Those who read my previous entry saw that my visit to London was yet another reason to whine for me. Well, good news, I survived, and yet again decided that I shouldn’t whine about every little thing. I get nervous too easily…
I was actually asked at my son’s daycare to write a travel journal about our journey which helped me recap our experience beforehand. I will not share that here because it is quite personal and it is in Hungarian, so… Those who came for touristy stuff in London should turn back now, because we were there to visit family and we looked at those while living there already. We were visiting places that had a nostalgic value for us. We lived in North London, and that’s where we mostly stayed too.
We left home at 6am and arrived to our final destination – my husband’s family’s place – at around 16pm. So counting the 1 hour time difference this journey took altogether about 11 hours, house to house. With a toddler this was a wild ride, but he was at his best behaviour mostly. Probably because of all the big loud brukkas. (Brukka: my son’s word for everything that makes a brr sound, such as motorbikes, drills, flies, planes… Works in both English and Hungarian.) I am not a fan of flying, but watching my son’s excited face did a good job at distracting me. He flew before, this was actually his 8th time, but he was too young to appreciate it the previous times. I have to say he was most excited about the noise the plane toilet made when flushing, although he had to be reassured for the next couple of days every time he went to the toilet, that it won’t hurt him.
We went to a greasy spoon to have a full English breakfast, because that is something we cannot get here, and we were missing overeating early in the morning and not being able to move till mid-afternoon. No regrets, it was yummy. After that we headed out to visit a friend of mine in Redhill who I used to work with in a cafe back in the days. I have never been to Redhill before, and I only just realised now upon looking it up on the map that it is indeed not part of London. Ignorant me. It seemed so close, the only thing that made me question it was the fact that they had blue double-decker buses. My son, Emrys was talking about those for days. The main reason we went is because my friend has a daughter only 4 months younger than Emrys, and they used to be buddies when they were babies. They had tons of fun playing together and pulling her room apart while I could have a nice chat with my friend.
It was the weekend and we reserved it for family time, we only went out in the morning. A Mothercare was just closing down around there and we went for the clearance sale but it was all basic essential baby things left by than which was not worth taking up precious luggage space. We also went shopping to a bunch of other places, got some nice Paddington and Gruffalo pyjamas in M&S. Also had some fish and chips for lunch on Saturday, because it’s a must. It was from our favourite place we used to go to all the time, and it was just as we remembered.
Monday was an exciting day for me, because we went to Muswell Hill, which will forever be a very special place in my heart. That is the place where I first lived in London, where it all began. I previously mentioned that I was looking after a disabled lady here as my first job, and I always remember her very fondly, she was an amazing person and it was a privilege to know her. Funny enough Muswell Hill was also the last place I worked, I also worked there all the way through my pregnancy. After working in a pub and a café for a while I wanted to find something that is closer to my personality and skill set and that is how I ended up working here again, in an art shop. I worked with some of the most interesting and artistic people I have ever met, and I really enjoyed being surrounded by all the beautiful art supplies, learning about them, being challenged by customers’ strange request for homework, home decoration, even cosplays… I thought we would go in, look around, pick up some supplies, and then go; that I would be lucky if I met even one person I knew, but there were actually 3 of the girls I used to work with right there, working on that very day! I was so happy to see them on the other hand it was so weird to see how little changed there while everything changed so much in my life at the same time.
From there we went to Primark because my husband wanted to buy some clothes, as my town is a bit limited in clothes shops. He found some things he liked, for me it was a letdown however. I remembered it to be cheaper and better, but we couldn’t really agree on that one.
We went to Angel, another place we used to go to quite often. We were quite sad to see that Butlers closed down, but I was ecstatic when I saw Paperchase was still there. I shopped myself silly in there and Flying Tiger. For lunch we went to Chilango (pork belly tacos 4ever). In the afternoon we had family time and packing the bags with the tremendous amount of sweets, art supplies and clothes we bought. Mostly sweets though.
One last fried breakfast, then we started our long journey back home.
Altogether we had a fun time. The traffic jams and random driver changes on the buses were just as annoying as before, but it didn’t get to me, because this time I wasn’t rushing to work and I knew it was only for a few days. I don’t know why I was so anxious about going back to London, but I do know I could definitely not live there again.
Here are some of the things I tried already: little brown notebook from Paperchase and oil pastels from Flying Tiger.