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Jenni over at A Cheerful Living Adventure introduced me to the concept of no quibble weekends. The idea is that each one of us would organise a day or weekend adventure that the other person had to take part in without quibbling over it.  Having no input to a weekend or day trip can be quite daunting, after all it usually entails doing something that you really wouldn’t choose to do or even agree to do, should you have the abilty to do so.

This weekend was to be our first ever attempt at this brilliant idea. The first thing that I baulked at was the idea that my alarm clock had to go off at 6am after a week full of 5am starts. Aren’t the weekends supposed to be about lying in and taking it easy?  Still, I stopped myself short when the words “this isn’t fair” formed on my lips and resisted the temptation to blurt them out. Dragging myself out of bed I wandered downstairs with a “Kevin” kind of attitude only to be greeted by a hot pot of earl grey tea, HRH Duchy muffins and a poached egg. How lovely. Then after a quick pootle round the farmers fields with Moo off we set for the station for our days adventure. So, I now knew we were heading back into London for the day.

Despite a rather shaky start involving a parking machine, a coin fight and a tantrum, but enough said about that, the station is a grand place to be in Wivenhoe. A community garden with chickens, a bookcase full of donated books and award winning poetry on the platform combined with overlooking the woods and the opportunity to listen to and watch all the birdlife has that being on a  holiday kind of feeling to it. I am lucky to commute from this station on a daily basis.

Source: google.co.uk via cheri on Pinterest

Then it was off on the 8am train for Excel in London where we trundled through the most glorious countryside bathed in winter sunshine.

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Despite the DLR being off  (I was rather disappointed as I had heard great things about this) I still got to see a whole new part of London when we were bussed to the Excel Centre from Canning Town station. Riding on the top deck of a bus always reminds me of being a kid. Ringing the bell to get off and hoping that I can make it down the stairs without falling is quite daunting  in that sweaty palms, adrenaline rush kind of a way. Big adventures riding a bus. And just look at what kind of things you get to see on the top deck

what a lot of old rubbish

what a lot of old rubbish

I have decided that I love the area around the Excel centre. It felt very much like the Albert Docks in Liverpool.There was so much going on and it was nice to feel “at home”.

Source: google.co.uk via cheri on Pinterest

Himself wanted to visit the Motorcycle show having snapped up some free tickets which was really interesting despite my reluctance I loved some of the bikes and it was a photographers dream venue

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We stayed there until lunchtime and then decided we had seen just about everything. Whilst pondering our next move over a cup of tea and our picnic lunch (we know how to do a day out on a frugal budget) I suggested that we find a nice pub which rather surprised Himself as he thought I might want to head back home right away after such a long week. Before I changed my mind we wandered off in the direction of the cable car standing watching for a while was enough to bring on the discussion about how odd it must be to ride a cable car without skis and a ski slope at the end so we decided that we would take a one way ride on it.

 

Source: google.co.uk via cheri on Pinterest

Across to the O2, which I have never been to, where I spotted Wagamamas (one of my favourite restaurants) and a long debate about whether we should go in and whether we were actually hungry ensued. After agreeing that our picninc lunch had filled us up and going into Wagamamas for the sake of it might be a bit over the top we decided against it and headed for the tube to head back to Stratford for the train home. Upon arrival at the tube station we decided to head over to Greenwich. Changing your mind at the last minute can be a good thing.

My first visit to Greenwich had been in the summer during the Olympics and after yesterday I am a confirmed Greenwich fan. If I could afford to live there I would. We pottered around the maritime museum for a while. I discovered that there is an Ansel Adams exhibition on until April so that will be my next planned treat day. Off to the Gypsy Moth pub garden next to partake in a pint of The Captains Cat by Brains brewery (well we do miss Wales a little), lots of fresh air and people watching.

Another potter led us into the high street where we found the market and it felt like I was in heaven. I love old fashioned markets.

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Source: google.co.uk via cheri on Pinterest

Although finding a herb window box at £55 quickly reminded me that I  was in a trendy market and unlikely to find a bargain. Time was short so We didn’t get time to look around fully. Another day perhaps.
Turning a corner we happened upon a pie and mash shop. Well it would have been rude not to partake so in we went and filled our faces with pie mash, peas and gravy and the biggest cup of tea ever. I opted not to try the eels thank you very much.
And so it was time to make our way back to Stratford to catch the train home. My iphone had long since died so photos are scant (hence the google pictures) which is a little disappointing but it meant that I took part in my day and focused on Himself rather than allowing myself to be distracted by tweeting and updating Facebook.
Upon arrival in Wivenhoe we sauntered up to the Coop and treated ourselves to a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir to round the day off in style.

Happy.

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