Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Summer Holidays 2016 - Part 2 (London/Maidstone)

After a relaxing weekend in Brighton we have a slightly more stressful trip up to London when the train unexpectedly terminated at Gatwick and we were forced to get on a Victoria train and then get a cab across to Clerkenwell to the apartment we were staying in. The apartment was just off Clerkenwell Road and whilst entry was somewhat complex, once in it was exactly what we needed – two bedrooms and a big lounge/kitchen in a quiet location very close to my old office on Clerkenwell Green and handy for the City.

After dropping our bags we headed off to the British Museum near-by where we had booked timed tickets for the Sunken Cities special exhibition – it included artefacts and a couple of huge statues recovered from the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus which lay at the mouth of the Nile and had disappeared into the Mediterranean a thousand or so years ago. The kids seemed to enjoy it as well as our quick look around the Egyptian gallery and also a visit to the Rosetta Stone which I always enjoy.

We then had a quick dinner on Holborn at a very nice Italian restaurant and then back to the apartment. I then went off to Highgate to meet up with OF to watch England get beaten by Iceland in the Euros. The less said about that the better although it was good to catch up with OF.

The next morning I was working in the London Office. There was very subdued atmosphere when I got in - a combination of England’s defeat in the football the previous night and the continuing somewhat stunned reaction to the Brexit vote. The mood was not exactly helped by the pouring rain. We were due to go to the theatre in the evening but had to change the date because V had not been feeling well. We were lucky enough to change the tickets to Wednesday and so were able to make a trip to Chinatown that evening where we indulged ourselves in some Chinese food and the crispy duck that had been such a hit last Summer.

I was working again the following day and also decided to buy myself some shirts – my collar size seems to have increased! In the evening went to Gaucho off Piccadilly and then went to the Criterion Theatre to watch “The Robbery that went Wrong” – the kids absolutely loved it – English slapstick at its best and everyone had a great time!

The following day I met JH for lunch and then took the family down to Maidstone where we stayed with my Father. On the Friday E and I went off to a big Dinner with senior management in Pennyhill Park – training HQ for the English Rugby Union team and a lovely hotel although getting there around the M25 was a nightmare. We caught up with R and S as well as some of my colleagues Dinner where the topic revolved again around Brexit.

On the Saturday we had a leisurely morning and then headed back down to Maidstone where we picked the kids up from their sleep over with their cousins at M and B and then we all headed off to D’s 40th at Maidstone Football Club. A live band and a chance to catch up with the family made for a pleasant evening and on the Sunday I headed back to Dxb and the Kids and E. headed to Bristol for the start their Summer holidays proper. Stand by for the next instalment of our Summer adventures after my month back in the sandpit.

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