And We’re Off!

IMG_2744Baggage is on, fuel is loaded and we’re ready to go.

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We’re off to the country of double decker buses and……                                                              

IMG_2755 double decker strollers.

Needless to say we have been a tad busy, but did manage to take in Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square.

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and visit  John Singer Sargent The Watercolours at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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When we were entering the gallery we ran into Ben Wilson the London bubblegum street artist refreshing one of his designs. He was happy to chat about his art and life on the street.

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And here I am taking advantage of a quiet moment waiting for the train at the end of another  busy day.

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We’re Off to London…and You’re Coming Too!

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We’re off to London and you’re coming too! In a few days we will be in Richmond (south-west of London) visiting my daughter and her family. I am beyond excited to see my three grandsons, two of whom we haven’t seen since they were born in September. Yup, twins and a three year old. Almost guarantees that there will be a child in my arms during most of the waking hours.

My suitcase is open on the floor and the first clean clothes have started to be added. That’s a good sign.

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I seem to go through a number of predictable phases whenever a trip is in the offing and I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Excitement: The trip is booked and there is no turning back. Almost time to unleash the moorings and let the wind catch the sails.
  2. Wardrobe Crisis: I know the trip is real when this very predictable phase begins. Living here in the country, my wardrobe in the summer consists mostly of old t-shirts, stained pants, and slip on shoes that I can wear in the gardens. Not exactly big city worthy! Time to replenish and uplift my wardrobe. For the summer, this means finding a couple of dresses and skirts that are the right measure of casual, updating the t-shirts and making sure I have good walking shoes and sandals that I can pair with it all. This wardrobe update takes most of my free time in the month or so preceding a trip because it usually involves longish drives to shopping sources close to the city.
  3. Gifts bought: For this trip that means toys and clothes for the grandchildren. The three year old has already told his mother we always bring him lots of toys in our suitcase. No pressure!
  4. Overwhelm: This is the hardest phase and has me wanting to stay in bed with a pillow pulled over my head. For some reason, I feel I have to put my whole life in order before undertaking any trip. And in the country, on a large property, nothing is all that orderly in the summer. In addition, it means making sure my 96 year old mother has all the support and books and money she needs to tide her over while I am away. Throw in a birthday party and a few social events and you have the set-up for number five which follows.
  5. Frazzled nerves and exhaustion: This is when I go a little crazy and nobody really wants to be around me.  I don’t even want to be around me.
  6. Excitement: This last phase which also happens to be the same as the first only happens after the two hour drive to the airport, drop off of the car and the bags have been checked. It always entails a glass of wine or two.

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I promise you though, when we get there it’s going to be fun.

IMG_2723Whee!!

Can’t wait to show you around.