London - again!

Last weekend Michael and I found ourselves kidless in London for 3 days! I say this like it all happened accidentally but, in fact, Michael had booked us a little trip away a few weeks ago, and I have to say it was fantastic! The boys were blissfully unaware of our escapades as they were too busy having a great adventure with Nana and Papa in their motorhome, so all was good.

It was a great weekend to be in London as it was the Olympic handover and there was a real buzz about the city. That and the fact it was sunny most of the time - I'd almost forgotten how nice that can be! The real reason for going was this..........


Oh, how I have longed to see this show! And it completely surpassed all my expectations - I was blown away! The music rocked, the cast rocked and I totally cried the face off myself! I can only assume that when my sister (crier extraordinare whose eyes disappear completely after prolonged weeping!) saw it she had to be escorted from the theatre afterwards if my sobbing was anything to go by. And to make it all a bit celeb-like, Eponine was played by one of the contestants from 'I'd do Anything'. Loved the whole experience and have been singing songs from it ever since (or rather, Michael has been singing them constantly.)

Saturday we took it easy and had a leisurely stroll along Portobello Road, enjoying the market, picking up a few things for our walls at home and enjoying delicious muffins and coffee while watching the stir of the crowd. Such a perfect thing to do on a Saturday.


From there we headed over to the river to get us some tickets for the London Eye by night. Look how Michael's halo indeed resembles the London Eye!


We were also able to meet up with the Bolands at the London Eye as they were in London for the day with the boys. Jo was nearly beside herself after her Cath Kidston shop experience - can't believe I couldn't find it.


Are you loving Jo's skirt? She made it herself with an Amy Butler pattern and fabric and I covet it every time I see her in it! Methinks I might need one myself! After leaving the Bolands to the lengthy queue for the Eye we headed along the South Bank to Millenium Bridge. We must have walked about 8 or 9 miles, just taking in the sights and having nowhere particular to be. Such a luxury when days at home are mapped out by time and arrangements and having to be places. Something to be thankful for! We did go on the Eye at night, but alas, no photos as I was using my newly purchased point and shoot (Michael loves that it was me who dragged him up Tottenham Court Road and not him dragging me!) and I had not yet worked out how to up the ISO. I did, however, have that rectified by the time we arrived at the Natural History Museum. What a cool place! I am determined that before the boys are too cool for dinosaurs we will go to London as a family and let them roam that place for a whole day - amazing!


Sunday was such a great day of stumbling upon cool things and events. The museum wasn't in our plans, but our hotel was really close and we had time on our hands and I'm so glad we went for a few hours. And fantastic that something this great is free! There should be more good free stuff out there.

After our cultural stop we managed to stumble upon this.......


not just a random flag on a lampost, but the edge of the 2012 handover party on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace. I'm almost embarrassed to say I felt a bit giddy being there in the midst of all the atmosphere and noise. Very cool indeed. We decided against battling into the crowd at the palace and lingered instead by the big screens for a while before continuing our walk and stumbling upon.....


the 4pm inspection of the Royal Life Guard at Horse Guard Parade. It felt a bit weird seeing these soldiers in such reagalia - they seemed so stereotypically London-ish and a bit twee - until one of them literally roared at a couple who had meandered into an area they should not have been in! We certainly moved a bit quicker! We continued our walk to Trafalgar Square where there were more screens and some steps which were perfect for enjoying the show and our sandwiches at the same time. And then there was this.......


The Red Arrows! I love them! They completely remind me of air shows when I was small and I am already excited about seeing them at the airshow in Portrush next weekend - sad, but true! It was so cool seeing them on the screen as they flew over the outskirts of London, and then suddenly we could hear the roar and then there they were above us. There is a chance I could make it as a photo journalists with my point and shoot reflex action! Amazed I got this shot. And after that we came home to this.....


2 little men who were nearly beside themselves to see us and get their presents (thanks Jo, the Chick Hicks has barely been out of his hand!) The cricket ball does not look like this now because we spend a good 3 hours or so every day playing cricket in the garden at the minute - there'll be a broken window before autumn sets in, I'm sure of it.

In other news, P2 started on Thursday, but alas, poor Patrick did not make it because he has scarlet fever. He was so upset at the start of the day, but once he realised he could still play cricket and watch TV he seemed much better, if a little reddish!


We are hopeful of a speedy recovery and of commencing the P2 voyage early next week. And with that I shall leave you- thank you for sticking it out to the end! Have a great weekend x