Great Western engine

I wrote recently about my intention to travel to London for the day and said I’d keep you posted on that front. Well, my first attempt (at the end of November) failed completely as – resulting from bad flooding – there had been a landslip between Teignmouth and Dawlish during the night before my intended journey and no trains could leave the South West!

For quite a while it looked like my second attempt (yesterday) would meet the same fate. Maybe I should have taken the train pictured (I photographed it in its Paignton siding last week). Trains seem to have been more reliable in former days.

My train from Totnes made it to Reading yesterday, but then everything started to go wrong because of ‘severe signal failure’ between Reading and Paddington. So instead of travelling as intended to Paddington I had to change to a Waterloo train – and reach London one and a half hours late. Still, it could have been worse – much worse. Some passengers had planes and other connections to catch, whereas I was simply meeting my sister in Covent Garden for lunch.

We met up eventually (she’d had problems traveling from Dorset because of serious flooding in the New Forest) and had a wonderful time revisiting old haunts and loving the magical Christmas lights.

Telephone Box

We went to Claridge’s (just the outside) both because our grandmother once worked there and because we’ve also been enjoying a TV series about this unique and rather fabulous establishment. A visit to Fortnum & Mason’s was another joy. I bought (for one of my daughters) a special Diamond Jubilee commemoration tin of orange digestive biscuits coated with dark chocolate. It has a unique feature – playing Land Of Hope & Glory when it is opened!

On that note I send you my warmest wishes for the festivities and for 2013. May the coming year be kind to us all …





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