Weekend(s) off / by 3.1

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As I follow the roster at work (unlike many of my colleagues who pick and choose shifts that they prefer), it means I get quite a number of weekends or weekend days off (never mind the fact that I'd finished work around 10:30am on the Friday to get the weekend off to a great start). Most weekends normally involve spending hours in Kew Gardens, Osterley Park or Richmond Park, as it's all within local reach, so we seldom go into town.

A spur of the moment idea on my part however meant that once we'd spent most of Saturday morning tuning into Olympics-related TV, Saturday afternoon would see us heading towards Cannon Street and catching the train to Maze Hill. It seemed like every other person had the same idea though, because Greenwich Park was rammed!

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London view from Greenwich Park

London view from Greenwich Park

The Queen's House is still undergoing a bit of a refurb:

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It sounds strange, as neither of us particularly like crowds or masses of tourists, but it was good to see everyone everywhere and all around us having a really good time.  And the views from the top of the hill by the Royal Observatory never fail to impress.

London skyscrapers, with St Paul's Cathedral nestled between them all

London skyscrapers, with St Paul's Cathedral nestled between them all

The Queen's House and the Old Royal Naval College, with the Isle of Dogs in the background

The Queen's House and the Old Royal Naval College, with the Isle of Dogs in the background

Greenwich Power Station and the Millenium Dome (O2 Arena) 

Greenwich Power Station and the Millenium Dome (O2 Arena) 

Most people don't know it, but nestled in a residential is the quaint Greenwich Power Station, which London Underground use as backup for emergency situations. We did go up to it before climbing uphill as S had never seen it before/didn't realise this is where it was. Very little to suggest our connection besides the non-description London Transport signage on the wall to direct towards the entrance.

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Though we'd had some ice cream and drinks somewhere along the way, more fuel was needed, so we walked towards Cutty Sark with the intention of catching the next Thames Clipper boat towards Waterloo, where we'd planned to pick something up from the Southbank Food Market. The plan was momentarily scuppered however when a member of staff declared that the waiting time to board a vessel would take over an hour due the queues. Thankfully, my local knowledge (from my days of working in North Greenwich) kicked in, which meant I'd got us onto the next No. 188 bus towards North Greenwich Bus Station, and in 10-15 minutes or so we were walking round to the pier behind the Dome where we were able to board the RB1X boat to Waterloo (the 'X' denoting that it was an express service, which meant the boat did not stop at some of the smaller piers near Limehouse/Westferry).

A short walk from the pier under the London Eye found us behind the Royal Festival Hall and in the bustling Southbank Food Market.

My favourite stall in the food market is the Label Anglais stall, which sells paella, some very interesting chicken sausages, and a few cuts of meat. The chap that runs the stall is a right showman, normally dressed in tweed and a very nice hat, only the weather dictated he ditch the tweed.

He serves up some great banter for free. 

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S and I are into proper cider (especially still ones) and there is a wonderful cider stall here selling delights from Somerset, where proper scrumpy can be obtained in the form of Burrow Hill Cider. Pints are just £3!

With the refreshments obtained, we headed back towards Jubilee Gardens to enjoy the late-afternoon sun. Understandably busy for where we were, but there was still plenty of space to find and sit down.

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I'd have walked around for a little while longer (if only to work off the ice cream!), but I must admit that the heat does cause me to flag rather easily! So we pottered down to the railway station and caught the mainline out of Waterloo towards home...

In contrast to yesterday, today was a bit more sedate; cross-stitching to the Olympic coverage of the foil matches and the Women's brutal road race!