Ah, London. Back many years ago I lived in New Zealand. I left New Zealand and moved to London so that I could have the excitement and fun and job opportunities that living in a big city provides. Now I am a housewife in rural Herefordshire. If all the population of Herefordshire got together in one city, it would be only slightly larger than Dunedin in term time. What on earth happened there? My priorities changed at some point! I am quite happy with where I live, but I still occasionally yearn for the buzz of a big city. I miss shopping. I miss theatres and museums. I miss decent public transport. As a cure for this I planned a trip to London.
My parents live close enough to London to make day trips immensely practical from their house, so off we went, me and the kids, for a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa. Poor old Mr PC got to stay at home and work while we gallivanted off, but as he has never liked cities it wasn’t too much of a hardship.
Aren’t trains wonderful? Apart from the cost, of course, which only came to less than the petrol cost would have been once a family and friends railcard had been purchased. Mr 3 had his first ever rail journey. We got on the train and made our way to our seats. He had obviously been looking at what others on the train were doing because as soon as we sat down he asked, ‘Where’s my laptop?’ Unfortunately they don’t come as standard (although take three journeys and you could buy one for the same cost!). One thing I noticed about the trains was how clean they were. I remember most trains from my childhood being just a bit grotty, but they all seemed much better cared for now. And there are power sockets! (Can you tell I don’t get out much?)
Eventually we reached London and made our way across to Kings Cross. To Miss 9, this was notable because ‘It’s in Monopoly!’ One thing quite important to know at this point if you used to know the Underground quite well, but haven’t been on it in a decade, is that the circle line is no longer a circle. I must get a new London map – mine not only still has the circle line as a loop, but shows the Globe Theatre as under construction, and Bankside Power Station (disused) where the Tate Modern is.
We got to Grandma and Grandpa’s in the late afternoon, and I was quite glad to put the backpack down. My girls haven’t quite got the hang of packing light when you have to carry everything, rather than loading it into the boot of a car!
Come back tomorrow for the next thrilling installment. There’ll be blood and guts, danger and excitement … guess where we went!