Earlier this week Eloise got her own trampoline. A free Facebook Marketplace pickup by Super Mum. Although it is a wee hazardous as she bounces along while watching PAW Patrol.
Eloise has also been working on her catching, which is coming along.
Sadly Lachlan’s skin is bothering him again. Sophie managed to pick up another cream for him from the Doctors. Hopefully, this one does the trick. There has also been a bit more progress with the crawling/ moving/ flapping about.
This morning was a 05:30 “half five” taxi and back on a plane for Liam. I do love planes. Although I was not wishing to see one so soon again. Alas, London was calling. Walking through Glasgow Airport it was clear what the theme of the month was. There was a moment of panic and a scramble when I mixed up London City Airport with Heathrow Airport, but that only made me unnecessarily earlier and woke me up.
It was then a short one hour flight south to Heathrow Airport, in a busier than I expected A320.
This time it was much easier navigating Heathrow Airport without nine bags and a child on each hip. The Piccadilly line took me 20 stops into London. I do love the London Underground, it is so easy and fast to get around.
After a relatively stressful morning, I was free to explore for the majority of the day, beats sitting at the airport.
I aimlessly started walking and passed the Aldwych Theatre. Perhaps a good time to watch The Lion King. Jut kidding, it is on the top of Sophie’s to-do list, that would have officially been the end of me. Luckily, we do have some babysitters in London.
I started heading down the River Thames past St Paul’s Cathedral which we did visit in 2018, the dome is stunning from the inside. Crossed the “Harry Potter Bridge”, which is actually called the Millennium Bridge. The development is an interesting story. Perhaps not if you are not a N&V Engineer. Anyway, I have the mic so here it is.
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London. Construction began in 1998, and it initially opened on 10 June 2000. Londoners nicknamed it the “Wobbly Bridge” after pedestrians experienced an alarming swaying motion on its opening day. The bridge was closed later that day and, after two days of limited access, it was closed again for almost two years so that modifications and repairs could be made to keep the bridge stable and stop the swaying motion. It reopened in February 2002. The bridge’s movements were caused by a positive feedback phenomenon, known as synchronous lateral excitation. The natural sway motion of people walking caused small sideways oscillations in the bridge, which in turn caused people on the bridge to sway in step, increasing the amplitude of the bridge oscillations and continually reinforcing the effect; the maximum sway was around 70mm. On the day of opening, the bridge was crossed by 90,000 people, with up to 2,000 on the bridge at a time. When the bridge lurches to one side, the pedestrians must adjust to keep from falling over, and they all do this at the same time. The effect is similar to soldiers marching in lockstep, but horizontal instead of vertical.
Pushing on past HMS Belfast. Eventually arriving at the Tower Bridge, opposite the Tower of London. It was clear there was significantly less snow than our 2018 holiday. It was quiet last time we were here, as we seemed the only ones interested in the snow. Today, it was certainly busier on the streets. This was good to see after a city that has had it so tough the past couple of years. I still feel like it was not pumping though. To be fair, mask-wearing was much better than the media report. England have fast and looser COVID-19 response compared to Sunny Scotland and most of the universe.
I then turned around and started heading up the Thames. Past Tate Modern, I would love to have a look in there but did not feel like I had time to do it justice. Plus I sort of did have a plan of attack.
After some more speed walking, I made it all the way to the London Eye. We did not ride it last time because all you could see was thick snow. London had delivered the goods weather-wise today. It would have been the perfect day for it. I knew two little people at home would not want to miss out though, so not today.
I crossed over Westminster Bridge and past the Palace of Westminster. I could not believe it, Big Ben looked exactly the same as it did two and a half years ago. I guess these structures are not built overnight. They say the restoration will be complete this year, perhaps we will see it properly next year. At least it does the hourly “dong, dong, dong” now. That was out of order last time.
Flew through Westminster Gardens past the beloved Sir Winston Churchill Statue. It was time to explore Westminster Abbey.
It is always surreal walking around the Abbey, everywhere you look is just breathtaking, the detail is incredible. I found Professor Hawking’s gravestone, located next to Sir Isaac Newton. He was buried in Westminster Abbey just after our March 2018 visit. The gravestone has the famous Hawking’s radiation temperature equation.
It was then time for a traditional English afternoon tea with Liz. Sadly, Buckingham Palace was not flying Liz’s flag today. The guards were also in winter uniforms, no beefeaters either, lame.
The power walking continued through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Admittedly by this stage, I was tiring. There are so many escooter and ebike options throughout London, but I could probably do with the exercise. There were squirrels everywhere. The kids will love running amok here with the ducks, geese and swans. As I got closer to Kensington Palace I figured it was a good time to video call home. Eloise seemed very confused about where I was.
Running out of time and legs I had one more stop. I was heading towards Paddington Station, power walking like a fool. Turns out you can just ride horses through the City of London. Where were they a few hours ago? I was only a few blocks away when “OI LIAM, LIAM!” came from above. It was best friends of the blog, the McKenzies! We had loosely arranged to cross paths but knew it was going to be tight. I literally only had ten minutes to catch up and rest the hamstrings. They sounded like they have been having a blast.
Time was not slowing down though so it was onto the land of Eloise’s favourite little bear (thanks to Lauren and James). This time catching the Heathrow Express which had 18 fewer stops and was 40 minutes faster than the journey into the city.
Burnt a bit of time in the Heathrow Airport Harry Potter shop while trying to keep somewhat away from everyone with COVID-19. There were some big 777s and A380s from every corner of the world. It was not as busy in the airport as I had imagined though.
Quick hour flight north and we were landing in the land of golf courses for the second time in three months. The plane was packed. Come to think about it the flights were pretty pricey, COP26. I think there were only two empty seats on the A320. Somehow, both those empty seats were next to me. There were also plenty of Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening fans, a Danish team playing Rangers tomorrow in the Europe League.
Back in a taxi, just in time to deliver the souvenirs and bedtime books. I won’t be too far behind them tonight.
The London Marathon was complete. Technically it was only 49% of a marathon and 17 days late, but you get the point.
Meanwhile back in Roll-about HQ it was party shopping and party planning. On a less fun note, Lachlan also got his next lot of jabs. Do not ask for what age, a bit of a mess how the AUS/ UK jabs align/ or don’t align.