Another one bites the dust

Another steamy day in London town. It’s 30 degrees celcius today and I really do wonder whether we will be needing around 75% of the things that we have packed to bring. C has been awake since 5am. T and I sleep longer, as we’ve been up midnight feasting again. We wait for Anna to join us with little S, my God daughter and then we troop up to the Euston road to take the bus to my cousins house. We have some gluten free cookies with us that my dad has purchased at Waitrose (http://www.waitrose.com/), and the meal plan for the day is BBQ, so I know that C will be absolutely fine on the food front. C and his cousin M are 10 days apart in age. I wonder how they will get on. As it turns out, it’s not really anything that I need to be concerned about. They get along like a house on fire. The whole bus thing has changed since we lived here. We get on with kids and stroller and all and go to give money to the driver who then tells us to get back off, as our tickets need to be purchased at the bus stop from the machine. Arghh. We all troop off and are thankful, in this baking heat that we have the right change for the silly ticket machine, as it accepts only the right change and doesn’t give any money back. What a silly system! The boys are perplexed by this saga and decide that the bus driver really wasn’t a very nice man.

Luckily, another bus comes quickly and we sit, baking hot – why doesn’t London ever think about air conditioning on public transport? – on our way to Stoke Newington.

We miraculously get off at the right bus stop and a short walk away my family awaits. The kids are delighted to find a Wii in action and that’s them lost for the next hour or so. It gives us grown ups time to chat and catch up, which is great.

After an amazing lunch, we watch the cringeworthy UK v Germany soccer match (http://www.fifa.com/). It doesn’t take long before I can’t bear to watch, although I’ve declared that I’ll support Germany today, it’s awful to watch England lose so badly. I manage to get myself on wifi instead and catch up on emails. Amazing – it’s only been 3 days since I was online, but I find myself desperate to catch up with correspondence. Must make the Starbucks on Tavistock Place a regular part of our routine the next few days. Simply doesn’t do to have such a lapse in communications!

We manage a quick Skype (www.skype.com) with M back home in Mill Valley. So good to see him. He looks a lot more rested than he was when we last saw him. Amazing what a couple of nights sleep without children in the house can do. It feels strange to be having all of these great experiences without him.

We say goodbye to my cousin and his family who’ve traveled down from Manchester to see us and then head to Carters Steam Fair (http://www.carterssteamfair.co.uk/) in the park along the road. The boys are delighted. T, C and their cousin M win some plastic swords. C screams with delight when he goes on the bumper cars with M and I wonder whether such a ride would even be allowed in the US with all of the potential liability involved due to potential injury. Probably not. That makes me feel a little sad as the kids are having SO much fun.

We say yet another set of goodbyes and head back to Bloomsbury. We curse as we manage to miss another 73 bus, due to the need to purchase silly tickets from a silly machine again. I wish that the kids here were on school holidays too. Such a shame to have such limited time with the boys second cousins this week.

T falls asleep on the bus and C looks like a zombie by the time we get back to the flat. Big hugs for my friend Anna, her husband Tomas and little S. They are heading back to Dublin in the morning. So many hellos and so many goodbyes in the space of a couple of days.  Am so happy to be here. Difficult to summarize how I feel about living so far away from everyone right now.