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Published: December 3rd 2007
Coming back to London
is like putting on my favourite pair of old jeans - no matter how long it's been or what ungodly hour I arrive at - it's so nice, easy and comfortable! The 20hr flight over from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport was quite good considering all the things that could have gone wrong... we nearly
had a flight delay of five hours in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport but we got upgraded to an earlier flight; we nearly
got bad seats but smiled our way into great seats; our luggage nearly
didn’t arrive with us at Heathrow Airport as a result of a change in airports...but it all ended well eventually.
This London visit was more about seeing family than about London itself, so we only had a day or so to do 'London city' things. As much as my English family and friends moan and groan about the London Underground system, I absolutely love the tube! I know it has it’s idiosyncrasies in summer, and I also know it can be better/cleaner/needs to be upgraded; but you gain an appreciation of this kind of mass public transport very quickly if you ever lived and worked in a
place that had none! We spent a wonderful afternoon flitting about on the tube and then walking around Soho and Covent Garden...ahhhh I love this part of London. We had a little time left over for shopping too. 😊
We had a fantastic first night in London with Andrew's cousin Wayne, and we were pampered with lovely food and wine. The rest of our few days in London were spent with my sister Romy and her family - it was wonderful to see them after four years. We spent most of our time sitting around eating, drinking and gossiping, then eating some more. But we did have a few bursts of activity when we took our niece Kirsten and nephew Jared to Trocadero (an amusement arcade in Central London) - as expected, Andrew and I regressed a bit and had a manic time in bumper cars. There was also an aunt/uncle vs. niece/nephew backyard soccer match with the kids - with Andrew executing a brilliant backwards-somersault-flying-kick move that kept us giggling for hours.
On a food note, London has progressed quite a bit in the groovy restaurant stakes since I was last here but I still struggle with
the fact that there is no apparent middle tier of restaurants. The two choices are cheap oily take away that is usually crap (apart from the awesome kebabs in Camden!) or fabulous white table clothed cuisine that makes your credit card shrink with fear. My friends swear that the middle of the road/everyday restaurants do exist, but only in suburban back streets and down little lanes that even the locals barely know of...maybe we should spend more time here and ferret out these coy cafes and restaurants...? 😊
On a musical note, we saw one of Andrew's favourite bands - Porcupine Tree
at the Forum Theatre. I hadn’t seen a band for a very long time and this performance was especially entertaining and brilliant. Check them out and download a few samples if you can as they really do make superb music. On a crowd/alcohol control note, concerts in London seem to be much more sedate affairs than seeing a band in Australia!
Our time in London was so relaxing that time just flew by, but not so quickly that we did not notice how very very COLD London is. How do people live here in winter? No seriously, HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE HERE IN WINTER???
Off to Seville, Spain next... Not looking forward to the Ryan Air flight but really looking forward to a great coffee the next morning. Highlights:
Family and Food; Food and Family. Lowlights:
Ren and Andrew catching a cold/flu bug thing just before we left London.
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