Friday, 27 May 2011

4 for Friday: a trip to London

1. A London Hospital

Every six months Rod has to go to London for a two-day series of tests to check on his Amyloidosis. The specialists at the National Amyloidosis Centre were very pleased with his progress following last year’s stem cell transplant. We came away with grins on our faces.

The NAC is a specialist unit tucked round the back of the Royal Free Hospital, which incidentally featured on the National news when we returned home. The hospital had scored badly on its care of the frail elderly. Doctors are having to write out prescriptions for water so that elderly patients don’t die of dehydration. I’ve blogged about this problem here and here. I was featured in the local newspaper and I was interviewed for BBC TV News

I know that I can't make a difference on my own but I'm about to throw myself back into this campaign. There are so many issues still to be addressed and, of course, I'll blog about it.

2.  London Taxis

The cost of using the London Underground is now so expensive that we decided to go for a bit of comfort. There’s nothing quite like hailing a black cab and jumping in. I’m an excited kid again, being treated to a day out by my Dad.

Chatty London Taxi drivers took us from St Pancras Station to the Royal Free Hospital and back with no problems and the added advantage of being able to watch the tourists milling round Camden Market.

But at the end of the first day, when the hospital had finished with Rod until the next morning, we headed for the West End... and, oh my word, the traffic! Admittedly Barack Obama was in town and the Chelsea Flower Show was in full swing but even so! The taxi crawled. The meter ticked. When it clicked above £22 we paid up and walked the rest of the way... and a lovely walk it was too.

3.  London's West End

Street upon street of shops selling all things Union Jack, (I’m choosing to ignore the occasional seedy sex joint,) permanently full eateries and swathes of tourists wandering the streets. I suspect that many of them had tickets for the theatre and were passing their time, just as we were, in the London sunshine. 

We had a drink in a London pub and we ate spaghetti in a London Italian Restaurant. It's all so different from Leicester. Even the spaghetti had more taste... or was it the holiday mood that we'd adopted?

4.  A London Show: The Jersey Boys

People had been urging me to go for ages.

“You’ll love it,” they said. “It’s just your sort of show.”

And they were right. The Jersey Boys, showing at The Prince of Edward Theatre, makes clever used of the Four Seasons’ hit songs to tell the story of their fame and infamy. I never knew about the New Jersey underworld, the debts and prison sentences. I just loved their songs. I still do. The show was brilliant and you can hear some of the music here.



  1. Glad you managed to adopt a holiday mood.

    I've heard nothing but great things about The Jersey Boys. I must get to see it. I love their songs too.

  2. Sounds like fun, and good information! I'm planning a trip to England/Wales/Paris - not this year but next (long way off, sigh). Will be following my mother's footsteps from Liverpool to Wales, with stops in London, Bath and Paris. I favor walking, cabs, buses, and trains, I think!

  3. Whow you sounded like you both enjoyed yourselves and so you should. Wonderful news Rod is doing great too! Keep the holiday mood with you for the Bnak holiday weekend with your family! x

  4. Hi Ros - so glad to know the appointment went well .. yes sitting in the traffic can be a nightmare .. I try and use buses when I go .. but it sounds like you had fun and thanks for tip re The Jersey Boys - it's been on my list to see .. one day!

    Chelsea, the Queen and the Obama's ... lots going on!

    Enjoy the weekend - just hope it's warmer than it appears now .. cheers Hilary

  5. Glad you managed to combine hospital visits with fun and relaxation - it makes it all so much easier to bear.
    Wow I'm not surprised you got out of the cab at that price

  6. Hi Shirley, I would definitely recommend the show next time you're in London.

    Hi Melissa, that sounds like a whopping schedule you're planning for your forthcoming visit. Hope you enjoy it.

  7. Thanks Pauline, yes it has been like a real holiday week this week. :-)

    Hi Hilary, we've decided to try using buses next time we have to go to London. It's a bit scary but hopefully we won't get too lost.

  8. Hi Ann, I'm glad we managed to get to the theatre too. Last time we had to go for his hospital check he was too ill to go anywhere but the hospital and home.

  9. Good news about Rod! And I love London taxi, too. Sometimes they work out to be cheaper than the tube, which is ridiculous. Glad you had a good trip!

  10. I'm so pleased to hear about the success of Rod's stem cell transplant. That is amazing news.
    I chuckled at you looking at the tourists. I'm an American but my best friend lives in Sunderland, England. I LOVE the taxi's there and love London.

  11. Hi Talli, saving money by using taxis has worked sometimes... just not that time!

    Thanks Ciara, I love London too and must admit that I always feel like a bit of a tourist when I'm there.