I keep getting emails from you all saying you are having blog withdrawals but you have no idea the pressure I am under to have a great holiday and blog!!!
Having said that I am now on a train heading to Taunton in Somerset so have heaps of time to fill you all in on what has been happening.
When I last signed off I think I was about to head out to choir practice.
What a great night. Laura sings in an Accapella choir and they are fantastic. Very professional and there is something about a choir with pure voices and no music. Just loved it and would you believe there were 2 other Australians there to watch their cousin so we all sat up the back and pretended we were Britain’s got talent and gave them points. They all won the competition.
The next day, Tuesday, Laura and I went to London and what a day it was.
First of all Laura decided to drive to Amersham and do the park and ride thing as Amersham was within the limits of London so could use my Oyster card.
It was a grey day but it wasn’t raining and incredibly mild. I had 5 layers on and Laura had her puffer jacket on.
Got to Amersham and they were doing building works on the car park so after driving all the way to the top, doing my ‘Hail Mary full of grace find me a parking space’ then driving around the neighbourhood trying to find a car park we eventually gave up and went back to Chesham and found a park in their park and ride and got on the train and we were off.
We were in stitches laughing by this stage as Mike had said he was driving to London but wasn’t going until 11.30ish. Well by the time we got on the train we could have gone with him but I got to see a lot more of the countryside.
We had made a plan for when we got to London that we would go to the French consulate in the hope that they could help with the french website to retrieve my parcel that was somewhere in France.
Did the tube which was sooooo hot and stuffy that we were peeling our clothes off and arrived in South Kensington where the consulate was carrying most of our clothes.
I was the perfect tourist. First building we came to across the road from the consulate was the National history museum and they had obviously done it up as the building outside was all clean and fabulous. As I have said before I just love the history and the amazing old buildings.
As we arrived at the consulate the door opened and a very large black man was standing there. I spoke with him and explained that my parcel that I had posted in France to Spain had been returned to France and needed someone to speak the language to help me get it back. He was very lovely and explained that they were pretty busy with visa applications and other things but if I went around the corner to the Institute Francois they could probably help me.
Off we went me playing the tourist and taking photos at every opportunity and Laura and I laughing and having a fun time as well.
Got around the corner and right across the road was the College of Psychic Studies with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle being the President. Just have to digress here to say that we did get off and change trains at Baker St, for all you Sherlock fans.
Went into the Institute and again explained my situation about my lost parcel and the lady very kindly suggested I go up to the library on the 1st floor and someone would be able to help me.
All I can say is with all our fiddling around to get to London by the time we got there it was lunchtime so very quiet.
Spoke to a lovely man called Nicholas who was incredibly helpful. Looked up the website, rang them and when there was no answer he set us up on a computer on the website, translated the french and I sent a request for them to send it to Laura’s address in the UK.
Nicholas was so wonderful and helpful and of course we have no idea if it will turn up but I went and bought him a bottle of NZ wine and he was amazed that I had done that for him. But as I said I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without his help as I don’t have the language.
So the business for the day was over and it was now time to play.
We made our way back to south Kensington station still carrying all our jackets as it was incredibly mild. Of we were laughing and I was taking photos all the time.
Got on the very hot stuffy tube and went to St Paul’s. It was lovely as there weren’t many tourists and it was so peaceful in there. Got some headphones for the history and we just wandered. It was very beautiful and we were hoping to get right up to the top of the spire but it was having maintenance done so couldn’t get there. Went up the the whispering gallery instead and it was fabulous. I took a couple of photos and was promptly chased and told I wasn’t allowed to take photos. They didn’t ask me to delete them or anything so got some great shots. Of course St. Paul’s was bombed during the war and it was also where Chuck and Di got married. We went down to the crypt where Christopher Wren, lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington were buried but then so was Florence nightingale, William Blake and so many other famous/ well known people. Oh the history.
We went back up to the cathedral floor and just sat and it was so beautiful.
Had no plan of where we were going so just decided to walk. Right outside St. Paul’s is Fleet St but as Laura told me no newspapers are there anymore. Walked past the courts of justice and came to St Martin on the Field and there in front of us was Australia House.
There is so much building going on and cranes and traffic jams. It was just like home. We then took a left and came down onto the embankment and there was cleopatra’s needle right across from the royal festival hall. The London Eye, Westminster and Scotland Yard. Big Ben was having work done so that was covered in scaffold. I just played the wide eyed tourist taking photos at the drop of a hat as there was just famous building upon famous building beside one another.
By this time it was about 6ish so decided to call it a day and what a great day it was. We turned into embankment tube station and started our way back home on the lovely hot tubes and of course it was peak hour by this time.
We eventually got to the station to get the train home to discover that the train to chesham were few and far between so we got a fast train to Amersham and got a cab to our car.
It was an hilarious and fun day up in the big smoke but we were tired and dehydrated by the time we got home so shoes off and a glass of wine and it was instant refresh.
It will be very interesting to see if I get my parcel back but as I have said after my Camino adventure they are only material possessions that can be replaced.
Toodleooo for now