Staying in The Selfridge Hotel today

Our journey to London to book into the 3rd floor of the Selfridge Hotel and then to review the Rolls Royce Corniche Convertibles in Jack Barclay’s Berkley Square showroom before seeing Charlton Heston star in  ‘A Man for all seasons’ at The Savoy Theatre in The Strand to end an enjoyable day without the girls. Charing Cross Railway Station was a mess tonight as it awaits renovation.  The Gaza Strip violence and David Mellor’s outspoken statements were critically featured in the Tory press but he and his officials are standing their ground and a senior Ulster judge has resigned, criticising lax security for the judiciary

Slept better last night and I appear to have regained my own thinner pillow,  that made a great difference. Di was early awake this morning in anticipation of our trip to London, but I stayed in bed a short while listening to the radio. In fact, hearing the crockery jingling below in the kitchen, I joined the girls for an early cereal breakfast before showering, shaving and dressing, which experience is unusual to me. I was right ready to travel at 8.00am and checked my last minute packing. It is such a pleasure to use our new suitcases, as they are gusseted and most easy to pack.

You always remain surprised by the reserve space and are never short. I still had to lock and secure the house before we could go. It took some time to position the curtains, close all of the doors and ensure the pressure mats were clear. I also had to adjust the photo-switches that would turn on and off the landing lights, to complete our illusion whilst we were away. At last set the alarm and we all set off for Bar Hill, where Diana’s parents had offered to look after the girls. Waved them goodbye and made the drive to London. The M11 is so long and uninteresting and the M25 no better, but we returned to the more familiar territory of the A1 to get finally to Oxford Street. Our hotel booking was for the Selfridge Hotel and we were able to use the adjoining car park, which is expensive at £18 per day, but good. We had to park on the 6th floor, but were able to check straight into our room 325 on the 3rd floor. A smallish, but reasonable room, as space is at a premium here. First stop was Jack Barclay of Barkley Square, where the assistant had no less than 6 newish convertible corniches to show us, but all too pricey. Diana liked the colour of light blue. Then we went straight out to the department stores and had a lightish lunch at Debenhams. More shopping here and at Selfridges, then afternoon tea at John Lewis. We bought Diana some lingerie and a new nightdress, small presents for Debbie and Della. By this time we were quite tired and so went back to the hotel room to freshen up. I tussled with the management over appalling radio services as Di bathed. This evening we went to the Savoy Theatre, Strand, to see Charlton Heston star in a dramatic production of ‘Man for all Seasons’, which we enjoyed. Back to the hotel and bed afterwards, with Diana preferring to sleep as the main priority. The news today is still of the Gaza Strip violence and of the reaction to Mellor’s outspoken attack on conditions in the Palestinian refugee camps. The Tory press this morning reinforced the Israeli diplomatic complaints about the comments, but Mellor and his officials say they are sticking to their guns and they were supported by Foreign Office spokesmen back in London. Mellor has also taken an Israeli Colonel to task publicly, as he saw a soldier ‘unnecessarily’ arrest a youth on a day when use of live ammunition led to another Palestinian death. Arab countries have asked for an emergency debate in the United Nations on the plight of the Palestinian people. Andrew Donaldson, an Ulster County Court Judge of 5 years, has resigned because of what he has seen as unsatisfactory security standards, pointing out serious lapses of cover, leading to personal risks. It was strange to see the state of Charing Cross Railway Station tonight. It is in a most derelict and deserted condition, dirty and desolate, even making due allowance for the alterations that are supposed to be taking place. Weather, mild and showery today.