I arrived in London with no expectations, but plenty of hope. Caught up in an unrealistic bubble that this trip might be the turning point for me, the one where life begins to resemble the shade of rose I’d envisaged.
From eighteen years old I’ve been a mum, nursed and lost a fiancé battling cancer, married, brought up children, and currently in the middle of a divorce. The time to party, to be carefree and abandon responsibilities is not something I’ve experienced. I don’t even know if I’d be any good at it, but I want to have fun.
This adventure was about new experiences. Yes, I can’t deny that each and every part of my London trip has been a new experience, but I can’t say it has been much fun.
Friday, the day I arrived, was the day I was most excited about and I wasn’t disappointed, but apparently too many cocktails and jet lag isn’t such a fabulous mix. Especially not for a Cadbury Kid, where a glass and a half sees me on my way. Steep slippery stairs to my room saw me landing face first at the bottom. This is not a new experience for me…give me a staircase and I will fall down it! I’m such a klutz!
I woke in the morning to a grazed, bruised and swollen ankle, with a wrist and knuckles to match. Walking long distances required plenty of pain killers I’m glad I packed.
The Jack the Ripper Museum was a must on my list of places to see, so I set off on foot…don’t get me started on the confusion of the underground! Half an hour into my walk I stopped and bought myself a coffee, which was too hot to drink, so I continued on my adventure with coffee in hand.
As I said before, I’m a klutz…I’m also easily excited. So when I stumbled upon this building I had to take pictures. It wasn’t until I was standing under the bridge did disaster strike. In awe of the architecture, I somehow managed to drop my phone, which hit my coffee, knocked the lid off the cup and splashed three quarters of the contents down the front of my white jumper, and in my hair and over my face. Unlike my trip down the stairs the previous night, my klutz moment was witnessed by many. I was thankful to the gentleman who showed me to a bathroom, inside this magnificent building, to attempt to clean myself up. No such luck! Water on a thin white jumper is not a good look on anyone, so I escaped the building, without learning its name, with a scarf strategically wrapped to cover all coffee splotches.
Stationed at the end of the street was a taxi. I was so relieved to have a getaway vehicle on hand that I even forgave the obscene language the driver was hurling, whist engaged in a telephone conversation he was having.
Back in my room I cleaned myself up and set out on foot again. I had briefly visited St Pancras Station the day before, but wanted to photograph the statute above. So, I headed back to a place I will always remember with fondness, having been kissed by hope and zero expectation.
I returned to my room, later than expected, having seen less than I planned for that day, by taxi. The international roaming on my phone hasn’t kicked in, as Telstra said it would, and so navigation is left up to me…let’s just say, I won’t be adding navigation as a skill to my CV anytime soon!
My trip may not have started off on the best note, but there have been moments that took my breath away, and I wouldn’t change those for anything!