It’s been lovely catching up with friends while in the UK, from my old university friends to former colleagues and friends in the development world, and of course old family friends. Apart from a quick jaunt to Birmingham, we’ve been restricted to London and the South East while we get to grips with schooling and prepare for our upcoming trip, but I’m hoping this will be remedied after our next trip. We’ll be back in early December for a week or so.
Many of our catch ups I failed to get a photo of, being far more interested in actually talking to people than thinking about my social media presence. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that we have had a wonderful time.
One lovely Sunday afternoon we spent at Indian restaurant Dishoom near Kings Cross with my friend Ed – that whole area just north of Kings Cross and St. Pancras has been redeveloped and was quite a revelation, with Lauren enjoying running back and forth through the erratic fountains by regent’s canal, proving that while her shoes were indeed waterproof, nothing else she was wearing was! Another Sunday afternoon saw us having lunch by the river with my old uni friends, and confirmed that Lauren just ‘doesn’t see the point of’ Yorkshire pudding. Sacrilege! She definitely sees the point of sticky toffee pudding though…. One Saturday night saw me out at an Irish pub in north London with Rachel, a friend from Mozambique now based here, while the DJ played ‘golden oldies’ from the 80s and 90s, waiting for an Irish band to come on at midnight and trying to decipher the cocktail menu. You know you are getting old when you haven’t even heard of most of the ingredients! Another Saturday night was spent with Italian friends from Mozambique, whose son was good friends with Lauren when they lived in Maputo. The kids had a blast and the mums enjoyed a catch up over a couple of drinks and pizza. A weekday lunch turned into most of the afternoon and much silliness with our friend Brian from Ireland by way of Maputo and Joburg.
It’s been great, but with the passports finally in the bag, the first set of exams out of the way, and the savings on accommodation being rapidly eaten up by the costs of socialising in London, we are starting to get itchy feet, and I have started planning our next jaunt – this time a loop from the UK to Amsterdam by train and boat, then onto Germany, Copenhagen (excited to see another friend, Sam) before a boat to the Faroe Islands, then somehow to Iceland (boat or plane, yet TBD), and possibly if I can get flights to work out, on to Ireland before back to the UK. It’s certainly going to be chilly, but the reduced hours of daylight will be conducive to cracking on with schoolwork. And of course, the possibility of seeing the northern lights looms large.