My dad had just come back from a 7 week visit to India...his first since we went in 2001. He was mad to go at this time of year as it's really hot there. But it was good for him to see his sisters and other family.
We visited him on his return back. First a stopover for the night in the Premier Inn in Stevenage Central. If you should find yourself in need of a hotel don't pick this one...it's well dated. But if you need a bite to eat go here as the restaurant staff were the most cheerful ever, even though they were so busy and run off their feet.
Next morning we went to stay at my dad's. Much as I love him the smell of his cigarettes and cooking linger and make me uncomfortable. I also revert to my adolescent self and end up having confrontations with the old man. I got cross when I couldn't find towels though he had never moved them, I just forgot where they were.
My little brother is living with him again too trashing my old room. So there was a clean up to do before we could put little one in there to sleep.
The trip was great though as we visited my my best mate and her son then my other young brother, his four kids and wife. Their house is immaculate because my bro is a bit OCD. He needs to be as their flat is small. I wish I was as disciplined. Sigh. Our little one absolutely loves going there as she loves playing with her girl cousins. I wished we lived closer so they could meet more often. Sigh.
The next day, we went along to the South Bank to meet Plummy friends. I may have mentioned before that this is my favourite place ON EARTH. It's sad but I just love it. Despite that I still managed to get off at the wrong tube stop....what a crap memory. What a numpty.Anyway, once there I love walking by the river, past the book stalls at the NFT, down to Gabriel's Wharf for Gourmet pizza, so much to see and do. Whilst it rained we sheltered inside the Festival Hall. We went up to see what's on all the floors. Great views of London (though not of the Shard). We tried to get our kids to listen to a choir but that didn't work. So we took THE SINGING LIFT down to the food market. Yes, you read correctly, the lift sings. For once, we were happy to be going up and down the wrong floors as the singing was so fun.
After being treated to ice cream we walked back to the area around the London Eye seeing people play music, stand as statues, blow giant bubbles and a guy play drums amazingly well on old plastic bins.
Sigh. The long weekend was not long enough, time ran out and we didn't visit Royal Greenwich or Plumstead to see friends and spy on our house. I wonder how my garden is doing in this so called drought.
It was a lovely weekend away but you know what, as we drove back to Livingston, I was happy to leave the crush of people and the narrow streets. It was great to be able to see all the fields on the drive back and breathe the fresh air.