I’ve been to London to visit the queen….but I’m sorry to report that she wasn’t at home!! It’s amazing, but we’ve been back from London for a whole week…& at last I find a moment to sit down to share our adventures with you!
I must explain that although I HAVE been blog hopping since we’ve been back, I have been using my new toy! My lovely new laptop PC, which was a birthday present from Lee! The only snag so far is that I have yet to install a photo editing programme, so I’ve had to wait until now, when I can escape to my scrap-space & post using my fully established desktop PC!!
As an aside, he also included with my laptop, a Cath Kidston soft sleeve in the red spot design, which I was just as thrilled with as the laptop itself!! The boys added to my present with a new external hard-drive, which has a one whole ‘terrabite’ of storage…apparently room for about a gazillion photo’s!! That’ll do me just fine!!!
So…before I go any further, I would like to say HUGE Thank You to everyone who took the time to leave such kind words & birthday wishes! Although I feel I have been totally spoiled with wonderful gifts from family & friends, I was totally unprepared for the number of emails, facebook messages & forum messages on the various websites I frequent, not to mention the actual cards that came through the letterbox! I am blessed indeed! Thank You everyone!
Now, back to the actual trip!
Firstly the flat…we were lucky enough to have the use of a friend of Lee’s London flat. They were at Coventry Poly together & unlike Lee, his friend went on to become a Multi Millionaire!!!! The flat is where he lives while he’s in town on business & as he wasn’t there last week, he very kindly offered it to us. It is very conveniently situated in a very salubrious part of town, just off Sloane Street, & occupies the second floor of a beautiful Regency Mews House. I’m sure you’ll understand why I don’t feel it’s right that I give you a complete photographic ‘guided tour’ but here are some highlights!
They also loved that there was a full size pool table in the open-plan living room & spent every moment that we were ‘in’ honing their cue skills!
I was particularly impressed with the en-suite bathrooms…Jacuzzi baths, built in TV screens & these illuminated shower screens…the light filaments are actually sandwiched within the glass of the screens! The showerheads were huge & adjustable from light rainfall to full power!!
Our first day was a damp one, so we headed off for a bit of retail therapy! First stop Covent Garden & Shelton Street…A skateboard shop for Nathan & for me…Cath Kidston! I had had the new magazine through & wanted to get the new ‘Day’ bag (which is the ‘bucket’ bag revamped) in the khaki spot design!
After lunch & a bit of time watching the street performers (which totally freak Alex out BTW, so hence no photo’s of them to share!) it was off to Harrods & the toy department for Alex’s birthday presents..he has a passion for Lego & the X-Box game ‘Halo’ & Harrods stock the whole range of Lego Halo vehicles, so he picked out two, which took him an age but he enjoyed every moment!
We stopped by the Food Halls on our way out, to pick up some Lola Cupcakes, in lieu of birthday cakes, for the next day! Alex & Nathan chose Oreo, Lee chose peanut butter & I went for Red Velvet.
I would like to say that they were as delicious as they look, but they were disappointingly dry!
Our actual birthday dawned dry & sunny…Yay! After a lovely breakfast of fresh croissants & pain au chocolat, we opened the cards that had arrived prior to our leaving home. Then we set off to the South Bank & wandered a bit…until Alex became a bit agitated with the crowds & we found a quiet spot to enjoy an ice cream! Then it was time for the Duck Tour!
I have been wanting to take the boys on this tour for years! It’s a sightseeing tour in a yellow amphibian ‘bus’…after half an hour driving around it takes you down a slipway & into the Thames for another half hour on the water!! I could not wait to see the boys faces as we went into the river!
Alex absorbed all the information the guide gave out about how these vehicles were developed to take part in the Normandy Landings & explained that the sides were low so that the rescued soldiers could climb in easily!
I love this colourful square, hidden away, & in the sunshine it is especially enjoyable! We had some lunch here & just soaked up the sunshine & the ambiance until the boys boredom threshold was breached!!
Back in the day, when I worked at Harrods, I used to attend Aerobics classes at Pineapple. Nowadays, I love the TV show & would have loved to have met Louis Spence, but sadly he wasn’t in!! Nathan stopped to watch the dancers for a bit & then it was on to the ‘The Forbidden Planet’ on Shaftsbury Avenue…Mecca for any Sci-Fi buffs, which Lee & Alex are!! Another Halo vehicle was added to Alex’s collection before we headed off to Piccadilly Circus & the Trocadero! Here I left my menfolk to amuse themselves on the gaming floor, while I headed off to Regent Street for a bit of window shopping!
…yes! This is Lee, sitting at the bar!
We ate our meal, overlooked by this chap, who sporadically burst into life, swinging his arms & screeching…it made me jump every time!
Then it was back to the flat for coffee & cupcakes (yes those dry ones!!) & to watch a little TV on the biggest wall mounted screen I have seen outside of a cinema!! All in all a very enjoyable birthday!
Our final day was another dull & damp one! So pac-a-macs & brollies at the ready, we set off along Brompton Road to the Science Museum, only to discover that the best bit, the interactive experiments floor, was closed for refurbishment! So we ‘did’ the other three floors & then stopped for tea & sticky buns before popping next door to the Natural History Museum.
This was actually a fleeting visit as the queues were enormous, especially for the Dinosaur room & Alex was finding it difficult to cope, so we made our way to trusty ol’ McDonalds for lunch (!!!) & then returned Alex to the flat & the comfort of an X-Box game, while Lee, Nathan & I struck out again to check out Harvey Nichols refurbished Food Hall & a wander around my old haunts!
There is a new sight to see too…Barclays have set up a cycle hire scheme, where banks of bikes, like this one in the Kings Road, are available to hire, very much like coin operated shopping trolleys, & then you return them to another ‘bank’ near your destination! It fascinated me, but I can’t help wondering how long it will be before all those bikes go missing!!! Am I just an old cynic?!!
So, that is just about it! We returned home on Thursday evening to a mountain of post behind the front door…so many cards for both Alex & I that our sideboard is groaning!! We ordered a takeaway & set to opening the presents we hadn’t taken with us to London! My good friend Karen had given me a wonderful package of goodies, including a book, entitled ‘Porn for women of a certain age’ which has kept me giggling ever since! I will share some of it’s contents with you in the near future! My M-I-L had sent a lovely cheque for me to book a spa day, so I have been thoroughly spoiled!!!!
I will close there…thank you so much if you’ve hung in thus far!!! You can guess that I will be working on getting my laptop up to speed asap…so it won’t be so long before I post again! I hope everyone is keeping well…I did receive a fabulous parcel yesterday…nothing to do with birthdays!!!…I will share more about that with you next time!!
Bye for now…:)