London – Robot exhibition at the Science Museum

My back was still not right, but I managed a 6 mile local walk the day before so I thought I would go a bit further a field, but I was not up to the Ridgeway. Scanning the what’s on on London sites I was reminded of the robot special exhibition at the Science Museum, so I booked myself an 11:00 ticket, giving me plenty of flexibility on time. If things went to plan I would get the tube there then walk back through the London parks back to Euston on the return journey.

I was up early, and managed to get the 08:06, but no coffee as the station cafe is shut on a Sunday. I grabbed the Victoria line to Green park then the Piccadilly to South Kensington. I got out of the pedestrian tunnel early in favour of fresh air and as luck would have I exited right opposite a Le Pain Quotidian where I grabbed an excellent coffee and even better Raisin Danish, which was essentially a Pain Au Raisin but twisted not twirled. I was a bit early and there was just one person and child outside the entrance, I joined them and therefore started a queue, which by 10:00 was a few hundred yards long.

Being the second person in the place meant that I could have a few sections of the museum to my self. I headed straight down to the far end of the ground floor, where there was a section about machine learning. One machine took my photo then deduced I was happy (smiling) and estimated to be 50, I was happy to take that. Next I headed up to the top floor where there are some aircraft and a load of aircraft engines through history, something I was not aware of despite previous visits. I worked my way down to the first floor stopping off to look at some of the stuff, my favourite bits are the mechanical simulation machines, the economy, tides etc. The Robots special exhibition was good and not too crowded, it marked the history of the development of robots, from automata through to the latest ones made by Honda, Toyota etc. Some of them you could interact with.

I had planned to walk back to Euston via Foyles. In Hyde Park I chanced upon some american expats plying baseball in the corner of a field. I got chatting to an older guy who explained that they were not all from the embassy some were bankers and other business people. He asked if I played, I was able to explain that I had when I was young played in the little league. I had to turn down the offer of a game because of my back, which was a shame.

I headed to Buckingham palace via Wellington Arch and Constitution Hill, then down to The Mall, to Admiralty Arch when I took a couple of pictures of one of the Seven Noses of Soho , which are brasses noses on several buildings placed by an artist making a point about the prevalence of CCTV in the city. Next was Trafalgar square where I was starting to flag, my back was hurting. I was amused by a Chinese lady shouting at a group of Chinese children having their picture taken on the steps to the National Gallery. The children wee very polite and obedient I think the lady was just power crazy. I am not sure who they all were but the adults in the group had DSLR’s and a 4k professional video camera.

I jumped on a 29 bus for a couple of stops, and had a look around Foyles computing section, but was not in the mood for buying. It is a short walk to Tottenham Court station and grabbed to the Northern line to Euston. I grabbed a sandwich, then waited for the train to be given a platform. The train was delayed because they were waiting for the police to take a person who had assaulted the guard to be taken away.


Science and art all on the same day

LHC detector

I got Helen some theatre tickets to see Mojo at the Harold Pinter theatre for Christmas, to lessen the pain for me not a theatre lover Helen agreed to go to the LHC exhibition at the science museum. We also planned a visit to the The National Theatre to look round the free landscape  photographer of the year exhibition in the foyer. The day was all planned out.

We were booked on the LHC at 10:20 so had to be up relaunched early to get the train from Berkhamsted. We left the house at 08:40 with the hope of getting the 09:01. I had filled out a form for a rail card the night before so we could get one their of of the tickets, it works only take two trips to London to start to make savings something we would easily do in the year the card lays, the cost was £30.

Turns out I had filled out the wrong form we needed a child to qualify not something you can rustle up at the ticket office. The was an alternative so we got one of those instead same price same conditions just different form! The delay meant that we had to get the 09:15 which it turns out was an express so made little difference to our arrival time.

A bit of the LHC

We jumped on the tube at Euston and were soon at the science museum which is a short walk from Kensington Station via the French style cafés. At the museum we headed straight to the  exhibition as we were a bit late for our 19:20 slot. The  show starts with a multimedia show on a curved wall with scientists explaining their excitement of working on such a big experiment involving 10,000  scientists, and how they don’t movie if they have found any thing until the unblinding of the results a method used to take the human bias out of the experiment results. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and I think Helen did although she would never admit it. We had coffee and cake before leaving for our next destination the National Theatre for the landscape photographer of the year exhibition.

We granted a bus outside the V&A and changed at Haymarket to the 139 which dropped us of at Waterloo Bridge. The photographs wee very good but place was a bit b busy so it was sometimes difficult to get a good look at the pictures. You soon realise that it takes some effort to get a good picture when you realise that the photographers were at the top of a mountain to get the picture of the sunrise they must have walked up in the dark or camped out on the snow to get the perfect shot. If you’re in town it is with the effort and free.

Waterloo Bridge

Back on the 139 to Haymarket again for some lunch at Pizza Express, then it was over the road to the Harold Pinter theatre to see the play called Mojo, which had some famous actors in it. You may already know that I am not a fan of theatre the main reason is that I just don’t have the capacity to figures out what is going on. I have not problems with following films just state plays, I do enjoy the slapstick ones like “One man two governors” but it does not take much to follow the plot there. The important things is that Helen enjoyed it and I got a few brownie points for taking her.

It was dark when we left the theatre but eh journey back was simple despite there being a lot of people trying to leave central London at the same time as we did. We got the tube from Piccadilly Circus to kings cross then walked to Euston, and got the 17:54 express to Berkhamsted. Then it was share piazza from M&S a Netflix film and early to bed as it had been a long but very enjoyable day.