bridge before so it was all new to me. Very impressive.
As I walked over, I was reminded of the scene in one of the Harry Potter films when the dementors attacked the bridge and destroyed it! That's culture for you.
Anyway, once over M had to leave us for a while as she was stewarding so J, L and I popped into the Tate Modern which is next to the Globe. The less I say about that the better, I think, being an old fashioned philistine. I became more and more bewildered as I walked round and as for the explanations on plaques on the wall, some of them seemed - er - pretentious in the extreme!
Don't all shoot at once, OK?
After that little bit of fun it was back through the Globe and out the other side for lunch at a Turkish restaurant called Tas Pide. I had never heard of pides before but it seems they are basically a form of pizza and very delicious they are too. Worth eating there if you are in the area.
This is the one I had - not the exact one, but this kind. With a glass of wine and followed by a coffee it was very satisfying and I must look up the recipe, if I can. For appetiser there was some bread, a yogurty-minty, fennelly dip and some olives. Mmmmmm.
So then it was back to the theatre where M again left us. We went into the theatre and it was fascinating. Built as a reproduction of a 16th century theatre, it is small, intimate and crowded. The audience is so close to the stage you catch every murmur, every small facial expressions, every gesture. The seating is - well, bench like with thin bench pads, no backs and precious little leg room. It wouldn't suit a lot of people but that's how it was then. Given the state of personal hygiene in them there days the place must have been humming!
I looked up some reviews and the following says it all.
This place is a hidden gem. It's a small and intimate venue within The Globe complex, but gives a breathtaking evening. The candlelight gives a very special atmosphere and even though the seating is cosy and a little numbing, I completely loved going!
I was amazed that the lighting was totally by candles - real candles! Health and Safety must have had a field day with that and I bet the insurance costs a bomb! It all created an amazing atmosphere and they were very much a crucial part of the staging, used brilliantly to create subtexts.
I'll write about the play another day. It was good! If you can, go and see it.
Afterwards we remained on the bridge for a while, watching the sun go down and the lights come on. It was quite stunning.
I can't say I enjoyed the drive back from J's as much as the drive to. I will drive in the dark when I have to but it's not my favourite activity. I know the way though, which made it easier and once we hit Chelmsford I was fine, of course.
I slept well last night!!!
Today is basically bread making and planning. Just like the Good Old Days. One more week and I can go back to my life of comparative leisure, swimming, civilised breakfasts, etc.
And I MUST take more trips into London. I live so close and, while I am no fan of inner city living, it is a very impressive city with some great experiences. With my Senior Railcard and, when I get round to it, my bus pass, there's no excuse. There's plenty to see and do that doesn't cost much. I want to go back to the Tate Modern and see if I can make a bit more sense of what's there, for example, and there are some great walks to take.
But for now my dodgy ankle is killing me so it's ho for paracetamol and time for another coffee. Proper coffee this time, I think.
(I didn't take any of the above photos - thank you, Google and whoever did take them)