I did not sleep well, the first night. The room was very hot. But it was quiet. None of the door slamming you always hear, at all hours, in London hotels. None of the loud talking and screaming, indoor and outdoors. Best of all, I could not hear any cars nor more than one airplane. And no sirens. When I woke up, I looked out at my view and this might have explained the lack of car noise? Facing a court-yard and not the road. But, the room’s windows were double, in order to cut out noise, so I have a difficult time believing in all the “Alex Polizzis”, reviewing the hotel, on Trip Advisor. I will have to leave a full length review here on my blog, for the hotel, since the official sites work so poorly. But someone needs to leave an honest opinion of this hotel!
I was at least rested enough, to take a good look around my room and as far as I could tell, without acting like “Four in Bed” and “The Hotel Inspector”, the room was clean. Nothing was missing and it was a happy surprise, to see a make up bag full of bottles containing shampoo, conditioner and so forth. I wish I had known, then I needed not to have packed some of those things. I had worried extra much about the shower’s water pressure, since tons of people on the above mentioned site, complained of no water pressure what so ever. That it only would drip and that one would stand there with shampoo or soap suds, not being able to clean oneself or rinse off. Scared, I climbed in to the bathtub and scolded my feet, since I misunderstood how to turn on the shower head. But once I got the hang of that, there was nothing wrong what so ever with the water pressure. It was the same as at home, so I had no complaints at all. And got furious with people who seem to come from another planet, with their complaints.
I had decided to start walking to the NEC around 09:00. So this is what I did. In a way I felt excited but in another way, I felt weary.Was it really right of me to go spend money on miniatures, when our family needs so many other things? Like a new car, instead of the mistake we bought a year ago, which has cost us an arm and a leg in repairs so far. Like a new bed, so that T. and I at least can pretend to be an ordinary married couple, sharing bedroom. As it is now, he sleeps in “Boo’s” bed, since the mattress has collapsed on his side of the bed, from his heavy weight. “Boo” sleeps there now. Like a bed for “Gubby”, so that he can try to sleep in an own bed, having me in view the entire time. The list could get as long as you want it to be. And here I was, on my way to spending money on silly things.
But I was not the only person standing in the queue outside Miniatura. We were quite a lot of silly people. This nasty German couple behind me, for example. When the doors opened at 10:00, the pressure to get in, was on. I got up to this black young man, or brown coloured one, as “Gubby” would say. His colour did not matter of course, but his intelligence did. I have never had a weekend ticket before, and when I gave him mine, he tore off the only part which could be torn off. I started wondering how I would be able to get in, on the next day, when he had torn off the ticket part of the ticket, if that makes sense. At first he looked like a question mark and then he told me to stand to the side, after the Germans rudely had sighed as loud as they could and had said in Gestapo voices, that there were many people waiting. I stood to the side for a while, as the young man let about ten people go through. Then I got mad and started talking to myself but also to let him know that this was not alright: “So I am going to stand here till everyone has entered am I? Don’t think so!” I walked up to him and said “Is there an information, because if there is, I will go to it right now!”. He said that there was. Why did he not tell me before, pray tell? I found it without that stupid man’s help and asked them about the ticket procedure the next day. Once that was sorted out, I also bought myself a cheap Miniatura carrier bag.
From my visit two years earlier, I knew that some stalls you need to get to as quickly as possible. I had made a little list and quickly located the stalls, in the program I had bought outside, from the same funny man, who sold them two years ago. My first stall, was The Little Doll House Company, which had come all the way from Canada. I had been in on their site, beforehand, and while there were too many things to look at, I had checked some things and discovered something I had never seen anyone selling before. A pair of man’s suspenders. But arriving at the stall, the man had not brought them. He suggested I send for them. Forget that! They would get stuck in customs and these overseas companies charge an arm and a leg in shipping for items which weigh next to nothing. Then he suggested I come to his next fair in Amsterdam. Sorry, but I am not going to Amsterdam either. Pity, because they were really nice. I continued to Truly Scrumptious, to look if they had got their Kodak camera in a box, back in stock, but they had not. So nothing bought in that stall either. My third stall, which was a must, was http://www.minimcgregor.com, since I had seen some funny things on their site: a boy’s catapult, a little paper hat made out of “newspaper” and a little wooden toy sword. Little items which will easily find a home, in Rose’s son’s attic room, in my dollhouse. And I was happy, to find the items available.
From there, it was time to go for one of many visits, to the cancer research stall. They are a charity stall, and the most wonderful of all the stalls. Because you never know what you will find there. The problem is that everyone else finds it equally exciting, so it is difficult to see anything and get up to the tables. When I finally got up there, I stood and was wishy-washy about this closet. I don’t know why, because it was a good price and obviously both Lily will need a closet in her room and Rose in the master bedroom. But I did not know if it was really the right time period, ca. 1939, nor if that is the first piece of furniture one needs for the bedrooms. And like in 2014, when someone snapped up a double bed, when I put it down to think, someone else snapped the closet up, in front of my eyes. I decided to not put an item down again, until I had decided a definite NO on it. So, on my first visit to their stall that day, I did not buy anything. But I sure did on my second visit. More on that later on. But, this is the stall which is in constant transition. They can’t put out everything from the beginning, so you need to come back over and over again, to see what they have put out while you were gone.
Next thing on my list, was going to the http://www.heidiott.co.uk stall. I really do not understand this stall at all. The woman stands and says that the items are hand-made by her, but if I understand things correctly, they are made in Switzerland. Whichever, they are nice. And shipping is atrocious, so if one wants things from this company, it is best to buy them at a show. From my eBay watch list, I had two items to shop for and that was a pair of male shoes, for Rose’s husband, serving his country in one of the forces. Haven’t decided which yet. And a pair of black thick stockings, for poor Lily. When I received her, after special ordering her, at Miniatura two years ago (www.costumecavalcade.co.uk), I was delighted with her, except for the fact that she had white legs. Not wearing black stockings! One did not have white stockings with the WAAF uniform and it was not something which I thought about when ordering her, that one should order black legs, nor did I want to write and complain. Instead, in my mind, I came up with a story: Lily has arrived home on leave, and has taken off her hat, and her stockings, in order to protect the latter. Alternatively, she is on her way back to base, after a weekend leave in London, and has not put her stockings on yet. All stockings sold, are very thin though and on the Heidi Ott site, a year ago, I saw thick black stockings. Unfortunately, there were none at the stall Saturday 1 October 2016. Don’t know how to solve the problem. But she had shoes. And actually, she also had a bedstand and mattress on sale, so my trip to that stall was not wasted. It actually is a lovely stall, she has so many wonderful things, but most of them are out of my league, price wise.
Last time I was at Miniatura, things were very much different from this time. That time, I travelled out to Birmingham from London, and only for one day. I ran through the show like a maniac, to be able to see every single stall at least once. I hardly even gave myself time to visit the loo, which was a permanent place, at the back wall of the hall. And I did not give myself any time to eat, which meant I felt very faint at the end of the day. When I walked to the cafeteria 2014, there was nothing left to eat, except a bag of crisps. This time at the show, I quickly decided to: 1. Look carefully the first time around, because trying to find a stall a second time, if it is not one of the large and well-known ones, is almost impossible, if you don’t make scribbles in your program. I am not a scribbler. Also, going back hours after seeing something, often means that the item will be sold. 2. I also decided to let myself go to the loo, even though they were disgusting port-a-potties. No, disgusting is not the word, because they were clean, but since they were housed in “wagons”, every stall in there, was very small and narrow. Not for the claustrophobic person at all. Everyone whined about them that day, so I was not the only one hating to go to them. 3. I had also decided to let myself have a proper meal, midday, since I had no idea what I would be eating in the evening and IF I would be eating anything.
So, at this point, I headed for the cafeteria to buy something to eat. I had decided on a sandwich but when I saw the fish, I decided to have fish and chips instead. The sad part about this meal was, that the English eat very bizarre combinations of food. I do not feel that beans in tomato sauce has anything to do with fish & chips, so I would not let the lady put that on my plate. How disgusting to have soggy chips covered with disgusting tomato sauce! Nor would I let her put on the mushy peas, since I knew that consistency would make me evacuate, and I did not want my fish nor my chips float in that green gall-like substance. But since I opted away those two, could she not have given me some extra chips? This meal did not fill me up! And was very dry since I could not find any tartar sauce.
The fish was very nice though and so were the chips. They were not as greasy as expected, which was nice, since I get problems with my gall system then, not having a gall bladder. No, I was fine all afternoon and needed no anti-acids, which is a good mark for the chef! So I can recommend having lunch at the NEC.
After the lunch, I decided to go and have a look at the three stalls, which had promised on the internet site for Miniatura, to have Art Deco items. One, had not shown up, at the show. The second one, was too expensive for me. But the third had me all excited. Not so much over the Art Deco items per se, but I have this thing about painted pewter items. Well, pewter items painted or unpainted, really. Perhaps because they give a lot of detail and because there is some substance to them. They are not usually that fragile either. At http://www.newtonwood-miniatures.co.uk, I fell totally in love with the following items:
Yes, I could have bought the pewter clock from Phoenix Model Developments and painted it myself, cheaper than buying it ready-made. But I don’t know how to do the nice marble effect, and the clock will look lovely in Rose’s bedroom, which I plan to make pink and green. The funny part is, that before I went to Miniatura, the attic rooms in my dollhouse did not really hold any interest for me. I meant to leave them to the last, letting one room be a little boy’s room. But then finding the little catapult, the paper hat and little sword, made me realize that this is also fun. Having five boys of my own, boys’ toys have been my thing for years. And when I saw these aircrafts from WWII, well how could I seriously resist? I grabbed the expensive Spitfire and gave the clock and Spit to the lady, in order to pay. But then I started reasoning with myselfpart, “I can’t leave the Hurricane behind! When will I see something like that again? I will have it like a fixation on my brain for years to come, if I do not buy it NOW” so I said, “Wait! I’ll have the Hurricane as well!”. Her husband, who was the one who had painted them was excited, no doubt about it! He looked happy and I was THRILLED to pieces, since this is so perfect for my WWII house and I suspect they were one offs, because they are not on their site. Nor are all the little sets with trains! If I had had more money! They had a box with a train set and tracks, both a normal one and one painted like “Thomas the Tank Engine”. Some people have sooooooo much talent! I just LOVED them both. And the funny part was, that the reason why I had headed to this stall, at this early stage, was because they were one of three people advertising that they were selling art deco items! Yet it was really other things which attracted my eye. A stall I very much would like to visit again in the future.
I got my notebook out of my bag again, to see my errand list. Next thing, was a toilet paper holder, from http://www.sussexcrafts.com. For those of you who have not been in on their site, you are in for a treat. These are high quality items. Not the sort of garbage you find from say Doll House Emporium. No, these are detailed items copied from museum items, and what can I say, but that they are a true delight and a feast for the eyes! I headed for their stall and just admired at first and then asked for the toilet paper holder, even though I might not be able to set up a garden for my dollhouse and place my outhouse there. The husband, of the woman who makes all the items, was a nice chap. We started to discuss an item, me asking what it was used for and he was funny. We agreed on that even if an item existed by this and that date, it does not mean that everyone had one, nor is it often possible to date items to a set year. Some people are always early in catching on to news, while others will purchase them at the end. Like me getting an iPhone 4 when everyone else was buying an iPhone 6! While he took payment for the toilet paper holder, he giggled and said it was authentic paper from WWII as well, since they had managed to get hold of some. That was very funny and pleasing to hear! I so wish I could have afforded their copper, but this quality item was way out of my league as many other things, but it is free to drool, isn’t it? And their stall was one that I reluctantly left.
Next, I went to http://www.jennifersofwalsall.co.uk for the first time of four, during that weekend. She and this other stall, it turned out, were the only ones who had brought wallpaper. And I fully intended to buy wallpaper for my dollhouse, when I could see them with my own eyes and not via a computer screen, which always show the wrong colours. But the first time I visited the stall, there were just too many people, the second time when I went to look at the wallpapers, I was disappointed with the selection. I did not like anything! And they were mostly Victorian wallpapers for say Downton Abbey-style dollhouses! Third time I visited, I only got an acrylic sheet with a stained glass look, in the shape of diamonds, and the fourth time, a tiny little number sign for the house, which I can not find, now when I am back home. She “glued” the sign on a piece of paper, and I have run out of places to look. Very sad. But during my first visit, I did not know what was going to happen the next day. I just left, because of the crowding and headed for http://www.craft-products.com. One of the main reasons for coming to Miniatura in the first place.
Bromley Crafts or craft-products as they are called on the internet, sells a brick compound which should come out cheaper to use, than buying little individual bricks, and gluing them on to your house. But I had lots of questions about it, since I never dared to ask a thing, two years ago, not even owning a house then. But now I had lots, after watching their YouTube video on how to apply it, and after reading about the different compounds, the regular one and the one being sent to international customers. I wanted to know, if it is possible to put it on, on an already assembled house, since all they show on their videos, are pieces of an un-assembled house or one without windows and doors. I wanted to know if one can mix regular brick compound with the international one, if one runs out of the real “stuff” in the middle of the “decorating”. And I wanted to know exactly how it is put on and if it is very difficult. So I spent quite some time at the stall. Showing my house, on photos, telling how I want to transform it from 1900 Copenhagen to 1940 London. Richard Bromley himself, told me that I am in for a challenge alright, trying to put on the compound on an already assembled house, with windows attached. But it can be done. He told me, that the best thing would be to take the windows out, and then put them back in at the end. But they are too fragile. If I try to remove them, they will break for sure. And I can not afford to replace eleven windows in one go. It is bad enough that I accidentally broke off the door, but it also has facilitated the putting on brick around that area, so it is not all bad. Plus of course, I now can have the door of my dreams!
He also told me that if I run out of the regular thick compound, I can not continue with the lighter weight international compound, because there will be a visual difference. THAT was bad news. One can not make any mistakes in other words. And I had to buy all the compound I might need, while at the show. I was not ready to carry all that weight around though, so I told him that I would be back at the end of the day, but since I had plans then, I actually waited with buying the compound to the next day. Knowing exactly how heavy it would be! But it was informative talking to him, and while it all seems so easy when he talks about it, it is not. Not really. Which you can read all about, in my other dollhouse posts!
From him, I decided to finally bite the bullet and head to http://www.jandasupplies.co.uk. I had walked by their stall already once, and it was full of people. I was nervous about meeting Angie, who I had had so much e-mail contact with and her husband John, who made my 1930s door, to my specifications. Looking at their stall earlier, I could tell that they were not the sort of bubbly, extroverted people, who a lot of the miniaturists are. They were older, very business like, and they had a young girl helping them out as well, who seemed totally clueless. SHE is the one, whom I had to talk to. When she could not help me, she called on what I suspect is her grandmother, Angie. Angie did not smile but just said “nice to have a face to the person”. I guess she was not impressed. She showed me the door and I told her that I also would like to buy the copper. So she put the two of them in a paper bag each and I gave her my card to pay with, since their stall was one of the few taking credit cards. She looked at me and said in a surprised, half irritated tone “That is it? You are not getting anything else?”. I felt embarrassed. Excuse me but spending £35 is a lot for me! And quite enough! I had looked at a small side table, but felt unsure about it. There were other things I needed and wanted more at that point. So I was disappointed that she felt that I did not spend enough from them and I felt like they did not appreciate my business. Sad really, because I might have to turn to them again and order windows, if something happens to the ones I have right now! But do I dare? I left the stall a little bit uncomfortable, since she had obviously expected me to have shopped a lot more.
Since I was doing must things from my list, I walked over to http://www.costumecavalcade.co.uk. And THERE is a lady who is
pleasant to talk to, sweet and all the rest. She made my WAAF doll Lily two years ago and now I walked up to her and asked her to make Rose for me. She was all up for it and excited, when I handed her a bunch of pictures of girls serving in WWII, as ambulance drivers. I asked her for a red-head and got to choose between two different kinds of shades and then three different kind of faces. It actually is fun to order a doll from her but also scary. Many people make dolls at that show, but I really love her dolls the most. Don’t know why, but they look a little bit like her really, British, sweet and nice. They have kind faces. I wish I could afford to make a husband for Rose, as well, and a son, but in a way it feels like too many dolls in my house. Plus I want the husband to be out in the war, fighting, and the son to be an evacuee. Now starts the wait. She was actually very quick when it came to making Lily. Can’t remember how long it was, but I was surprised at how quickly she mailed me with a photo. I am not sure if I have ever posted a photo of Lily here on my blog, so enjoy:
When I had done this last “chore”, I finally felt free to just go and look at things, at leisure. Anything which I would find after this, would be a bonus in my book. I decided to go over to the left of the room and start walking row by row, up and down, only looking at one side at a time. But before I got over there, I walked by Jane Harrop. I did buy some kits from her in Farum, Denmark, when I went to a dollhouse fair over there. I stood and looked at some kits this day as well, but since I have not put the first together yet, I did not feel like I should buy more. But I do love the style of her furniture and things, all copies from the 1930s and Edwardian era, with some items also being from the end of the war, called the Utility furniture. But they are very fragile. I picked up her new kit, which contains suitcases and realized that they are only made from cardstock. Somehow, I want the things I buy to last, to become perhaps heirlooms. Things of very fragile wood and cardstock, will not last and can get harmed already in my lifetime, so perhaps I will not buy too many more of her kits. But I did buy the fragile cupboard, which has been “featured” in both “Foyle’s War” and in “Poirot”! It must have been the most common cupboard in the 1930s and I have not seen anyone else selling
something like it, except Country Contrast, who asks £55 for it. And THAT I am not willing to pay for ANYTHING!
On my way to the loo, I walked by the big stall of http://www.datemanbooks.com, where I paused, since their books and magazines, really are something. Many people had paused in order to look at their lovely Beatrix Potter miniature books, it being an anniversary for her this year. But I started to look at books for Rose’s husband and some more war newspapers, to add to the one I already own. Unfortunately, the one I really wanted, had already sold that day and the owner tried to sell me the one I already had at home. He lost patience with me and tattle taled (?) to his sons/co-workers, but I just ignored the old man. I managed to do some damage at that stall as well.
I wanted to have had an Agatha Christie, for Rose’s husband, but the one I wanted was sold. “Henry V” was played over and over on the radio, during D-day, 6 June 1944, so I guess that play would be an alright choice for a WWII dollhouse. I would have loved a “”Biggles” book or something for the boy’s room, but no such thing, so I finally settled for the “Wind in the the Willows”, because my boys have lately taken to that in the film version (Monty Python gang). I bought the big size books, since they are nicer than the small size ones, made to fit in bookcases. That is what the younger man in the stall recommended, while the older one washed his hands of me and stood in a corner and pouted! Oh well…
After my loo visit, I returned to the cancer research stall and struck luck in my opinion. They had put out a bunch of Phoenix Model Development things in pewter and I grabbed some of them, even if maybe some of them did not make sense, in a modern 1940 family.
When I had purchased these items, I stopped at the stall http://www.mnsociety.org.uk, which sounds more mysterious than it is. They were showing miniature needlework and they had the most amazing little socks in green, which I would have loved to have knitted. But they did not have a pattern for them. The two elderly ladies manning the stall, told me that it was the same principle as making big socks, but I can’t imagine that I can just take a normal sock pattern, very thin thread and then just make them that small naturally! Maybe one can find something on the internet? What they did have though, was a pattern for a quilt, which one of them had made in several copies. Just gorgeous little grandmother’s garden quilts. Since that pattern of quilt is my very favourite, I just had to buy the pattern. How I am going to find all the fabrics needed to make one, is beyond me, but a pattern is the best start.
All excited, after that long conversation with the ladies, I moved on to http://www.sueharrington.co.uk, since she had two boxes standing in her stall, full of patterns. What I need for my house, is linen and clothing, you see. To hang to dry, in the kitchen, but also to put in the bedrooms. And I suddenly had this idea, that maybe she would have patterns for the right time period, since everyone selling ready-made dollhouse doll clothes, only selling Victorian ones. So I started to look at all her patterns and she got excited at having a customer, so she came out to me on the floor, to help me look what could be used for my time period. I found a cricket outfit and quickly saw that the trouser pattern could be used to make any kind of trousers for a man, shirt and tie the same thing. Then Sue found a kit for an evacuee outfit. How perfect was that? And what says that one can not make a couple of extra outfits, to fill cupboards, washing basket and so on? And then she brought out another kit. I hated the fabric which came with it. She was not too keen on the fabric she had put in to it, either, but she pointed out that the pattern was perfect. Somehow she had been involved with the TV show, “The 40s House” and had created those clothes for the mother of the house. I asked her nicely, if she would be willing to just sell me the pattern, so I could choose fabrics I liked better, and she agreed, since she did not like the fabrics herself! That was very sweet of her!!! This is when they called out, that the show was closed for the day, and I was very upset with myself, since I really had not seen that much of it, at all! But luckily, I did have one more day, to look at everything.
When I got out, from the show, I realized that I really would need that carrier box from WHSmith, BEFORE Monday, to pack all little fragile things in from the show. What to do? I was at Birmingham International or almost, being over at the NEC, and I would have to get myself to New Street Station and run to WHSmith quickly, because I suspected that it was closing at 18:00. I phoned T. at home and told him to quickly get in on the internet and check the opening times, while I walked as fast as I could, to the train station. He soon phoned me back and said to not bother, that they were closing as I suspected, at 18:00, and now it was 17:20. But I was determined. I could make, I must make it. So I breathed slowly, said a prayer, placed myself in the long queue for tickets and decided to keep calm. Luckily five people belonged to the same group and then another five to another group. They had quick questions. At first, I moved toward the wrong ticket booth but when I noticed, I walked up to the right one and this black woman, who had tried to cut the line three times ( I had observed her because there was nothing else to look at and because her behaviour was vexing, all of us being in a hurry!), walked up to me and screamed at me that I had not stood in the queue! Right, I had been in the queue when she first arrived and tried to cut it in front of me and then right behind me, where this man was standing. I had noticed HER but she was so full of herself, that she had not paid attention to what the others in the queue looked like! I bawled her out while buying my ticket and paying for it, telling her that I had miscalculated which booth was going to be free first, but I HAD been in the queue the entire time. COW!
I ran down the stairs and got on the train right before they closed the doors. One step closer to WHSmith. When I got to New Street, I ran in the proper direction but could not remember where I had seen WHSmith. Was it High Street or New Street? I closed my eyes and tried to remember the picture, since I have visual memory, close to photographic memory, and then I headed straight for the place. I ran in at exactly 17:55. YES! In my mind I said a silent prayer of thanks and walked up the wrong aisle, where I found a cheaper and BETTER carrier box than the one I had seen the day before! And also a round one, for wallpapers or the sheet of stained glass plastic, I had bought from Jennifer’s of Walsall. While I grabbed those, the shop turned off their lights and I had to head to the cashier. But not before I grabbed some other funny things which I have had on my eBay watch list. Like a battery operated rubber for colouring (when you make a slight mistake and do not want to erase more than that mistake), a sharpener, blender pens and waxing pens, all by the company Derwent. All of it bought for my colouring books for adults, of course. I was very pleased with it all and that I had a 20% coupon for all my purchases or was it £5 off, can’t remember which one was the valid one.
Now, I had the option of going back to Solihull or do some other things. I opted for going to Clarks, since I have been wanting a pair of biker boots for years, but have not found any I like, here in Sweden. Clarks shoes are comfortable, so this is why I headed there, and spent a lot of time there, trying on boots, with my swollen feet, full of water blisters. They asked me what size I am and how on earth can one answer that question, when every company has their own sizing? But Clarks personnel brought out a funny tool and measured both the width of my foot and the length, so now I know that I need a size UK 4 wide, in their shoes at least! After buying myself a very nice pair of boots, I headed for the funny shop, where everything was on sale, once again, called the Works. I stood there till they closed, looking at all the different colouring books and finally settled on a book which is very popular in the colouring books for adults Facebook group, I belong to: “Imagimorphia”. It is creepy in one way, that is why I have stayed away from it, but at the same time, it has so much detail to it, which could be really funny to colour. And at half the British price, who could resist?
By now, all the high street shops were closed, so I headed to the shopping centre to try to find a Boots. I could NOT go back without something sharp to puncture the water blisters with. I had not had dinner, and they had no nice sandwiches left at all, so in the end I had to emergency shop. For sharp object, I had to buy a pair of cuticle scissors. I thought I would find some safety pins or an emergency sewing kit, but no such was available at Boots. And for dinner? A bag of chocolate minstrels. Did not really matter since I was not that hungry after all. Limping, with two big bulky bags and one cloth bag full of miniatures, I headed out in the pouring rain towards New Street Station. It was not particularly nice to walk from Birmingham International, in pouring rain and the bags which cut in to my hands. It even got worse. When I thought I had finally made it, when I stood by my door, at the hotel, my door card did not work! It had taken 15 tries the night before, so there I stood wet, tired and with aching feet, trying the card over and over again. Finally I was close to crying, since my feet really were hurting badly. I abandoned my bags and was going to head to the reception downstairs, when I noticed someone from housekeeping, carrying an ironing board. I asked if she please could let me in to my room, which she did, but she told me that my card must have got de-magnetized. But how? I had kept the mobile away from it, my credit cards were kept in a pouch around my neck, to now get robbed like T. was in Paris, so what de-magnetized the card? At that point, I did not even care to find out. I pulled off my shoes, my plasters, and set out to cut holes on those blisters with the scissors. And when I had thus tortured myself, I found a TV channel which showed British mysteries all evening, pulled out my chocolates, my new colouring book “Secret London” and my pencils. It was nice to just relax. I made a decision for the next day. After the show, I would go back to the hotel, go down to the pool and have a swim, then order food to my room and pack. I had had enough of New Street station. Besides, I wanted to at least keep the Sabbath Day somewhat holy, even if I was going to shop at the show and go swimming, which do not really count as appropriate Sunday activities.