I arrived safely in London

Journal Entry #1

After a sad goodbye, mixed with excitement and nervous energy, I boarded British airways double bus and took off for London. Note to self: next time I will follow my father in laws advice and book an aisle seat in the four block not the three block. That way only one person needs to clamber over you once you have finally managed to doze off.

Upon landing it was smooth sailing, blue skies and a whole lot of help having a British passport. The airport is super user friendly and even a blonde can avoid getting lost. Free wi-fi for up to four hours, clean bathrooms and friendly staff. Pleasures unfamiliar on South African soil.

Once I had loaded my oyster card with some pounds and erased what my cappuccino had just cost me, I was off to see the city!

I had forgotten how exceptionally easy the London Underground is, an expanded Gautrain that actually connects to busses, trains and taxis. Transport is very expensive, especially during peak times. But I’m told I will quickly learn how to save money staying in one zone, travel times and frequency of trips in a day. I did notice a lot of cyclists and since my only other exposure to this was a top gear episode of James May and Jeremy Clarkson, I can now confirm that I would be dead or seriously injured in a matter of time.

The blue skies were short lived and by the time I came out from the underground the notorious London grey weather was in full swing. People here carry on, runners are out, cyclists are pedalling frantically and babies are pushed around in prams encased with rain proof bubbles.

Walking around and exploring a new city is such a treat. Hard going on the feet but liberating especially when you find success at the first TKMAX store you enter (thanks Adel). Sight seeing and exploring at my own leisure, even the blue skies returned.

My weekend in Kent was an absolute treat, foxes seen on green fields from my train ride, ponies and quaint english countryside houses. Completely spoilt by family friends. I rediscovered the game Twister and while playing found myself in some very precarious yogi poses. Truly bizarre were the self check out counters at Waitrose supermarket, can you imagine people ringing up their own groceries back home and actually paying for everything!

A run through the countryside forest proved to be a refreshing change from taxi’s, potholes and the usual early morning city smog. Days that fluctuate between chilly, wet, overcast followed by long evenings where the sun only starts to set at 9pm.

A great catch up with long last school friends and the shuddering reality that we haven’t seen each other for fifteen years! Where does the time go and what a relief to be with people who feel the same way.

Day 1 tomorrow and many a mixed emotion. Wrestling with my typical competitive edge and trying to let go of the outcome and rather make the most of the process. First priority: not leaving my lunch at home and not getting lost!