Sophie and the kids had a packed social calendar this week as they continue to mingle. On Monday, The Three Musketeers set off to catch up with another local family for a playdate. The family was questioning whether they should befriend us Aussies this close to the Ashes Series. Both of us will actually be up earlier enough to watch them, although not on Sophie’s radar. Lachlan is also getting much better at sitting. Which is trickier than it sounds for a boy who does not like to hang about.
Tuesday was Saint Andrew’s Day in Scotland, Liam did not get the day off of work. There is a confusing bank holiday schedule that is not consistent throughout the United Kingdom.
Saint Andrew’s Day (Scots: Saunt Andra’s Day, Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Anndrais) is Scotland’s official national day. It has been a national holiday in Romania since 2015… The celebration of Saint Andrew as a national festival among some social strata and locales is thought to originate from the reign of Malcolm III (1058–1093). It was thought that the ritual slaughter of animals associated with Samhain was moved to this date so as to assure enough animals were kept alive for winter. But it is only in more recent times that 30 November has been given national holiday status, although it remains a normal working day.
Tuesday, Sophie and the kids were invited for a swim and play at the David Lloyd Club, the Scottish version of Adelaide’s Next Generation, although all the tennis courts were inside and not lawn. Lachlan loved splashing and jumping in the toddler pool. Eloise enjoyed running about with Juju and picking up the dive sticks without putting her head underwater.
It was perfect for the kids and wore them out. Eloise was asleep in bed before Dad could finish the bedtime books.
Wednesday, was the 1st of December and the beginning of the PAW Patrol advent calendar. Eloise could not believe she was having chocolate before breakfast. Lachlan looked on in frustration, grrr.
Jennine came over for lunch and Eloise shared her toys. Lachlan showed off his crawling.
Wednesday night was Super Mum’s Bounce Back to Netball second session. Sophie enjoyed carpooling with local mummas and the “Aussie flick” was on fire. Eloise was in a deep sleep and missing out on the footy with Lachlan and Dad.
Thursday morning Liam finally got to use the car ice scraper and de-icer spray, which worked well.
Meanwhile in Denmark “Ikea customers and staff [slept] in store after [a] snowstorm”. At least they had plenty of furniture and Swedish meatballs. This is probably what Eloise’s dreams about. Lachlan spent the day rugged up like a lil’ gangsta.
Liam finished work at midday on Friday and after a short walk, the packing began.
This morning we were all up bright and early, scoffed down some breakfast, did the last minute packing and was out the door before you could say haggis. Lachlan was confused but loving the action and Eloise was excited we were catching a small train to ride on a big train.
After arriving at Glasgow Queen Street Station we checked out some of the outdoor stores but still no luck in the snowsuit department. We made our way to Glasgow Central Station and looked for some early lunch when we received an email saying our train had been cancelled due to the UK being generally unpredictable. The next train was two hours away but luckily the train beforehand was just about to leave. We managed to jump on with all our gear into a wheelchair bay. The train was packed as everyone from our initial train had the same thought.
It was then a challenging four and a half hour juggle of two children all the way to London Euston Station. Well, Lachlan was easily managed, Energiser Eloise was bouncing off every wall and through each carriage. To be fair, they were both pretty good and Eloise was just curious and interested. As we did not have time to get lunch beforehand, Tunnock’s it was.
After arriving in London the plan was to catch the Underground to our hotel but after the crammed train ride, we needed to stretch our legs. We were quickly reminded of how big London is, although it seemed strangely quiet for a Saturday evening. We passed the Equestrian Statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the Royal Exchange.
This is usually the part where I rip off some information from Wikipedia. Long story short, it is not as cool as the Duke of Wellington in Glasgow and does not have the cone(s) on head tradition.
We passed Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest markets in London, dating from the 14th century. It sounded like it was absolutely pumping inside and then arrived at Travelodge London Central Tower Bridge.
Eloise quickly snapped into her role of Chief Mini Milk Counter and Lightswitch Checker. Lachlan was glad to be able to roll around again. Once the kids had relaxed we then headed out to find some dinner and decided on Sripur, an Indian restaurant. The food was nice and we certainly paid for it. That’s right, welcome to London.
After the late dinner, we thought we would quickly show the kids some of the sights. However, it turned into an incredibly slow tour as not only did Eloise want to walk, Fox had to walk along too. I appreciate how Eloise also did the old man Dad hunch. We made our way down to the River Thames so Eloise could see the lights from The Shard which had intrigued her above the city.
The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, that forms part of the Shard Quarter development. Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 feet) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and the seventh-tallest building in Europe. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower of the Emley Moor transmitting station. The Shard’s construction began in March 2009; it was topped out on 30 March 2012 and inaugurated on 5 July 2012… The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244 metres (801 ft). The Shard was developed by Sellar Property Group on behalf of LBQ Ltd and is jointly owned by Sellar Property (5%) and the State of Qatar (95%). The Shard is managed by Real Estate Management (UK) Limited on behalf of the owners.
We then made our way past the Tower of London and to the Tower Bridge before heading back to our room where the kids went calmly and swiftly to bed #loljks. Tonight it was Super Mum’s turn to put Eloise to sleep. Liam got a chuckle at Eloise requesting her favourite bedtime song “Mum, walk song, walk song” before being frustrated Mum did not know the words to You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Today the “UK [tightened] travel rules amid Omicron spread”. We think they are trying to shift from a level of complete confusion and inaction to a level of partial confusion and inaction. While moving from a code red to a slightly darker shade of code red. Oh wait, were we code green before?