The weather forecast for London while I was there two days ago? CRAP - cold, rainy and windy.
The weather today while I wasn't in London? GORGEOUS - summer sunshine that prompted walks among the flowers.
I am jealous.
Jon - of mangoes taste like sunshine fame - is in London after a 6 week stint in an American summer camp in upstate New York and I swapped a Munich for our most disastrous London flight, the dreaded EK 001 to see him.
Jon was born in England, and spent the first twelve years of his life in a gorgeous little place called Epsom, in the county of Surrey (did I get that right Jon?) before moving to sunny Australia and tasting his first mango. His last trip back to London was 6 years ago, so it was very special that he took me to see his old stomping ground while I was there. Who ever would have thought that someone from his Australian life would be in London at the same time as him and get to step into his English life??
He met me in the hotel and we set off for a trip down memory lane. I'm glad I took Flip's advice
and packed my thick white coat in preparation for the hideous weather that awaited me. Last month I had on a light jumper and was hot, but it can all change in the blink of an eye in London - much like my beloved Melbourne.
Jon had told me that to get there, we had to catch the tube to Waterloo and then get an overland train out to Epsom. Well, my navigationally challenged brain malfunctioned and I thought he'd said we had to go to Liverpool to catch the overland, which spawned a serious of irrational and rather confusing emails to Jon about how Flip said that Liverpool was north and that it was going to be one looong trip if we had to go that way. He laughed at my stupidity and wondered aloud how I manage to navigate the train systems of the world ALONE without getting completely lost. Pot luck I imagine!
We arrived in Epsom and wandered the streets until we came across Jon's old street and then his house. His dad built the stone fence when he was a youngster and he showed me where he and his brother and sister used to ride their bikes and where their friends lived. I think we stood outside his house for so long that we freaked out the current owner, as he kept peering out of the garage suspiciously at us.
I came across my first real life holly tree and was so excited! Not being Christmas time, there were no red berries, but it's prickly leaves were so beautiful. There were gorgeous country style gardens in the yards we passed and little cottage-like houses that made me wish I could live in a cute little English house on a cute little English street in a cute little English suburb.
We went to meet some of Jon' s family friends who still live in the street, and their children, who used to play with Jon when he was younger. We had a very English cup of tea and had a chat for a few hours and then headed back to the city. If possible, it was even colder and rainier and windier, but it was a lovely outing and well worth it.
We snacked on some pastries from the train station and I've just figured out that's why we probably felt rather sick the next day. Pastries with meat in them are best not consumed from a train station at 11pm!
We said our goodbyes as the crew were heading out to the bus and will see each other again when Jon stops in Dubai for a 9 day holiday on his way home to Brissie. I'm already making a list of all the things we can do while he's here, and I think a stint at both The Aquarium and our new little place Al Nasr LeisureLand are in order!