Week three, part two : On the town

We’ve just had a fantastic three days in London. We were lucky enough to stay on a friends’ houseboat close to Kew Gardens and took advantage of our newly acquired Oyster (Octopus)* cards to travel on buses and the Tube (MTR).  It was odd only hearing announcements on transport in one language and not three!

Being in London actually feels much more like being in Hong Kong. Both are large cities, have a clear  identity and  there’s water running through the middle. I felt much more at home here than I had done so far since being back. I love the cosmopolitan feel to both cities, I love the diversity of their peoples and their history and the food they bring with them, I love the vibrant nature and constant on the go feel, I love the hustle and bustle and easy access to great theatre, museums, events, cinema and restaurants.
I loved being in a multi cultural city too. I’d forgotten how white/caucasian much of  the UK is and after being in a minority group in Hong Kong, I’d got used to being part of the eclectic mix.
On the people side, we said a sad farewell to daughter’s friend as she heads off on her own for a few weeks. The up side was we got to spend time with our friends whose houseboat we stayed on. Whenever we used to come over to visit, I used to feel I had to hold part of me in so I wouldn’t be so sad saying goodbye. This time is was so different, knowing it wouldn’t be long between visits and knowing our friendships can grow again and not just rely on part memories of shared times.
I won’t bore you with all the details of what we did, instead here are loads of photos of Windsor Castle, Central London, Camden Market and Kew gardens where we saw an all time favourite of mine, Billy Bragg.
Next week, the kids and I go to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh for a seven night break before we move back into our old house! Gosh, I shall be so glad to sleep back in my own bed (albeit in a house I’ve not slept in for 12 years……) So grateful for everyone’s spare beds and wonderful hospitality which I am looking forward to repaying very soon.
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