Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Friday morning, I drove the car down the A5 to Milton Keynes, where we parked up in a multi-storey carpark and got a train to London to explore the Japan Centre and Chinatown in search of Japanese stuff. After the incredible shock of the cost of the trainfare (£37.50!!), we had a good time shopping in the Japan Centre for new dishes and pantry staples. I was disappointed in the Japan Centre's selection of bento supplies--there is more available on their website than in the shop! So the only bento item I bought was some little soy sauce bottles with cartoony faces on the lids. I did buy several little bowls and square plates and lots of Japanese food items, but now that I've been there I know that everything is available online and as they will deliver up to 30kg for only £4.95, it is FAR cheaper to order than to travel to London. We ate some absolutely delicious vegetarian sushi for lunch, with some homemade miso soup that was not only a revelation (SO much better than instant), but also it came free with the sushi!
Friday night, we stayed at Mark's place and then the next morning I drove us over to Bletchley station to go back into London to see 'Clone Wars' with all our friends. We were in for another huge shock at the trainfare (£46.60!!!) Clearly, driving to Milton Keynes and travelling from there served no useful purpose at all as far as saving us money. Bottom line is, visiting in the south costs a fortune no matter how you try to do it. We won't be back to London for a long time. We could have spent the weekend in Wales for what it cost us just to go in and out of London twice. Ridiculous.
The photo above is us in Victoria Embankment Gardens enjoying a picnic in the sun before the movie. We all then walked over to Leicester Square and saw 'Clone Wars' in a cinema called The Vue. Another London sticker shock: admission to the cinema was £12.95 each! (Just two days earlier, we saw 'The Dark Knight' in Nuneaton Odeon on Orange Wednesday for only £2.50 each...) God, London is such a rip-off. The movie was fun though. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the TV series.
After the movie, we went to a pub called The Angel, where Derek and I didn't have anything to drink at all but enjoyed a brief chat with the gang before heading off around 5.00. Then we had to get the train back to Bletchley and drive home. We got into Nuneaton at 8.30.
A good but expensive weekend, and a few lessons learned about bloody stupid London!! It's too bad all our friends live down there...