As seems to have become "the norm" Dear Reader, the best part of a month has passed by very quickly and it is time for a catch-up
Saturday 13 August - Wicked
I hadn't seen a proper musical theatre show in the 22 years since the revival of Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the London Palladium with Jonathon Pryce as Fagin.
I took the opportunity of seeing the matinee performance of Wicked at the New Victoria Theatre and was not disappointed.
The staging was brilliant, and the cast tremendous although I don't believe that any of the songs matches the classics in the 1939 "sequel", The Wizard of Oz.
Some of the sequences are truly memorable and I really felt that the nods to the film were great.
Personally, I didn't leave the theatre singing any of the songs even though I absolutely loved the show and would recommend it unreservedly.
The day also included urgent birthday present shopping with a good friend and an impromptu meal at the Rainforest Cafe.
22 August - Best Pick Me Up Ever ??
I was feeling a bit down due to a couple of personal issues, but accidentally discovered the best pick me up while visiting a friend to claim a piece of their daughter's birthday cake.
After helping her jump around the living room, the 7 year old lead me out of the house telling me that "I want to show you something".
When we arrived at the end of the garden at the trampoline, she said "Come on we are going to jump!".
Worried that it is at least two full decades since I had been on a trampoline, I protest but am told that "I have to do it".
Shoes off, we hold hands and start to jump, and jump and jump and jump.
Brilliant fun and all problems rendered irrelevant !
The only caveat I should pass on is that a 58 year old really needs to put a mental break on what they agree to do when being shown "moves" by a 7 year old.
"I'll show you a roly-poly now!" should have raised alarm bells, but my younger self could do them, so no problem.
A seven year old jumps and rolls and bounces just a little.
A 58 year old rolls and their weight is absorbed by the mat, and takes their backside almost to ground level.
Then the springs on the trampoline take effect and you are quickly brought back to normal position, except your ribs and internal organs are still going in a downward direction and stop very suddenly as your backside bounces up and down to a rest.
At that point, you need that cup of tea and sit down with the cake!
Trampolining is great fun, but my back was reminding me that I should have taken more care for another four days.
27 August - River Thames Trip and Cable Car ride
Something else I hadn't done in years was a trip on the River Thames to Greenwich.
These days, there are regular commuter services stopping at many piers. The boats are modern and comfortable and you can even pay with your Transport for London Oyster Card.
Although I have obviously been aware of the regeneration of the London Docklands and Canary Wharf, the boat still provides just about the best viewpoint and seeing the redevelopment is very interesting.
It was just a shame that the windows on the boat needed a clean!
We got out at North Greenwich pier, near the O2 Centre and strolled to the nicely named cable car "Emirates Air Line".
Although the engineering is pretty impressive, and the views down to the Thames Barrier and up the Thames and over Canary Wharf very good, the terminals are in a strange place to my mind.
There is currently little on the northern end that people are likely to want to see as it is almost exclusively residential, but it was worth the effort.
4 September - Herne Bay
School Summer Holidays are long, so I suggested to my friend that a day out might break the monotony a little.
We went to Herne Bay with her now 7 year old daughter and all in all had a smashing day.
Motorway closures and detours added about an hour to the trip there, but we went on the beach (but didn't paddle as it was a bit chilly) and strolled down the coast path towards Reculver.
We had a lovely picnic on the beach and a nice chilled out sort of day enjoying each other's company.
Inevitably, comparisons were made with Littlehampton. Herne Bay is nice, but parts are are little unkept and in need of a little love. Again, even though Herne Bay offers much, it just falls short of family friendly Littlehampton.
We had a good day out, and if measured by just how tired I felt by the time I got home, it was a corker !
6 September - Cutty Sark by boat, DLR train and London
Another day out with friends and their daughter to round off the Summer Holidays.
Train to Victoria and then a 24 bus to Whitehall, then a short stroll to Westminster Pier.
The Thames Clipper service took us up to Greenwich Maritime where we got off and went onto the Cutty Sark.
I had been on board a couple of years ago, but taking a live wire 7 year old was a very different experience.
I loved it, but had forgotten that a 7 year old goes from one thing to the next at the speed of light.
After a cuppa in the tea shop, we went to one of the greens at the Naval College and had a sandwich for lunch.
After the compulsory run around, we strolled to the DLR station and took it from Greenwich Maritime to Bank. The trains and route are interesting.
The trains themselves remind me of a child's toy, with small carriages with no driver.
The route is nice as it has many bends.
Also the route features one of my favourite named stations "Mudchute" as well as Canary Wharf.
After that, my friend needed to do some more urgent shopping for school shoes. I found this a little odd, because there are at least two Clarks dedicated shoe shops in Oxford Street, but neither sells children's shoes.
You are directed to the John Lewis department store or Mothercare in another Oxford Street location.
The deed done, we had a late tea in McDonalds and then quickly went to M&M World in Leicester Square before getting the train back to Redhill and home.
10 September - IKEA by Tram
A friend had been threatening to make me use a tram one day and this turned out to be it.
A 405 bus ride from Merstham to Croydon was followed by a change to a tram from Croydon to Ampere Way in Purley where we visited IKEA.
The trams are airy and bright and quick.
It was a very enjoyable and leisurely trip.
To end it all...
Cubs Scouts - first meeting was last night, a games evening. We lost 4 Cubs to Scouts at the end of last term but had 3 young starters come last night.
Football - The Gunners have got off to a faltering start this season. We will see what difference Arsene's new signings will make.
Next weekend - I have my first gig since the Latitude Festival coming up - Peter Hook & The Light playing Joy Division and New Order
And on the horizon - a trip to Harry Potter World on 25 September !!!
Watch this space ...
Not so much a blog... more a bit of a catchup over a cuppa
Hopefully wise without being a Wise Guy.