Today I have been at home alone, as my wife Rachel has been on an excursion down to the Big Smoke. Along with her older sister Sue, niece Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend Danny, they visited the Sky Garden in Fenchurch St and the King’s Cross Pond. These urban oases were welcome relief from the bustle of the capital on a hot day. The Sky Garden, on the top three storeys of London’s famous Walkie Talkie building, has a jungle of lush vegetation and a restaurant inside a glass greenhouse. The King’s Cross Pond is the UK’s first ever man-made fresh water bathing pond. It is only small but lined with reeds and lilypads, overlooked by offices and in the centre of a working construction site. A tranquil place to refresh oneself in the midst of a hot summer’s day in the City. Then it was time for coffee and cake, and a short hop back on the train to Preston. Overall a grand day out.

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