It has been over eight months since I visited England so last week that’s where I went. Mr BOTR stayed here in Gibraltar as he had work and other stuff going on, also he visited earlier in the year, so this time it was my turn.
I had stuff planned for each and everyday. I tell you when you live abroad a trip home is not a holiday. Sure it is heaps of fun, but if it hadn’t been for a mighty thunderstorm on Sunday I genuinely wouldn’t have had a day where I sat down.
Things I miss most about being away? The obvious really, family and friends. And the not so obvious being London. But only London for fun, not nights out, that I do not miss one teeny tiny bit. (Two diet cokes, one lemonade and a water? £11.90. Please? Seriously? How?)
I had an amazing overnight trip with my sister and nieces in London. I flew in on Wednesday and the very next day we met on the train at around 10am. My nieces had no idea I was going to be there. I wrapped a scarf around my head and put on my sunglasses as a disguise and then went to badger the youngest one about taking the seat next to her. “It’s not free!” she muttered at the weirdo who was dressed like someone from a circus. I whipped off my disguise and she still wouldn’t budge! Hahaha. We were staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Westminster. So our location was great for sight-seeing. The idea of the Tube filled me with the kind of nausea I haven’t felt in ages, so we got a cab to the hotel. ‘A real life London black cab’ as my nieces called it. Not a home counties taxi! So our activities were as follows. Visit the V&A Museum, (the Wedding Dress exhibition) and then the Natural History Museum. And oddly the shop at the Science Museum as my youngest niece wanted some squidgy ball thing, which sadly they have discontinued.
After all of that we walked back to our hotel. Got changed and headed to Leicester Square for a night on the tiles. Not. We went to the cinema. I had forgotten what a rabbit warren the Odeon is. But we saw Maleficent in 3D which was spectacular. After that we got some more food. (Pizza, fruit and sushi, this is why I miss London, someone needs to open a single slice pizza joint in town here please!) Our walk home this time took us past the incredible light installation in Victoria Tower Gardens that commemorates the start of WW1. It really is the most beautiful thing to behold. The crowds were packed around it and we all just stood together in a peaceful silence while pretty much everybody took pictures. We also had a brilliant view of it from our hotel room.
Other than sauntering around London I visited friends who I haven’t seen in ages. And met three new babies. Two being twin sisters! The only day we had immense amounts of rain was Sunday 10th. Friday night there were showers, which made me gesticulate wildly at the sky and say many, many bad and angry words. I mean seriously it is August for goodness sake, but as many of my friends pointed out, they have had the most fabulous weather for weeks, it just decided to ‘shower’ on my visit. Grrr.
Sunday though that brought out an amazing cloud display. Apparently it was the end of some hurricane or other… I don’t know if my family were pulling my leg or not on that front but the clouds zoomed around overhead and it truly looked like that scene from Independence Day when the aliens arrive. And it was all concluded with a fabulous rainbow.
Thankfully by the time I was due to board my flight on Tuesday the sky was clear and blue and we had a speedy flight home to Gibraltar. Going away is always fun, but coming home is even better!