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After a wonderful lazy morning we headed for King’s Cross and St. Pancras to see the changes since our last visit. We crossed over the Grand Union Canal and walked across Granary Square and through the Coal Yard.

From there we went to Liverpool Street Station on the Metropolitan Line and headed for Spitalfields Market.

Our next and last stop for the day was Eataly. We met Jordy and Raymond for lunch. I had the gnocchi which was good but not fantastic. This was the general consensus for the meals. But the deli and food market is fantastic and we bought some Italian cheese for dinner. Before we headed back home we all had gelato. Nocciola for me which is always my first choice in Italy.

It was then back home to relax, chat, cook vegetarian pasta for dinner and chill. How blessed we are to spend this time with friends.

Tonight’s cider

Kindertransport was an organised rescue effort of children from Nazi controlled territory that took place prior to WW2. So many families owe their lives to this simple act.


East Barnet

Talya came to fetch us from Arnos Grove and the first order of the day was breakfast. I then unpacked and Dave went to shower. Once I had showered and changed Talya and I went to Tesco. We did a top up shop for dinner and a few extras, like Cider for me. By the time we got home it was close to lunch time so a decision was made. We decided The Cock in Cockfosters would be ideal. A booking was made, kids hustled up and off we went. I had cider on tap.

Half pint of cider

Dave and John had beer on tap and Talya had lime and soda. I decided that my first British meal had to be fish and chips. Dave and John had the same, Talya and Maya had duck salad and Josh went with a pizza.

Fish and chips with pea purée

After lunch Talya and I went for a 4.5km walk around the park and when we got back we started on dinner, chatted and dealt with the laundry.

Walking in the park

Just a normal day. Dave did bruschetta for snacks, with mushrooms. And supper was potato salad, green salad and chicken on the braai. Cheese and biscuits and lovely conversation to end the evening. The entire day was great but by 9pm it was bedtime for me.

More cider

Gordons Bay to London

Finally, it’s the 1st of June and we are on our way. As I type this we are in the Bidvest Premier Lounge relaxing. I finished packing late yesterday with our one suitcase exactly 23 kgs. Check in online was a breeze and we did rapid flow covid tests at home. They were simple to use. And thankfully the results were negative.

This morning we went to work as usual and we got everything done by lunch time. Then it was home to shower and change and wait for the concierge driver to collect us. He arrived 5 minutes early and we were on our way by 15:00. Check in was smooth and so was security. We arrived at the front of the queue for passport control as they changed shift so we had a short wait there. After buying glasses for Dave we went straight to the lounge to relax and wait for boarding.

We had snacks, gin with grapefruit tonic and an hour before departure made our way to the gate. We were in the first ten to board which was fantastic, giving us time to settle in.

After a glass of orange juice we took off at 19:15. And 20 minutes later we were served drinks and pretzels. For supper we had cous cous salad, a really delicious plate of spinach and ricotta ravioli and tarte au citron for dessert. We were done eating my 20:50, just in time to wind down for our normal bed time.

Despite a sleeping tablet and an antihistamine I did not sleep well. Just under 5 hours of broken sleep, interrupted for coffee at 4:45 South African time. I snoozed until they turned the lights on and then had breakfast. More coffee of course, and a ham and cheese bread roll plus a muffin. I didn’t have the yoghurt as I knew we would eat at Talya when we arrived there.

We landed five minutes early, disembarked and made our way to passport control. Bring in the front of the plane really helps. Passport control was simple with only one question asked. Then off to collect luggage while Dave shaved. Our bags were there as I got to the belt so that worked well. We topped up our Oyster Cards and got the Picadilly Line to Arnos Grove.

One year later

In 2021 our family planned a gathering in Abingdon to celebrate a milestone birthday. My Aunt, Evie was turning 80 and her sisters were going to travel to be with her. My mom from South Africa, and my Aunt from Naples, Florida. My cousin Steve, her son, was flying over from New Jersey. Coming with him were his two children, and his wife. As they were recently married, and had celebrated without their UK family, we planned a wedding tea for them. Of course, Dave and I would be there as well. The party would have been 13 strong and the plan was a cruise on The Thames for pre dinner drinks, followed by a meal at The Folly. Well, the worldwide pandemic put paid to that. Evie celebrated with Anne, her daughter, Stuart, Henry and Jane. We had a family zoom party across countless time zones as my sister lives in Australia. One year later, all seems to be different. Only Dave and I are going. Tickets have been booked, Visas are in our passport. And we have the rest of May to hold our breath and hope that the world is really back to living!