Following the Ladies

On my list of various things to do – attending the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally-Pally (Alexandra Place) was rather high on the list. It started today, 6 Oct and runs through Sunday. THe company that pulls this off also runs them in Dublin and Harrogate. (If you are US – think Stitches, or better yet, Maryland Sheep and Wool held inside a large Victorian exhibition hall complete with trim and stained glass windows accompanied vendors for sewing, quilting, embroidery, beading, cross-stitching, a few textile charity importers, reps from all the major sewing&embroider machine lines and … the inevitable man demonstrating a magic mopping system. Yes the floor equivalent of the Ronco Slicer-Dicer. You get the idea.

Starting from Guildford, catching the train to Waterloo was a pleasure as compared to Camberley. There is a direct train that takes under 40 minutes for the farther distance rather than the bumble train that stopped at every station that I used to take. Leaving at 0854 mean that while I was still in high cost, the number of passengers had dropped significantly, I actually had a two person seat to myself, I could hike through the underground to the Northern Line without getting knocked over and find a seat on the north bound train. From Leicester Square (pronounced lester for all of confused non-brits) a change to the Piccadilly line east provided a long, calm opportunity to relax all the way to Wood Green.

Exiting the train, I happen to fall in behind a group of three women about my age. Not asking, this is a presumption given their grey, short hair, unlined faces and the presence of empty carry bags.

Ah! I thought – fellow stitches in search of treasure. I followed them out the door, across the street (waiting for the pedestrian light of course). Boarding the W3, we rumbled along passing blocks of what I would call townhouses sharing walls and tucked up together like a row of dowager women gossiping. At the Alexandra Station stop, they exited the bus. Shrugging, I did the same. Ahead of us was another line of women, about fifty all told queued up to board a bus which was signed “Alexandra Palace” alternating with “private charter.” The lower interior was packed tighter than clowns in a car leading me to eel through the standing passengers and pop up the stairs to find more than 50% of the seats empty on the upper deck. Not being the only one imbued with common sense, about 15 women followed me.

leaving the train stop, the bus rounded the curve while crossing the tracks and trundling up the hill to Alexandra Palace where I stood in line to buy a concession ticket (anything with a concession/discount per UK speak) since I am past the magic age of 61. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping, fondling yarn and otherwise engaged in fibber bliss.

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