Monday, 11 July 2016


first thing onto the train,

 and we had the whole carriage to ourselves,

 it was a tad cold yesterday, 

 so Diana wore her Oxford hoodie,

and this was where we were going, The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret,

 it is a museum of surgical history and one of the oldest surviving operating theatres in the UK dating from 1822 and is located in the garret of St Thomas's Church, Southwark on the original site of St Thomas' Hospital,

 the staircase was a difficult climb as it was so narrow, looking at the underneath of it I am surprised it is still in daily use from the hundreds of visitors that use it, the staircase must be stronger than it looks,

the plaque commenting dates in the theater's history,

 as we went to the top of the building,

 there are several displays, 

 including a complete skeleton, 

 the whole museum looks just as I thought a apothecary,

 would look at the time,

 from a later period a operating table, 

 and note books,

 there were also some cures,

 which must have worked despite their strange sounding names,

 also on display surgical instruments,

 and pill making apparatus,

 each item labeled to its use, 

strangely enough I do remember Beecham's pills and powders, they must have been good, in 1961 the company employed 14,450 people and only stopped production of Beecham's pills in 1989, if you want to know what was in the pills have a look here,

 a travelling chemists box,

 and from memory contents of blue bottles are poisonous,

 we were given a card each to show us around,

 some of the exhibits are a bit grim,

 many of these used,

 before any form of anesthetic was in use,

 the screams this table must have listen to,

 and indeed all of these,

 steps, banisters and handrails, 

 a chilling thought indeed, 

 the students view of the theater,

 in the day there was strict etiquette about where students stood when operations were taking place,

 another operating table in the theater,

 we made our way back through the roof space and downstairs,

 into the street, 

 and on to our next stop,

 the market is just round the corner from the operating theater we had just visited and is opposite London Bridge Underground station, so it is easy to find,

 as well as flowers the market specialises in UK produce from cheese to venison,

 and from fish to chocolate cakes, with a lot of other non-UK produce thrown in as well, 

 here is a tip,

 go there hungry, lots of sellers let you try their produce,

 and there are so many items to try whilst walking around,

 and of course some to take home,


lots of it,

 no stopping me now, 

 we had not eaten yet,

 so whelks for breakfast, delicious,

 I was so tempted to have one of these, but there were no tables and chairs with knifes and forks to sit at,

wild Highland venison steak burgers, we will be back! 

 we continued our walk as trains rumbled by, the site has mainline trains running over parts of it,

 the market has been here since it is thought 1014, yes over 1,000 years!

 this butchers caught my eye, The Exotic Meat Company,

 kangaroo or crocodile burgers, although not on display they also sell camel, buffalo and bison burgers,

 or for something completely different wild boar or ostrich burgers, but if you really want to be wild how about a zebra burger? well 20,000 lions cannot all be wrong!

 New Forest cider, need I say more?

 some of the biggest salamis we have ever seen,

 lots of fresh juices on offer,

 feeling hungry again,

 it was back to the stall,

 selling wild Highland venison steak burgers,

 two to go please,

 just what the doctor ordered, 

 I have to say it the paella looked nice as well,

 as did these pineberries, although thought to be a new variety, pineberries are actually the oldest strawberry variety, originally strawberries were white in South America and red in North America (known as scarlets), spontaneous crossings between the Chilean white strawberry and the North American scarlets produced Fragaria ananassa, which is the base material for all the common strawberry varieties we have today,

 we crossed the road,

 under the railway,

 to the other side of the market,

 where the stalls there,

 predominantly sell cooked foods,

 the smells are just so delicious,

 well except the melted cheese for me,

 but what a neat way to melt the cheese on a burger,

 and there was plenty of food from Thailand,

 but we were weakening for German sausages,

 the agony of choice,

 we weakened,

 and here they are,

 so nice,

 but so hot!

then we saw this stall, we should have waited!

 the chocolatier was doing a good trade, 

 liquorice I think for sale,

 macaroons aplenty,

 and cakes,  

 Diana weakened at the cake stall,

 then we saw more burgers, but we were so full,

 we started to make our way back,

 passing more cake stalls,

 and this one selling huge cheeses,

 then the smell of coffee hit us,

 but we declined a coffee,

 we made our way past the fresh fruit market,

 that had so much to offer,

 I was sorely tempted by the seafood stall again,

 but again declined, this stall seems to have almost sold out,

 we nearly said yes to some duck, but did not,

 this stall was very popular with visitors from the Far East,

 the market is open Monday - Saturday, closed on Sunday, but on Monday and Tuesday there is a limited number of stalls, full market days are Wednesday - Saturday, we went on Wednesday so if you go that day you will know what to expect, and remember go hungry!

 all of that food made us a bit thirsty,

 so a quick drink,

 on to the Underground,

 and up again, we walked past Red Lion Square Park in Holborn,

 where there is a statue of Fenner Brockway,

 it was our landmark to our next port of call,

 Novelty Automation, just a 5 minute walk from Holborn Underground station,

 inside there are machines,

 that you can play, you buy tokens at the counter and then the fun begins,

 like this one, you put your hand inside the dog's cage and press a button, the longer you press the button the more angry, loud and salivating the dog becomes, dare you keep your hand of the button, will the chain not snap that keeps keep the dog from biting you? put your token in keep pressing the button and find out!

 another one titled Divorce, both of us have to turn handles, pull knobs and levers to see how the house and other goods,

 are divided,

 I am not going to say who won,

 I had a try at alien zapping, 

 it all looked so easy, 

 well it was, 

 but the alien had a trick up it's tentacle! 

 Diana decided on a foot massage, shoe off, sock on, 

 from this doctor,

 the doctor goes down to start work,

which Diana thought was great fun,

 but not as much as this automated airport frisking machine,  

 feet on the mat, 

 hands on the top of the machine,

 and the frisking begins,

 which Diana thought was hilarious,

 then even more fun in the Instant Eclipse,

 doors close, then it happens,

 I can not say what or it will give the game away,

 my turn next, 

 using a magnetic crane,

 you have to pick up coins from the bottom of the game,

and place them in the scale at the top,

 it looks,

 and sounds easy,

magnet down to the base, 

 pick up the coins and hey presto! 

 but there is a catch, 

 if someone from the building opposite sees you as the crane goes past the window they are looking out of all of the coins are dropped,

 and guess who was seen! 

 a few days ago we visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum, 

 the windows are engraved with the writer of the books, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

 and of course Mr. Holmes,

 and Doctor Watson, 

the pub is at 10, Northumberland Street if you fancy a tipple, 

 we decided to walk back along the Embankment passing The Playhouse again,

 the numbers are significant, 

 as we had walked along the Embankment before we decided on a diversion,

 and walked through Whitehall Gardens,

looking at some of the statues there, this one of Lieutenant-General Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet, GCB, KCSI  whowas an English general who fought in the Indian Rebellion of 1857,

 the gardens are nicely laid out,

 we were surprised to see banana plants here, we thought it would be too cold, but obviously not,

 who was a British colonial administrator, Governor of Bombay and High Commissioner for Southern Africa

 the garden is deceptively large,

 which is just as well as there are two mulberry trees planted in it,

this a statue of William Tyndale, he was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution,

 he is remembered for translating the bible from Hebrew into English, 

 looking back to where we have just walked,

we then passed a memorial to the Chindit Special Forces who fought in Burma during the Second World War,

 we then passed the old Scotland Yard building, 

the crest over the gate, we made our way back to meet up at Steve and Kai's home where we all relaxed had our evening meal, a nightcap and then we were all off to bed,

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