Existing Member?

Adventures and Misadventures

Counting down to Xmas!

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 7 February 2009 | Views [954]

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

Devon seemed familiar to me now and close to home. We spent the week going for walks in the countryside, going out for lunch at the farm shop, buying xmas presents and of course drinking in the pub… ahhhh how I had missed the cider! One day we drove up to Southhampton where Spike had a job interview and I organized to catch up with a mate from the Kings Cup last year. We met at a really nice pub called the “Jolly Sailor” and had a few enjoyable pints before heading home. Another night during the week we ended up at our local pub in East Budleigh with Spike’s parents where the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice choir held a carol singalong. It was great fun and as the night continued everybody got really into it ending up with a pub full of people singing the 12 days of Christmas complete with arm movements.

After a week of Devon indulgence it was time for me to be on the move again and I caught a long train from the South-West up to Cambridgeshire north of London where my relatives, Maureen and Jack, picked me up and took me to their home in Wisbech - a Georgian market town. I stayed there for 3 days and journeyed to Ipswich on the north-east coast to visit my Nana’s sister and her partner for lunch. It was nice to see a different area of England and we drove down through the countryside on Thursday to London where I met Spike for our planned long weekend enjoying Old Blighty’s capital!

The London sightseeing began straight away as we hopped in the famous black cab for a ride across town to pick up some house keys from Spike’s friends. As we drove through the centre we passed an impressive official looking building on the right.

“Guess what that is” asked Spike

“Ummmm - I don’t know - some sort of parliament business?”

“It’s Buckingham palace”

“Bull… no it’s not!”

“It is!”

“It’s not - it’s not palacey at all and it looks like the German Reichstag!”

At which point the taxi driver intervened “I’m afraid it is luv - that’s where dear old Lizzie lives!”

Ohhhh never mind. Buckingham palace - tick! We headed back to our friends house to drop off our suitcases and then it was back into the centre where we checked out Harrods for a few hours before heading out to Clapham Junction where we met a few friends for a night in… a pub. A bit of a hangover the next morning but we were still up early as Spike had booked a surprise session of iceskating at Somerset house. I was soooo excited and Somerset house fulfilled all my expectations as it provided the most marvelous stately home setting for an ice-rink. We were lucky as the day had dawned clear and blue and the ice sparkled in the sun. We scooted around for an hour and it was a magical experience. Afterwards we set off on a mini-walking tour of London. Walking along High Street we came across Australia House and St Paul’s Cathedral where we crossed the millennium bridge and walked down the side of the Thames past the Tate modern and Globe Theatre. We stopped for a snack in the borough foodie market and then continued until we reached the Tower Bridge where we crossed back over and headed past the Tower of London. Finally it was on the tube to Westminster (where personally I think the Queen would be wise to kick the pollies out and move in there) where we stopped for a late pub lunch looking out on the famous Big Ben!

That night I trained down to Epsom for a reunion with Lou and Mowly and a few drinks before catching the last train up to meet with Spike and friends in yup yet another pub! The next day Spike was on a plane back to Australia so Lou and Mowly met me in London to take over the role of tour guide. We met near the London Eye and walked over Waterloo bridge through Trafalgar Square and onto Leicester Square where we played off different ticketing agents to purchase the best show and seats. We ended up seeing a matinee show in the Dominion Theatre of ‘We Will Rock You’ - the musical by Ben Elton and Queen. It was absolutely fabulous and I was astounded by the sheer scale of the production. After the show Lou’s brother took me to Covent Garden where we watched the street buskers for a while before a quick beer in an atmospheric brew house. Back to Epsom for the night and then on Sunday I headed back to Folkestone where I had set up a little base for all my clothes and English necessities.

As I had booked a flight back to Australia to spend summer with Spike and surprise my parents for Xmas Lou and I decided to have a xmassy day. What could be better than baking! SO we set out to make our own mince pies with individual decorations. I decided on an Australian theme decorating mince pies with pictures of bikinis, waves, fish, yachts etc whereas Lou stuck to a more xmassy theme. That night we sat in front of a roaring log fire eating our hard work and watching Oliver on television. What a wonderful way to end my little English trip.

Home sweet home - here I come!

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about United Kingdom

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.