Nov 23


I thought I had struck gold when the three seats next to me were empty and stupidly I was gloating to the kids that I would have a bed for the flight! DUR! The three passengers who boarded late were of course in those seats…goodbye bed! And the woman was a total pain the whole flight as she kept on wriggling and moving around. At one stage she had her head on my shoulder. Really madam….we have only just met! AND I AM MARRIED!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….I got some sleep but as usual it was very fitful. However nothing beats that fly into London first thing in the early hours of a cold UK morning. The passage through customs took forever. Eventually we met up with the Mr. Fu replacement the irrepressible Richard Wardle. It only seemed like yesterday we were on tour and it was great to see him again. The kids immediately liked him….no surprises there. I had pre-warned him via a text that he had competition with the famous Mr. Fu and so Richard’s welcome was in a pigeon form of Wardle Chinese! Hilarious…as I said in the previous blog it’s game on!
On the plane from Singapore to London I sat between Jade and Cass. It was a 13 hour trip over the night and going back in time. As the flight was overnight we were told to catch up on sleep. Easier said than done! Unlike me, Cass seemed to cope well as we almost had to throw a bucket of water on her to wake her for dinner. By the end of the flight I had given up on sleep and decided to play some in flight games against the others. Unfortunately my mind is unable to unscramble jumbled words as fast as the others so I cheated off Jade’s screen!
Hey mate… least you didn’t have the lowest score! I was at the bottom of the top ten being beaten by one of the kids whose play name was BANANA! Argh…..fancy being beaten by a banana! Just as well I have retired from teaching English…total humiliation.
We arrived in London very early this morning and with the time difference it felt like this was the second time we lived today!
And then a golden moment as we cruised over the lights of London….from Cass… “Look there’s the Eiffel Tower!” Well I guess the phone tower was a little bit like the French icon. We all had a bit of a giggle at Cass’s expense….and she is very BLONDE!
Today I saw the Eiffel Tower in London…well I thought I did!!!!!! Felt quite stupid when I found out it’s actually in Paris. Ha…ha…
After working through the absolute tedium that is customs, we got on the bus and met our next bus driver – Richard. As much as I hated to admit it, Mr. Fu had nothing on Richard as not only did he not crash he could also speak English! I can’t remember much about the start of the ride as I was half asleep but soon after we stopped for coffee which woke me up from semi-consciousness. We went sight- seeing for most of the day…… and we saw the Queen! But her car wasn’t horse drawn! If I was the Queen I would drive in a stretch Hummer like P.Daddy. We saw the changing of the Guard but Chelsea was too small so she had to sit in my shoulders. When we went shopping I discovered that ‘Norf London’ is the best place to be. And ‘Souf London’ is for chumps! By the time I finished shopping my bank account was much lower and my suitcase much larger!
This day will be a day I will never forget because we saw the Queen! How amazing! I fell in love with London today! An amazing place.
Went to Buckingham Palace and saw the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Saw Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and many other sights. Very tired because of jet lag but London is awesome. The guy at the hotel laughed at my accent…..I didn’t know I had one!
Whilst at Westminster Abbey we noticed a large crowd and the policeman told us that the Queen was visiting the Abbey. We decided to stay and were soon greeted with flashing police lights and the black, shiny exterior of the Queen’s car. She got out of the vehicle and for a brief moment we could see her. We realized how unusual this was when a local told us that in all his life in England he’d never seen the Queen.
At the Hyde Park memorial we spent time looking at the many, many names of towns along the wall. I found Mt Pleasant but it was too far up to reach. Next on the London Eye you could see ALL of London! A full rotation takes half an hour and Dylan did NOT like this at all. The last stop the Imperial War Museum made me sad as I wandered around because I didn’t like reading about the Holocaust.  
Despite having driven from Birmingham at 1.30 a.m. Richard happily drove us around the key sites on this wonderful city. Due to the driving rules he has to follow re driving times, we were on a limited time …just as well as we were all flagging. Kept the kids moving for as long as we could. At Westminster Abbey there were load of cops and helicopters etc. Asked a plod what was up and the Queen was due to arrive to officially announce the wedding plans for Willy and Kate. Much excitement amongst the kids….all a bit of a hoot really. Had her and Phil on video as they drove right past us. After the Changing of the Guard I was able to get an earlier check in so off to the hotel St Giles on Bedford Place. Showers and an hour later we were off again walking to Covent Garden. Boy do these kids know how to shop! Back to the hotel by 6 and an early dinner and bed. And now the battle begins with the jet lag sleeps! Grrr…..My room is about the size of a postage stamp.
To November 24th