Thursday 23 February 2023

A Sentimental Journey

 Last week I did one of my favourite things and ran away to London. It was something of a special trip, one of memories and nostalgia. 

First off was the journey itself, as I treated myself to a posh lunch in first class on the GWR Pullman from Cardiff to Paddington.  This was the bitter sweet bit as I used to do this with my mum, many years ago. The first time we did it we were travelling in standard class and they announced that those who wanted could come forward to have lunch. I looked at her and she looked at me ... 

We did it several times after that, and then they stopped the service and now my lunch companion is long gone. 

The Pullman has recently been re-instated for certain trains, so I was on the 13.18 out of Cardiff and in the dining car last Wednesday. Lunch was lovely - crab salad, chicken supreme and marmalade sponge with custard. I hadn't intended to have pudding, but I think it was the custard that did it.  Plus the memory that the first time we had sticky toffee pudding. Don't remember the rest of lunch, but that pudding stays with me. The service on Wednesday was friendly and efficient and it was a memorable experience even if slightly tearful for a few moments. Would I do it again? Yes! So now I am stuck with another expensive habit!!!

I had a few days wandering old haunts in the city, a little shopping, discovering that my Oyster card still works and had nearly £20 credit on it was a nice surprise, and I went to the theatre for the first time since before the pandemic. Strange and exciting to be back in the theatre again after so long. The play was Lemons, Lemons, Lemons ... with Aiden Turner and Jenna Coleman. It was a fast paced two hander that went down well with the audience. How would you conduct a romance with only an allowance of 140 spoken words a day? An idea to ponder for a romantic novelist. 

On my last day I had lunch with the London and South East Chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association. It was wonderful to spend a little time with long time friends (I have an embargo on the expression "old friends") who I had not seen for a very long time. Laughter, gossip, more good food at The Duchess pub in Duke Street and the chance to chat.

Then it was the station and home - and the proofs of Masquerade on the Riviera were waiting ... 

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