Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Here we are in  LONDON!
We were all so tired from our flight from Beijing to London, that we just booked a room at the Hilton at Gatwick Airport even though it was only early morning.   Here we  flopped and re-organised ourselves for the coming days...
Booked 2 bed apartment next to Tower Bridge on the Thames for next two nights. Felt like a day of trains trying to get to it!  We caught the tube, lugging suitcases into London, then more trains linking here and there so we could get to our accommodation
 Dropped off luggage and caught more trains to meet family at Covent Gardens.  We had lots of laughs and a great English dinner!
It poured with rain and thundered so loud outside as we said goodbyes.   Then we looked around at the market, the girls recognised 'My Fair Lady' buildings in the  square

And the busking was amazing!!
Then back on trains/tube again to get to some very elderly relatives, Jack and Sheila.  Here’s a photo of them in their younger days…  I’m sure they wouldn’t like a pic of them now so frail, so lets look at this one!
 I stayed with them 21yrs ago when I was in London for ballet, and they ran me around everywhere I needed to go.   They were wonderful and after so much time has passed,  I remembered where to go to find their house from the train station.  Jack cried when he saw us, he had had aged so much, shuffling along with his frame.   Sheila is much better only uses a walking stick.  How they get up and down those stairs in their 'two up and two down' is beyond me.   They manage. Lots of chatting and reminiscing, Paige helped Jack get the cups of tea, he told her 'it was like having Mandy here all over again helping me'!   He's still pretty sharp mostly with his memory, just lapses every now and then, but pretty good.  Sheila had us in fits of laughter - ever the comic.    We had a Chinese meal together before saying our goodbyes.
Next morning we got out and about London….  and headed down to Leicester Square…

 Hannah in front of the fountain, and in the background – the National Art Gallery – we went inside and it was massive – and very impressive!  We could have spent ages in there and got lost amongst the paintings, room after room and architecture!
Then as luck would have it, we stumbled upon the ‘Changing of the Guards’
 Big Ben and Double Decker Bus (just happened to be going past Big Ben at the time!)

 and the impressive Westminster Abbey

Downing Street
 Paige wanted to do the 'Monopoly' thing so went to Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square,
White Hall, Regent Street; Piccadilly, Leister Square etc - a bit of fun but walked our
legs off! 
Buckingham Palace

ST James Park (in front of the Palace)

Then dh, Hannah and Paige set off to Watford to met Meaghan for their Hogwarts tour.  Aparently my family fit into the 'Slithering' team... and came back
with wands, maps, Hannah a slithering jacket, mugs, chocolate and god knows what else
we have to fit into our luggage!  They said it was fantastic (I couldn't think of
anything worse...but that is of no consequence because they think me mad).
Next post soon – will all be about Hogwarts!!  (need Paige andh Hannah’s help with this – would hate to get anything wrong!! LOL)


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

How fun!!!! LOVING all the photos!!

Deb said...

Lovin' all the pics, Mandy. tfs.

Lizzy Hill said...

Sorry, Mandy - have to agree with the girls YOU'RE the crazy one not wanting to do the Hogworts!!! What a wonderful thing to see the couple who looked out for you all those years ago...& that photo is LOVELY!! The sites bring back fond, fond memories...we really enjoyed the national art gallery & the tate modern, tate other one......heaps of them! Hope the weather keeps you smiling...loving is it Paige, 'leaping around the world'...that'd make a great page:):):)

Dolly B said...

Lucky girl, I LOVED London, only there for 3 days when I went SOOOOO much to see. And what a great photo of your elderly relatives when they were young ( make a great scrapbooking page)Have fun

Lizzyc said...

Oh these photos are wonderful.. My DD stayed in the UK for 6 months so I loved seeing these photos as she has many the same!

Jenneke said...

LOVE to see your photos, Mandy!! The one with the girls next to the guard is so funny :-))

Enjoy the rest of your trip!!
And see you next time in Holland ;-)!!

Hugs, Jenneke