Subarctic temperatures and 30mph winds in Shropshire, delayed trains due to ‘trees on line’ resulting in missed connections, last minute packing of extra layers and a fur lined hooded parka as well as a huge woollen scarf meant that – well – things can, hopefully, only get better.

As ever public transport was a great source of people watching, one taxi disgorging a clutch of women sporting various rather slinky animal prints – a leopard skin all-in-one in one case, although the wearer was less lithe than the beast she portrayed, another in an eye catching zebra stripe. The accompanying men were touchingly attired in formal three piece suits and severe haircuts. Where were they heading? A wedding? In Chester zoo perhaps? A night out? We shall never know. On finding the train was running 23 minutes late they all repaired to the local hostelry, only a fraction of them returning for the departure.

One of the great things (!) about Social Media is the potential to link up with other like minded people. Thus on choosing a dinner venue I consulted my 858 doctor ‘friends’ on Medic Foodies on FB.

The Roti King on Doric Street they cried, as one. But this was formidably over queued.

The Ravi Shankar on Drummond Street was a hot second: cheerful vegetarian South Indian cuisine cafe style.

Spinach and paneer dosa: and paneer tikka for my companion. With peshwari naan.

We’ve met with our travelling companion Susan, shared stories of packing, unpacking and the reality of actually having to carry everything yourself for two weeks and 200km, and unpacking again. Maybe just the one book then? Deodorants- possibly overrated? Time will tell but for tonight we’ve been welcomed to Sarah’s house in Wandsworth, Shared a glass of wine …. oh and checked that the taxi Company knew of tomorrow’s marathon when they said an hour was plenty to reach st Pancras. They didn’t. It isn’t. We’re leaving at 06.45 for a 09.30 train.

Onwards and upwards. The story of the prayer flag knickers may be about to begin……

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