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Published: August 6th 2009
I’ve been with my family here in London for a week now and haven’t really had time until today to post a blog entry. We’ve been busy: exploring London and catching up on news from my three-week absence.
We are very comfortable in this wonderful four-bedroom house in North London. We’re near a tube stop and on several bus routes, near several nice parks, and we have all the shopping, etc. that we need just a short walk away. The house is Victorian, we think. Only about one room wide, maybe 20 feet tops, but it feels very spacious. Very high ceilings, with great molding and chandelier light fixtures. Two rooms on each level, with five levels. Lots of very tall cabinets and bookshelves. A cozy little walled back yard with lots of shrubs and two black and white cats. The back yard and the neighborhood in general reminds us of the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes.
Our first week was a bit of ticking major sight-seeing off the list. Here’s what we’ve seen so far:
• Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace
• Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery
• St. Paul’s Cathedral
• Tower of
• Tate Modern
• Natural History Museum (mobbed with children and families as the school holidays have really just
• Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park
• Oxford Street shopping, Covent Garden Market (lots of street performers), Portobello Market,
We’ve walked past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. We’ve explored a bit of Hampstead Heath and Hyde Park. We saw Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, and Clark and I saw “Waiting for Godot” with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stuart at the Theatre Royale Haymarket.
It’s a bit tricky negotiating plans with all five of us and our age range, but I think we’ve done well. We’ve learned that the boys quickly get their fill of walking around parks and neighborhoods to soak up the ambience, but they have amazing tolerance and appreciation for art museums. They want to go back to the Tate Modern Art Museum.
We have been using public transportation, and find the Tube and bus system very efficient. Rhys absolutely loves the Tube. He usually studies the map and decides what our best route is, and
he very quickly understood the logic of the entire system. I think he will have the whole system memorized very soon.
Grocery shopping takes a while because everything is so unfamiliar, but fascinating. The boys are loving the Indian food (ready meals from the grocery store are popular), chocolate digestive biscuits (cookies, really), crumpets and Fanta. They’ve also been trying out lots of British candy bars. I’m enjoying reading the local newspapers and buying fruit and vegetables from open air vendors. We had fish and chips one night from a local take-away. Once was probably enough.
We'll try to write more soon. Enjoy the photos!
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