Travelogue Canada 9: London

November 2009


nabbed a nap on the train – helped that we got one of those double seats that face each other with the table in middle. light snack of roast ox kettle-fried chips, quavers (chipnik style cheese chips) and a rocking tomato juice that was all spicy ‘n stuff and BEGGING for a splash of vodka!

deftly maneuvered the undergrounds to get to Balham (no mean feat since barry’s new cruise mode is 30 miles an hour, which is 50km an hour… and i now do ‘whoosh’ sounds and motions to anything faster *warning to new party car drivers!!*) and a short walk later were presenting ourselves at Lix and RoRo’s door! and Faye had missioned through for a sleepover so it was reunionreunion! cuddles, giggles, excited chatter… and a glass of red!

lix made a superlative chicken a la king with rice and deep fried chicken skin bits (GENIUS!). i had brought a bottle of jagermeister. barry had sorted bottles of red. there were cameras clicking and flashing and the usual random assortment of (mostly non-PC) conversation topics, catch-ups on who’s been doing what (no movement left unturned, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant just in case it had bearing somewheresomehow), who’s seen who and what they’ve been up to and much general merriment! :o)

one by one, people filtered to bed. except me and faye – seasoned experience at slumber party giggling and serendipitously surrendering to adjoining couches. woke up at some ridiculous hour (like 4 maybe?) with a dire need for a kilolitre of water. en route to the water bottle in the back of the fridge i stumbled across leftover roast pork, so i felt obliged to make sandwiches (god bless kingsmill bread- still the best ever) for me and faye. i think i may have saved 2 young lives (and by that i mean mine and faye’s).

in now time at all, the house was awake and in relay doing tea, toast, showering, the odd bit of ironing etc etc. saw everyone off: barry headed for the tubes, lix and faye cycle to work. yes, really.

me and RoRoRo (did i mention that i gave him a gratuitous Ro from a middle name i’ve never wanted and could never escape?) did something that very few Londoners have ever done – we traversed the city. from south west to north east (E5 to be fey… erm… Faye) to get faye a clean set of clothes. totally my fault <ie: took me minutes to convince her to stay and L&R the rest of the week based on first night’s dinner and promise of confirmed menu for night 2 and 3, on the proviso that i/we would trek the length of london to get enough mix-and-match workwear to make said slumber party practical). ended up being a 3 hour round trip, with a 5 minute packing at faye’s house respite in between… oh ja, and burger king at liverpool station (dbl cheese and bacon whoppers, chips and coke each, 7 chicken nuggets and 4 chilli bites to share).

got back in time to watch lix make dinner. lordylordylordy. roast salt marsh lamb, mash taters, cauli cheese, carrots, roasted shallots, garlic and brown onion gravy. g-sus. more chats around the table and then retired to Couchville for sitcom marathon. nice.

finally the stupid body clock works for me. sat at the table while everyone missioned around me doing the usual ironing, breakfast, head-holding, work-hating, why-can’t-we-be-rich-and-retire-now-ing etc… and then napped on the couch snuggled in purple fleece blankie and sleeping bag for an hour… to be up and fresh and head onto high street to find elusive ‘cheaper’ dry cleaner for B’s dry-cleanables, then grocery shop (too many undiscovered canned pleasures to mention), hit Subway (ham, salami, pepperoni, cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, sweet onion sauce and ranch sauce on cheese and herb italian bread) and BACK TO THE COUCH *bliss*

the kids came home and we feasted on welsh black beef sirloin steaks, baked taters with butter and cheese, ciabatta and caramelised red onion… and then off to Bonfire Night (which i think is a sad sell-out to the infinitely more marketably-cos-more-opportunity-for-lewd-jokes Guy Fawkes) for very lovely fireworks. stopped at threshers en route of course and almost missed everything for 4 fosters, 4 carlings and some bulmers cider. nonetheless, we’re blessed folk and got there in time for a manageable amount of chinese-badly-marketed (ask Alex for details) pyrotechnics. enough for me finally to get (bad) photos of us with fireworky things (that largely look like dysfunctional hats!).

we’re home now. finished the jager, had midnight snacks, chatting and laughing, laughing and chatting, commenting inappropriately on FB stuff, sending the odd (both sense of the word) sms to home… and photos of course.

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