The first pit stop ....London

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Where I stayed
Stephanie & Gareth's at Hampstead Garden Suburb
What I did
Caught up with the family, played tennis and collected the car

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Having been picked up from St Pancras by Stephanie was just a wonderful start to our relatively short time in London. Day one we started rearranging our luggage and watched some more of the French Open tennis while engaging with the three kids. Once more Rachel surrendered her bedroom to us and I had a very good sleep with firm pillows supporting my head.

Day two still being Sabbath we took the kids on foot for hot chocolates at the high street in Temple Fortune and back and then Susan and i set about trying to familiarise ourselves more with the car. 
Day two I finally got internet connection on Gareth's home WiFi and got to speak to Ben and get out birthday wishes to three celebrants including Uncle Lon in Pattaya. 

Gareth and I took Rachel and Matt for a bike ride on the heath while Susan and Ilana watched Gnomeo & Juliet. Later in the evening we and Gareth drove to visit Arjan and Minoo at Gloucester Pace where we were fed heartily on various delightful India snacks and drank a good amount of Jura single malt and red wine.

Sunday 29th...family swim and photo shoot day with three changes of dress and an early dinner. Never a dull moment. The photo shoot was fun with three changes of dress and then off to Oscars at the Charlotte St Hotel. 2 bottles of champagne and a lovely meal later we headed home.

Monday 30th...a public holiday starting late with a visit to a fun fair in the nearby common. How these people make a living these days with their dated rides I'll never know. Nonetheless the kids had fun for an hour or so and then we walked to the Hampstead high street for a stroll and to get our SIM card for the next 5 months.

Heard from Sam today after calling her host (Sunny) for the Indian wedding and learning she now has a local SIM card. She was very nervous about meeting Sunny's parents for dinner tonight having missed the wedding altogether because of a mistake by Sunny with the dates for the various events and celebrations.

 We managed to review the photos and I bought high resolution copies of 13 shots for GBP 500 and got some great ones and all were happy.

I also managed today to settle the Moscow hotel and settle a hotel in Fredrikstad Norway. Later the challenge for one in Oslo.

Having the kids to look after and get to bed tonight is quite a challenge especially when Susan tries so hard. Worn down parents like me rely on a shout and stern face to produce the desired result....I always hoped and still hope! I'm sure kids are given to ensure the passing of the generations.

A bit of work in the morning followed by going to watch the girls at their school swim gala prepared me for our tennis match with the Chius. Nick and I fought valiantly to secure a very narrow 10 point tie breaker (11-9) to settle the 1 set apiece until then. After 2 hours of tennis I'm so sore and my tennis elbow ( or maybe gout elbow) is troubling me awfully. It was only fitting the men won given our determination greater skill and the ladies graciousness at critical points.. 

Tomorrow the car goes for work in the morning and Sam arrives in the evening marking our last night in London until September. I'm starting to get the hang of the car's gadgets and just need to get Susan up the curve.


 

 
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