Mid-morning on a Monday, the train was empty!
Within fifty minutes, we'd arrived at King's Cross station in London, walked out of the station and caught a taxi to our accommodation near Paddington station! It was Grant's first visit to London and also the first time he'd ridden in a London taxi. Being a blogger, I had to take a photo of the interior, didn't I?
Inside our London Taxi
Here I must just interject about luggage. It took me about thirty years and dozens of
domestic matrimonial arguments to learn to travel light. On this trip, Grant and I each had a small carry-on case which we'd bought in Eldoret, Kenya last year. However, while on the Isle of Man, it was Grant who bought souvenir tee-shirts, jackets, caps, beanies and other memorabilia, as well as two new helmets for touring on our bike back in SA. In order to get this home, first to East Africa and ultimately to SA, he bought a large tog bag on wheels at Marks and Spencer. I stood by calmly and watched while he organized the packing as in the past I'd often been in trouble for buying gifts and curios and overloading the cases!
The small gold cases were compact and easy to maneuver compared to the large blue bag containing most of Grant's stuff bought on the Isle of Man!
Arriving in London brought us one day nearer to meeting a fellow blogger of mine. Gattina of Writer Cramps lives in Belgium and she and I have been blogger friends since the beginning of 2009. She is also a cat-lover so you can imagine the connection! As it's quite impossible for us South Africans while living in East Africa, to obtain a Schengen Visa, necessary to visit Europe, Gattina decided to come to London and see me! She and a friend booked to see a musical which included hotel accommodation. (we didn't , unfortunately!) Ironically their hotel was in the street behind ours in Sussex Gardens. We arranged to meet in a pub the next day.
Of course, I knew what Gattina looked like and as she and her friend, Dominique (whom I also "knew" from Gattina's blog) entered the pub, I recognized her instantly. Originally Grant had been a bit apprehensive about meeting one of "my" friends and originally said he thought he should wait at our hotel while I met with her. He needn't have worried! As we met, we all hugged and within minutes of sitting down, were chatting away like old friends - including my normally quiet husband!
Gattina, Jo and Dominique meet in London
The hour-and-a-half flew by and soon it was time to say goodbye but not before we'd invited Gattina and Dominique to visit us in South Africa.
Don't you all just LOVE blogging!
A wonderful week to everyone out there in Blogland!