Day 22


Sat 24 Dec  Went to Portobello Rd markets/shops from 10:30 – 12 pm.  Lots of interesting antiques and stalls.  One really big clothing shop had every wall and window lined with old sewing machines on shelves – hundreds of them.  Started at Notting Hill station and left via the station at the other end.  Went to Hammersmith to change lines to get to Knightsbridge (Harrods).  Hammersmith is the end of a line and we mostly travelled overground for a change.

Got to Harrods at 12:30 pm and each chose what we wanted for Christmas lunch.  The food hall was pretty crowded.  Got back for a quick lunch and to put the food away before heading out to carols at St Paul’s.  Each tube trip today has needed a change of line along the way.  By the end of the day we had done 10 trips.  You are only charged one journey regardless of changing lines and you are charged a maximum of 3 journeys per day (£6).

We arrived at St Paul’s to join the queue at 2pm, which was the advice on the website.  At 3 pm we were allowed in and got pretty good seats on the side, where we could see the pulpit and the organist and a small part of the choir.  Even so, the distance was the equivalent of the back row of a fairly large standard church.  The organist played from 3:15 and the service went from 4 – 5:30pm.  There were several readings, an address, 4 carols and about 8 choir items.  The choir was amazing.  Got back just before 6pm and arrived at Tesco to find it was 2 min till closing, so we grabbed what we could for dinner and other food for Christmas Day.  Some of the shelves were bare, suggesting that people shop one day at a time and having to buy for Christmas Day as well, cleared the stock.  Bought extra bits we ran out of time for at the convenience store below us, which turned out to be open 24 hr, 7 days all year.  They just don’t have much and not the fresh food.  Working our way through the nationalities we had sweet ‘n’ sour chicken and beef and black bean which were both really good.  £10 for 4 meals.  I made rice to go with them.

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