London is so familiar to both of us, Malene and I having spent a good few years living and working here, pretty much in the centre. But visiting is different from the daily drudge of getting up for work, it could be dark, it could be warm, it could be cold – depends on if the central heating is on, you have breakfast, then get the paper and the train for work. No not us, not this time. Sandra, Malene’s friend who we met up with in NY and who lives in London, kindly put us up for the few days we were there at her top floor apartment in Maida Vale and we got up at 10am most days. But we had stuff to do and as with TV game shows where people race about our tasks for London were not too different.
Malene and I would split up, she would take on her friends and I would take on mine. We made back to back appointments and catch up with as many old friends as possible in the short space of time we are here, then re-grouped for our flight to Cyprus. Malene says this is a bit of an exaggeration, I call it an embellishment, but which ever-way you look at it, it’s more or less how it was, busy!
This isn’t much of a photo blog, to be honest we never intended to do a story on our visit here just so we could have a break and enjoy out time with friends but then we thought again, unfortunately having not taken our camera around this is the best we can do photo-wise.
Back to the story – we had dinner with Sandra, I caught up with Roy and Polly, Roy I’ve known for 42 years when we started as gem stone apprentices together, caught up with Debal, known him for more that 20 years from when I use to pay monthly visits to DeBeers from Australia, had lunch with Ken whom I haven’t seen or spoken to for 30 years, so like old folks we complimented each other on how good we looked and how well we withstood the test of time, and later on had a few jugs of Pimm’s with nephews Sandro and Meli, Eratella (Sandro’s much nicer half ;)) and nieces Corina and Nikianna in a Liverpool Street pub, the remaining time we slept trying to get over our NY jetlag. Get the picture?
Malene joined Sandra and me for dinner, she met Patricia the next day and had a great meal at Exmouth Market, had dim-sum for lunch with George, had a great lunch at Roy and Polly’s and met up with Kath for dinner before joined me and the nephew / niece gang for a few Pimm’s later that evening in Liverpool street.
Oh and we made time for a bit of shopping though we had to shed our suaeros “hoodies” we got in Guatemala due to the lack of space in our packs and hopefully not needing cold weather gear for a while.
Not much has changed in London, it has obviously evolved and newer stuff has replaced the old but apart from the time-shift it’s really very much unchanged. The British pound seems to have gone the way of the Turkish Lira, now… that is an exaggeration, but a pint of beer is not 50 pence any more but more like five pounds and the same for a sandwich.
It was great being back in London. We could easily have stayed longer – but Cyprus is calling! A big thanks to our friends for making us feeling at home here again.