Unknown to us, we arrived in London on
the Sunday of a long weekend. We had hoped to
find a self contained flat, but the management companies that look after
them were all closed
for the holidays. We spent our first night with Sarah's cousin Joss
(& Bill) in North London. Our kids got to meet their English
cousins, Lando and Oli. Mark was two and Heather a newborn when we saw
We found a nice bed and breakfast ("Charlie's" on Ansen Rd)
around the corner from Joss and Bill and stayed there for the next week.
Surprisingly, one of my first feelings
of London was how quiet it was. Yes, it had all the typical city noises of
cars and motorbikes, but indoors it was so quiet that it almost hurt.
After a while, I realized that this was the first time since Australia
where we have not had a fan or air conditioner running in our room. This
lack of background white noise was eerie.
We were quite the tourists in London: we saw
a matinée performance of the Phantom of the Opera, the Tower of
London, changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Hampton
Court Palace, the new London Eye, the Tate Modern Gallery, Big Ben, the
parliament buildings, and all the
usual spots that tourists go. We also had some downtime while playing
soccer and reading in the local library. Many things have changed since Sarah and I
were last here: cream, smarties and pastilles all do not seem to be as
good as we remembered them (but maybe that is just our memories!). They have also changed ambulance and police
sirens to match North American sirens, and we have yet to see a policeman
wearing a London Bobbie hat.
After our week, we were off to
France to see Sarah's parents. Off to Bergerac