My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 37: Covent Garden

Image via © TfL, from London Transport Museum Collection

Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. Here are the previous days. We're following the Piccadilly Line path. This is Day 37.

"All I want is a room somewhere

Far away from the cold night air.

With one enormous chair,

Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?"

Most of you probably recognize the lyrics to Wouldn't it be loverly? from My Fair Lady. Can you hear Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle the Covent Garden flower girl singing her heart out. The location? The Royal Opera House aka Covent Garden. 

Once upon a time the area also housed a fruit and veg market—as seen in My Fair Lady as well as Hitchcock's Frenzy—but the area became so congested, the market was relocated in 1980, leaving the central building as a shopping center filled with cafes, pubs and trendy boutiques. 

Image via The Royal Opera Hous

The Royal Opera House still stands and while opera is often on tap, the venue hosts a variety of performances. At the time of writing the Pet Shop Boys are wrapping up a four performance residency introducing their newest album. The Royal Opera House is also home to the Royal Ballet and this summer, the Bolshoi Ballet is in residency for three weeks with performances of Swan Lake, Taming of the Shrew, Don Quixote and more. If you're actually visiting London this summer, not just drooling from afar, check out the website below for details. 

All images of Rules via Rules Restaurant

Covent Garden boasts a ton of restaurants and pubs—60 pubs actually—the oldest eatery is Rules Restaurant, featured in the James Bond movie Spectre. Rules was established in 1796, making it the oldest restaurant in London so I'll have to stop by while I'm in the hood for a little something to eat and drink. For starters I'll have a Kate Middleton. What is it? Kate Middleton’s “Royal 29” is a mix of No. 3 Gin, Finlandia Vodka, Lillet & Crystallised Violet Petals. Yes. Violet Petals. Very elegant. 

I'll follow that with a much more basic Steak and Kidney pie for lunch. 

I'll need the nourishment if I want to hit up the London Transport Museum.  And of course I do! The museum is filled with historical artifacts of the early tube as well as London's iconic red 'battle buses'.

image via © TfL, from London Transport Museum Collection

The London Transport Museum also has a fantastic collection of goods in their shop, many of which are available online. The vintage style poster at the top of this post, for example, designed by Alfred Leete in 1927 is for sale for just £15.95. Which you can buy from your homebase, wherever your homebase is.

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7LB
+44 (0)20 7836 5314

Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7379 6344

Royal Opera House

Bow St, London WC2E 9DD

Counting the Fitbit steps

Day 1-36:                                                                              
 259,190 steps/115.75 miles      

Day 37:  Convent Garden                                                   10,000 steps /4.25 miles    

Total Imaginary Miles to Date                                         269,190 steps/120 miles 

Days 1 —36

Every Friday I link up with Joy Weese Moll for 

British Isles Fridays


Last week I took a break from my weekly trek to tell you about the screening for Absolutely Fabulous: the movie. I wrote about the movie at 

5 Things I Loved about the #AbFabMovie

So happy, sweetie-darlings, to have been asked to share my thoughts on Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. My sister, another fan of the AbFab television show, came along to the screening Monday night at the ArcLight Theater, home of the world-famous Cinerama Dome. Even though it's not a movie based on a book, I was planning on seeing the movie anyway. Throw in free tix, champagne and a stipend and I'm there! I'm sure Patsy & Edina would approve. As always, all opinions are my own. Read the rest via the link below.


  1. Let me grab my passport, your posts always make me want to travel. The opera house is stunning. Love it all.

  2. The London Transport Museum is high on my list for my next trip. I may have mentioned this before, but I loved a London Walks tour that I took called Lure of the Underground:


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