It was Wednesday 3rd February 2016 and I was waiting at Stanford Le Hope train station, awaiting my train to London Fenchurch Street. It’s a journey I do every day of the week to get me to work, but this day was going to be a little different.
I was meeting the lovely Sally Holtham and what we had planned for the day was something a little new to both of us. We were going on our very own mystery adventure.
Until I had actually met up with Sally, where we were both going was a complete mystery. We had both agreed to get a bus from Kings Cross and let it take us somewhere, we had never been before and spend the day in that area. All in the name of fun and inspiration.
With regards to the inspiration, I had a bright idea.Sally would not know this bit, until she had arrived for the day, but no matter what, I knew that she would live it, just the same.
I had bought us both:
- A disposable camera with 27 shots (we could also take extra photos with our phones, if needed)
- An A5 black ring bound with black pages
- Some scrap-booking papers / embellishments / stamp set.
We could both add to it what we pleased, but we were going to record our day out with our first scrapbook of inspiration and our first attempt at another new craft for both of us.
Ar 10.42am, I was standing outside WH Smiths, just opposite Platform 93/4 at Kings Cross. I knew this was the time that Sally would be arriving. We both greeted each other in the usual way with hugs and kisses (we hadn’t seen each other since 3rd December), and the air filled with excitement for what the day ahead held for us.
Before we made our way to the nearest bus-stop, I presented Sally with her little bag of goodies. To say she was over the moon, was an understatement. This was it, the beginning of our first mystery adventure.
We made out way to the nearest bus-stop and both quickly decided that we had never been to ‘Elephant & Castle’. Admittedly, I had gone through it before, but never actually explored around the area.
So, bus 45 was coming towards us and on we jumped. We went upstairs and sat right at the front (like excited schools girls); we wanted to watch our adventure unfold right in front of us and see things that we had not seen before.
No matter the weather, we were going to have fun!
Our stop had arrived. We got at Elephant & Castle and we were directly in front of a shopping centre. Our first port pf call = Coffee.
We went into the coffee shop ‘La Bodeguita’, I had a latte and a chocolate muffin and Sally had an Americano again with a chocolate muffin. It was most definitely needed. Whilst sitting there enjoying our sustenance, I pulled up on my phone, things to do around Elephant & Castle. Up popped ‘10 cool things to do in Elephant & Castle‘.
No. 5 on the list was La Bodeguita. We already had something to tick off the checklist. We then spotted ‘The Cinema Museum’ at No. 7 and ‘The East Street Market’ at N0.8. These two looked extremely promising, I mean who doesn’t love a bit of the movies mixed with a bit of shopping. It was a winning combination for both of us.
After finishing our coffees, we had a wander around the shopping centre and then made our way to the East Street Market.
It wasn’t very big, but it was popular and was full of characters. Stopping at a clothes stall (as you do), the bubbly stall holder made us feel comfortable as she chatted away to us. I bought a red and black striped jumper. It fits perfectly, even if it does make me look like a mixture of Dennis the Menace, Freddy Kruger and Minnie the Minx. I paid for my purchase and Sally paid for hers. We were both happy and the cheery stall holder wished us both a good day. Now it had already been a busy morning and it was time for lunch. We didn’t need any slap up meal, we both agreed on KFC. A firm favourite between the both of us.
Fed and watered, our next part of the adventure was to hunt down the Cinema Museum. It wasn’t noticeable from the main roads. Tucked in the corner of a housing estate, we found the old building. Ringing the bell, I explained to the voice on the intercom, we had only just got to Elephant & Castle and found the museum. We were told we usually had to book in advance for a guided tour, but he would let us have a quick look around. There was a workshop going on upstairs so we had to be quiet when we went up there.
We were let in and free to roam the small, but very cluttered cinema museum; it was a complete treasure trove. I was completely in awe of it. Some of the exhibits were simply breath-taking. It is a place I would definitely go back to and have the guided tour.
Our mystery adventure was almost over, but it wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the British Library, our inspirational writing run to, where we went on our writing retreat in ay 2015. A quick wander around the gift shop is an absolute must, regardless of whether anything was brought, but we both knew there was one more place to visit before Sally got back on her train to Darlington and I got on mine to Stanford Le Hope. Paperchase! Naturally we both bought something that we could use in the scrapbook of our mystery adventure.
I said goodbye to Sally at Kings Cross, until next time. I did mention about maybe doing the Monopoly Board Adventure, but that is something we will see.
Our next one will be lunch at the Dolls House on the Hill for Sally’s birthday.