London Travel Blog› entry 75 of 126 › view all entries
My stride had a new spring to it after buying second-hand shoes at a charity store in Southfields. The pair of black Adidas looked a little flashy with bright yellow trim but they were the only pair close to my size. I handed the clerk a 10 Pound note and made the transition to shoes and socks right there in the store. Slipping into a pair of crew socks that I had kept felt immediately warm and comforting - like curling into flannel sheets on a northern autumn night. My theory of wearing over-sized flip-flops for seven months made the annual ritual a smooth transition. I didn't stumble, trip, or miss a step but would stop often to re-tie them.
I rode the tube to Piccadilly Circus hoping to buy a jacket too but the fashionable Lily White store there would not open until ten o'clock.
The sky toward Westminster buzzed with circling news helicopters so I strolled in that direction along the lake in St. James' Park. A wide variety of birds, ducks, and squirrels wandered its colorful south shore. Graceful white swans drifted glassy waters in a natural woodland setting.
I crossed the River Themes and continued about another mile to the Imperial War Museum. Besides educational audio-video programs throughout, the museum housed interesting displays of military tanks, cannons, vehicles, one-man submarines, a German V-2 rocket, and much more. Aircraft from the two world wars hung from the high ceiling. After several hours, I walked back to Westminster and rode the tube back to Southfields. My feet stayed warm and the 'new' shoes were broken in.