Amazingly (my powers of recovery are far better than I thought they would or could be) I was up, ready and at a breakfast table in the hotel by 08.30 hours on the morning following the party. Less than 4 hours alcohol aided sleep and I didn’t have a sore head. Or feel nauseous. The hard training had obviously paid off!
I enjoyed a good breakfast with even better company and was able to chat with people that I just didn’t find time to chat with the previous night but all too soon it was time to say my farewells, check out of the hotel and head back to Covent Garden. I had a lunch date with my ‘little’ sister Christine who I hadn’t seen for 4 years. And we were being joined by her son Bradley, his partner Shorona and their two children, Cody and Lottie.
I reached Covent Garden shortly after noon and stood outside the underground station looking left, right, straight ahead,left,right,straight ahead as throngs of people were milling around.
Thirty minutes passed by. Where could she be? I checked my ‘phone. Dead. The battery had run out of charge. I looked around for a public ‘phone box (booth for non-UK readers). They’re not a common sight any more in the UK (the advent of mobiles has virtually eradicated the need). And I saw one. Not more than 60 yards away.
I made the call. My sister answered. She was waiting for me only 60 yards away from where I’d previously been standing (dramatic, isn’t it!). I walked back in the direction I’d just come from and then I saw her and then we hugged (heart wrenching stuff this).
We retired to a nearby pub (they seem to be on nearly every corner in Covent Garden) to chat about what life has been like foreach of us in the ensuing 4 years since we last saw each other.
Eventually Bradley, Shorona, Cody and Lottie turned up and it was time to set off for our lunch. But not before Cody posed with a street entertainer.
And then it was time for lunch at T.G.I Friday’s
Chris, my sister, and proud Nana of the recently born Lottie.
After an extremely restful sleep I got ready and went for a final (well on this trip at least) walk around Covent Garden and then enjoyed an English breakfast back at the hotel. I checked out and then called (ordered online) an Uber taxi.
Now when I was last in England Uber didn’t exist but my friend John had mentioned it when we were out on our Jolly Boy’s Outing ( I don’t know how I remembered but I did) and I registered the next day.
I got a message back to inform me of the vehicle type, the registration, the driver’s name and a photograph of him. It advised that the taxi would be with me in 2 minutes. It was and it took me all the way to Ealing for just £22.83. And the driver was reluctant to take a tip. If you’re visiting London I highly recommend it.
Why Ealing you’re thinking. Well, that’s where my best friend lives. And he offered to put me up for my final night in the UK and run me to Heathrow airport the next morning. Oh, and I’d used him for a mailing address for all of my online purchases!
First job when I got there was to get all my stuff down from his loft, remove the packaging and pack it in my suitcases. Easy. Well I didn’t think that when I saw the parcels.
Did I let my fingers get a little too busy on the keyboard? Would it all fit in with the stuff I’d already bought? Well I got it all in and there was still space left in my two cases let alone my carry-on. Only one thing to do. Go ‘hit’ the supermarkets for all of those little treats that we can’t get on Ambergris Caye.
With the shopping out of the way it was time to get item number 6 off of MY Cuisine List. Kleftiko, that’s what I wanted so Janet, John and I took a bus and went to the Wine & Mousaka restaurant near Ealing Broadway.
With the meal finished there was just time to get one more drink (OK, two) in an English pub. It just had to be done !
Even though we really should have gone to bed when we got back to their house we sat up reminiscing about the good old days (for non-UK readers read ‘back in the day’) as we looked at old photographs.
The next morning I was up, showered, shaved and dressed shortly after 06.00 hours and I even got the bonus of a coffee brought to my bedroom by my best mate John.
After kissing Janet goodbye we went to the airport where I checked in. After around 20 minutes John and I said our goodbyes.
It was a great visit but I was pleased to be heading back home. Home to Ambergris Caye and Rose and Ziggy.
Oh, what did I bring back? Loads of stuff. And here’s just a SMALL sample:
Some dental treats for Ziggy
The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1970 by the England World Cup squad (rather apt really as the European Championships are just about to commence) which reached number 1 on the UK Singles Charts. Amazingly it didn’t make the charts in the US!