After a couple of visits to the country, which were just as you imagine English country life should be, dogs, chickens, geese and horses, all well brought up and beautifully behaved!!!! We are heading into the thick of things where all the action happens.
Three glorious weeks in London, which we love, and must be careful not to be blasé about. There are always things going on here - you only have to step out the door and you're amongst the buzz and action of all sorts.
The beauty of being so central is that once again we have friends to catch up with. Such a bonus as no matter how much we love life on the road, catching up with friends and family is a priority and we thrive on it.
Autumn weather has been fantastic, no complaints about the English weather at the moment. Still wonderfully mild and the leaves are only just beginning to change. In fact we were down in Hampshire last week and walking in shorts,almost the whole week in shorts and shirts and this is October!!!!
Found a fabulous new coffee shop 'Shot Espresso' just down the road in Parsons Green. We'd arrived far too early for an appointment and were wandering the streets looking for a likely spot to hang out and keep warm for an hour or more. And WHAM here we find good NZ coffee being served right under our noses. Allpress Roastery started way back in the mid 1980's and only made its way to the UK in 2010 but here we find it being served by an Australian barista no less!!!
We found our way back there with nephew Charlie the next day just to make sure we weren't dreaming. (Pic Charlie Dave)
We joined the throngs of other Londoners and spent a wonderful sunny Sunday morning wandering the streets, met up with an old friend, Gerald, from Christchurch. Then indulged in a very leisurely brunch, at a delightful Italian family run cafe that did wicked food and good coffee of course. Pic of cafe - Found another kiwi infirm in there!
David's brother and wife, Christopher and Sylvie were also in London for a week so we delighted in catching up and spending some fun together. Lunches out, Davids birthday and then he spent an afternoon sightseeing with them. Always fun as Christopher is such a great tour leader and can soon lead you astray or take you to places you were least expecting - such a bonus. They even squeezed in a five o'clock service at St Paul's. I get the feeling that was more about finding a way of getting into the church than anything else. Pic of DC and Chris - of coffee with .alexander claire
Rosie and I had a couple of fun outings down the Kings Rd. Such fun to be taken down to some of her regular haunts. Discovered the most delightful little village spot, Chelsea Green, in the heart of Chelsea of course, with the a fascinating array of small shops. The very best being Sign of the Times - ooh a must for any discerning shopper who loves nice clothes. The women of Chelsea drop off all their unwanted designer clothes and footwear, many still brand new with tags on, and sell them on for a fraction of the price - it was such fun!
We spent an afternoon at the Tate Britain and just loved the amazing Turner exhibition - I think that man produced something like 37,000 works during his lifetime, what a mammoth feat.
Then to cap off some great family times this year, I was invited, as a family member of a VC recipient, to a service of Remembrance in the wonderful St Martins-in-the-Fields church right in the middle of Trafaleger Square. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon in London, meeting up with cousins Annie and her daughter Harriet Gabbey, in the the Union Jack Club for a smart lunch. Even the walls of this hotel are covered in VC recipients. Then on to very special service with young Prince Harry, in this wonderful old church with the best acoustics and most wonderful choir I've enjoyed for ages.
I had endeavoured to spend the morning at the Imperial War Museum but discovered it was school holidays and the queue was spilling out onto the footpath.
So Autumn in London was very special and am almost looking forward to getting the winter woollies out and trying out my new Wellies in some good English mud when it arrives!