For Saturday’s breakfast Tigger suggested we go to Covent Garden. The day started in leisurely fashion so it was 10:45 by the time we got there. We looked at a number of cafes without finding anything that attracted us. Many eateries were still closed, limiting choice. In the end, just to tide us over, we went into a bagel place and each had a “breakfast bagel”with spinach and egg. With drinks, this snack cost us nearly as much as a full breakfast.
We next went on an extended bus ride. Riding the buses is a good way to explore London. You can watch the panorama rolling past the window and jump off at any point to explore more closely. We had a stroll around Crouch End and then caught a bus back in the opposite direction.
We stopped off at a cafe-bar in Aldwych for rather over-priced fruit smoothies and I mentioned that I had not for a while checked how the refurbishment of St Peter’s church in Hampstead was going. Thus it was that we decided to include Hampstead in our tour.
We reached Hampstead in time for a late lunch so we repaired to the Café Rouge. The atmosphere of a faux-French brasserie is attractive (if you ignore the mis-spellings) and the food is pleasant enough, if over-priced for the size of the portions. The service is friendly and it is always fun trying to guess the nationality of the waiter or waitress. This time, the young lady who served us was actually French! Is this a record?!
After lunch we went across the road to the Hampstead Community Market. I always enjoy looking at the stalls and perhaps having a cup of tea at the small cafe. Today my eye was immediately caught by a jewelry stall. As you may recall, I am always searching for silver rings, especially rings with a tiger theme. I have three so far. Putting that another way, I still have five vacant fingers without counting thumbs.
The other morning as I was varnishing my nails with black varnish it occurred to me that a ring with an onyx stone would be a good addition. Imagine my excitement, then, when I approached the stall and saw a silver ring set with a rectangular piece of onyx. I immediately picked it up to see what size it was.
Most rings are too small for me which is one reason why my collection is growing so slowly. I picked up the onyx ring and found to my surprise that it fitted the middle finger of my right hand perfectly. Moreover I had been right: the onyx ring made a dramatic combination with black varnished nails. It was an opportunity not to be missed. At this point Tigger asked “Do you want me to buy it for you for Christmas?” That was that. Done deal.
Then we walked down the road to St Peter’s church. It is a great heap of a place on a corner site. It had been closed and quietly rotting away for years. The only users where the pigeons flying in and out of the broken windows. Every time I passed it I was surprised to see it still standing. I expected it to be demolished and the site redeveloped.
One day I saw that refurbishment work had begun on it and today I had a yen to see how the work was progressing. I am not religious; it was pure curiosity.
It seems that the work is being financed by donations and is therefore proceeding slowly. As luck would have it, the church was open this weekend so we went inside for a look. A Buddhist bazaar was in progress within. The air was heavy with incense and carved Buddhas were sitting, standing and lying everywhere.
The building has been cleared and cleaned up but all furnishings have been removed. There are broken windows and stained glass windows repaired with panes of clear glass. Some of the stained glass is dirty and badly in need of cleaning. A spotlight place on a chair displayed the gold mosaic work around the altar area. I don’t know whether the work will ever be completed or whether it is one of those projects doomed to drag on until the money finally runs out.
We walked down the road and had a look in the Birthday Shop, then it was time to catch buses to take us home for tea.