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In December 1995, in part to flee my house over the Christmas holidays where something very unhappy had happened to me the year before, and in part to thank my partner James for his support during what was a truly horrible year, we spent the Christmas holidays in London, with one daytrip to Rye (Sussex).

There is a curious patchy quality to this part of my diary, in part because of my cold, in part because we did so much that I didn't have much time to record things.

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The more interesting entries are on darker backgrounds.

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We arrive in London. Jetlagged out, we get our bearings and do wander over to Westminster Abbey.
I go ice skating at an odd little rink at Queensway. We walk to Tyburn Chapel, Marble Arch, Oxford Street. In the evening, the third most expensive meal in my life, from a book titled "Cheap Eats in London".
Skating at Queensway, more walking around, including St. Martin's-in‑the-Fields. A good English dinner. I have a cold.
December 19
— Diary not kept —
A skating lesson with an English pro, very different from an American lesson at the same level. We walk to Brompton Square (Lucia's house and Olga's, for EF Benson fans). Visit the Victoria & Albert Museum. A sort of English tea. Another very good English dinner.
December 21
— Diary not kept —
Beginning of a report on our visit to Rye in Sussex, the little town made famous as "Tilling" by EF Benson.
More skating; the end of the report on our visit to Rye, with several English teas all in the same afternoon! A curiously truncated report of my visit to the Turner Bequest at the Tate Gallery.
December 24
— Diary not online —
Several days catching up: a much more complete report on the Turner Bequest; then on the Turners at the National Gallery, including the one next to the Lorrain (as per Turner's will), and other paintings there. Another good English meal. Messiah at St. Martin's-in‑the-Fields. A thorough visit of St. Paul's, including a climb up the dome. Christmas Eve carol service at Westminster Abbey. Christmas dinner at the Cumberland Hotel. The Queen's speech.
December 26
— Diary not kept —
Walking around London, buying books, mostly. A performance of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap". A thorough visit of Westminster Abbey. A brief visit of the British Museum.
December 28‑29
— Diary not kept —
Very summary entry recording several theater and ballet performances, a standing lunch of ale with an Internet acquaintance, the father of a young ice skatrix; and a visit to the Tower of London.
December 31
— Diary not kept —
Yesterday: concert at St. Martin's-in‑the-Fields. This section of my diary then ends abruptly with a brief description of New Year's Day, midnight in Trafalgar Square. (We fly back a few hours later.)


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Page updated: 1 Jan 04