Monday, April 25, 2011

Tired of London? Never!

When a man is tired of London, said Samuel Johnson, he is tired of life. So I won't say I'm tired of London -- which wouldn't be true, in any case -- but I will say we're both ready to be home. Six weeks is a long time to be away, the longest ever for the two of us. In our Paris apartment, if we began wearying of the out-and-about-ing of a city holiday, we could hunker down with books for an afternoon, stay in and cook our own simple meal in the evening. Here, our clean, pleasant and, above all, affordable room is tiny, and while we do sometimes take an afternoon nap/reading break here, it's not great for lounging -- plus it's a long way to hike back and forth to.

And the crowds! Between school holidays and Easter weekend and the upcoming wedding and the summer temperatures -- everyone is here crowding the sidewalks and queueing for shows and making hour-long waits for a table at restaurants.

So today and tomorrow, before our Wednesday-morning flight, feel rather like putting in time. We'll obviously make the most of it -- current plans are to head to Leicester Square and see what show we can get tickets to. I'm really wanting a really good browse in a great bookstore -- perhaps to Hatchard's, then, after Leicester Square. Wouldn't mind a wander around Notting Hill, but might head up Primrose Hill for a view and a bit of green instead. And we're thinking about a day in Greenwich. In between, there'll be some anxious packing, trying to cram everything into those carry-ons. We have a bit of slack, though, as we've decided we'll probably check them -- it's a direct flight home, so I have less suitcase anxiety, plus the bags are likely overweight even if they're the right carry-on size. Checking those means we can carry on a shopping bag or two, and if we're visiting a bookstore that might come in handy . . .

I'm not sure how much posting I'll do between now and when the jet lag starts to wear off, so let me just say thanks so much for following my travels over the past six weeks. I haven't always acknowledged your comments as quickly as I like to, but I've really appreciated them.

I have a few more travel observations, even tips, about visiting London that I'll try to get posted as soon as possible for those of you who are planning trips. I can tell you right now, though, you won't be bored . . .


  1. Safe travels home, materfamilias! At least you're getting out before The Wedding! Hope you enjoy this last bit of your vacation.

  2. Yes, safe travels to you! Many thanks for sharing your
    marvelous adventures with us. There is "no place like

  3. I've never been away for that long. I find after a week, I'm in the mood for my home again (not that I wouldn't stifle the impulse for a chance to wander Europe for 6 weeks!) Point is, I'm sure you will be so happy to see your house in a couple of days. And how wonderful to go away for long enough that you can't wait to get home.

  4. Have a safe trip home. Looking forward to your London tips, as I still have hopes of getting there, at some point.

  5. It sounds like there's a lot to see and do.
    The pre Royal Wedding energy must be fueling the crowds.

    Have a safe journey home and what a blessing to have a direct flight!

    Look forward to your post jet lag posts!


  6. Hi Mater - I've really enjoyed your Europe posts, although have also not commented too much, due to being in Canada last week for house-hunting. It all went very well - we made an offer on the second day of looking and are looking forward to moving in in early August. Enjoy your last few days in London, look forward to your tips. P.

  7. As a Londoner I have to say London is really not good when it is hot and full of tourists, (obviously with the exception of you both of course!!) I do love all the bunting though out for St George's day and the wedding
    But seriously, although we have wonderful green spaces when the temperature's climb this high you need to be near water, the Serpentine, St James's park Hampstead Heath ponds, there are some great places to cool off. I have some great photographs of Leyla playing in the water at the V&A, so yes, I can see why you thought of Lola, I bet you miss her.
    I hope you made it to Greenwich, the river boat is a great way to get there, I love that place so much.

    Glad you enjoyed the photographs of Cambridge, only an hour from London! The light that day was amazing so I was very lucky to get some good images, plus my zoom lens helps.
    Have a safe trip home you sound very homesick, yet I bet you will miss us when you've gone!

  8. Mater, I wish you and Pater an uneventful flight home and look forward to your travel observations and tips.

  9. Welcome home, Mater. I just got home a few hours ago myself. We had a non stop from AMS (Amsterdam) to IAH (Houston). Now, if I could just stay awake 4 more hours! Paris was lovely. The weather was incredibly great. Spent Easter Sunday afternoon sitting in the Luxe Gardens, shoes off, people watching. Ahhh. Back to real life.

  10. Big trip! Time seemed to fly for me, seeing your sights! (And the advantage of an apt. is that it's a homier feel than a hotel.) Bon voyage.

  11. Thanks, all. Home safely, and re-adjusting to this reality. Def. relieved to get out before the crowds get even worse!
    Patricia: Congrats on the house-buying and welcome back to Canada! Busy time for you these next few months of moving.
    Alison: We did get to Greenwich and it's all you say! Did the DLR rather than boat, 'cause of time constraints, but even that was quite nice. And you're right, we'll surely miss you. 'til next time.
    Marguerite: Curious to know what temps you came back to. Here, a climate generally quite similar to Paris/London, we dropped a chilly 10 degrees Celsius, and I don't think we'll hit the warmth of the past two-three weeks for at least another three weeks here, if then. So sad. What were your Amsterdam and Paris highlights, btw?


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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