Humor Travel Writing

Getting Lost and Found in London

8th June 2018

‘I only give Purple Monkey to people I love.  So here.’

Isla shoved the aptly-named purple monkey in my face.  This recentish favorite creature was rescued from an otherwise depressing trip a safari park, back when Pokemon Go was still a thing.

Purple Monkey follows Isla wherever she goes, every second Tuesday.

Purple Monkey at The Annual Bloggers Bash in London.

I felt quite special when Isla decided I could take PM to The Bloggers Bash.

We’d been at Dad’s for a barbecue.  With no marshmallows.  Made no sense, but the company was good.  We decided to leave while everyone still had eyebrows.

‘Should we have a gin & lemonade before bed?  Because y’know?,’ asked Neil.  So, we broke out the purple bottle of gin I found on our trip to St. Andrews.

We left the house on time the next morning, heading to Inverness for our flight to London.  I only brought 4 books and finished one on the journey.

We parked apparently really far away, and I’m glad our suitcase has wheels, too.  We checked the bag and tagged my chair, and y’know, actually talked to each other while we waited to board.

I’d been holding the passports, and I noticed something.

‘So, you um, haven’t actually changed your name?’

‘I’ve assumed our married name, same thing.’

‘Are you my undercover husband, then?

‘Not in the airport, there’s cameras.’

‘SHUT UP.’

The dude helping us onto the plane liked my chair.  I get that a lot.  My wheels are bitchin’.

I walked to our row using the backs of the other seats on the way.  My butt, since having Isla, is no longer small enough to get in an airplane seat without moving the armrest.  That was fun.

We arrived in London ahead of schedule and got a shuttle bus, two trains, and a swearing wife to the hotel.

‘How far is it?’

‘Just up there.’

‘I love you A LOT.  But next time we get A TAXI.’

See, the suitcase with wheels on it decided to stop rolling.  With Neil pushing me, I carried the suitcase on my lap.  It’s all good, I lift weights.  And Neil and I made wedding plans by arm-wrestling through the various options, so y’know.  Delicate flower, I am not.

Still, I was SO HAPPY to see the hotel and even happier that they listened when we asked for a wet-room, and not just a shower over the bath.

We went out to explore our surroundings and get food.  And probably saw more people within one block than we have in two and a bit years on Skye.  We found a burger place, with actual burgers, and talked and people-watched some more.  Then we went to the pub and a twenty-four hour supermarket.  It’s the little things.

Now, I spent Friday morning eating Italian toast and hoping that my new business cards, that I got printed just for the event, would y’know, arrive before the event.

IMG_0067

My Italian toast.

I ordered them on time, but the company didn’t factor in travel time to Skye, and I had to leave, on a business trip, without my business cards.  When they did arrive on Skye, it really did take a village to get them down to me in London.  Which I’m thankful for, because I wasn’t prepared to pay £1 a card for replacement cards in London.

But I did think about printing Isla’s face on a mug.

We went to a bookstore and I got a text from Suzie.  She told me to back away from the books and meet her at some leafy gardens somewhere.  The only time I am happy to leave books is on the way to meet friends, so that worked.

Now, the thing about online friends is they’re real people.  With real voices that it’s really great to hear after so much screen time.

We hung out and then Suzie went off to do top-secret Bash stuff.

Neil and I had a hotel picnic of booze and Twinkies, and I was awake at 6 the next morning.

Because it felt like Christmas.  Happy Bash day, people.

And my cards arrived in time for me to take a photo and post it on my Instagram before we left.  Armed with business cards and Purple Monkey, we ventured out.

‘People will think Purple Monkey is my support animal.’

‘I’m your support animal, though.’

‘There is that.’

More hugs and laughter and official stuff happened.

But this post is actually about the holiday that happened after the official stuff.

After the Bash, we decided to count the cultural references in Deadpool 2.  Then we took a taxi back to the hotel.  I swear the driver sounded just like Dudley Moore.  I didn’t mention that to him, though.  Because I’m not an idiot.

The next day stretched out in front of us with nothing to do.  So we went on the London Eye.

Did I mention that kissing at the top of The London Eye is on my actual bucket list?    WE DID IT.  Well, we kissed.  And then, of course the rest of the day was ISLA WOULD LOVE THIS.  WHERE IS SHE?

I bought her something penguin-related from the Aquarium gift shop, and some other kid sneezed on me.  Memories are made of this.

We found a busker who sang about getting lost and found and I cried.  And then we met old friends for Mexican food and margaritas, which was AWESOME.

By the time we packed up to complete the circuit of two trains, a shuttle and a plane, I was ready to go.

I bought another book for the flight home, and Isla met us at the airport.

‘Did you have a good time?  Did you bring me a present?  I missed you.  Did you bring me a present?’

We were home.

What’s your favorite place in London?  Have you ever been on the London Eye?

 

Us on The London Eye


Also published on Medium.

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21 Comments

  • Reply Ritu 8th June 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Still never done the London Eye but I love it. We take the kids regularly. There is just so much to see!

    • Reply Lorna 8th June 2018 at 9:21 pm

      We do want to go back with Isla. She wouldn’t know where to look first! It really was a beautiful few days.

      • Reply Ritu 8th June 2018 at 9:26 pm

        I’m sure she’d love it!

      • Reply josypheen 8th June 2018 at 9:42 pm

        If you take Isla, get her onto the Thames clipper! Whenever I take my niece to London, she blooming loves those boats! It’s waaaay cheaper than the eye too! 😉

        They have a ramp, so i am pretty sure it’s accessible too.

        • Reply Lorna 8th June 2018 at 9:48 pm

          That’s on our explore list. We paid the regular price, but still got to cut half the queue.

  • Reply Danni 8th June 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I have been on the Eye, and my favorite place in London was a little Spanish restaurant that we found by accident that had the most amazing food we encountered during my entire trip. I wish I could remember the name. 2nd favorite wad the Camden Stall Market.

  • Reply Flossie 9th June 2018 at 12:08 am

    Oh, gosh, so many faves in London, it’s hard to pick! There’s a bombed-out-in-WWII-cathedral-made-into-park that I love, but I forget exactly where it is…Globe, palaces, tea at palaces, shopping, shopping, shopping…

  • Reply You Can Always Start Now 9th June 2018 at 11:36 am

    I haven’t been to London in years. I am a neighbourhood walking so always enjoy just exploring that way. Jealous when I read about the Bloggers Bash with so many of you meeting. Sigh maybe one year.

  • Reply Claire Saul (PainPalsBlog) 9th June 2018 at 11:54 am

    Great pic of you guys!! We’ve done the London Eye a couple of times – we went up with the boys when I was 6 months preg with Lucy and still extremely sick. It may only move slow but……Then of course as St Thomas’s has been a regular haunt of mine over the last few years, i have become very well acquainted with that stretch of the South Bank. When I was on in patient pain course we had to sort our own food in the evening – we pain crew became regulars at all the bars!! When you do come back down with Isla, we will send lots of places to visit….and maybe do some with you. Lucy may be nearly 16, but can be persuaded for a trip out!

  • Reply afternoonofsundries 9th June 2018 at 1:56 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful trip! Someday I hope to go traveling to all the places I ready about from all of the BUYB blogs! It really is the little things that make it all worthwhile!

  • Reply fancypaperblog 9th June 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Isla’s face on a cup sounds adorable 🙂 I am glad you had a nice mini break☺ you are right – it is the little things

  • Reply fattymccupcakes 9th June 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I love reading your blog. Your writing makes me smile ❤️

  • Reply Lydia Young-Samson 10th June 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I absolutely love your style of writing, you had me laughing by the time you got to the airport! Sounds like you had a great time traveling London!

  • Reply Crystal 11th June 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I love your sense of humor and your writing style. I’ve never been to London so I can’t tell you a favorite spot of mine, but I want to go and experience it all. 🙂

  • Reply Cynthia Mackintosh 11th June 2018 at 3:36 pm

    We absolutely love London! Our oldest son has actually been there twice. And yes, we have been on the London Eye. Some of the best views. However, next door to the London Eye is The London Film Museum that houses a lot of shows/movies that we, as a family, love to watch!

  • Reply Laurel 12th June 2018 at 1:44 am

    I haven’t been to London so it’s great to read your views and your sense of humor makes your post a great read also!

  • Reply bombshellwifelife 12th June 2018 at 3:04 am

    Love this!! I have never been to London before but I would absolutely love to visit!! Thanks for making me laugh!

  • Reply Novel Blondes 12th June 2018 at 3:51 am

    I took my kids to London several years ago! Loved exploring the museums, gardens, palaces, and streets. I’d love to go back some day.

  • Reply Miriam Joy 20th June 2018 at 3:01 pm

    We went on the London Eye as a family back in about 2001 when it was still new. I don’t remember it, but I’m cute in the photos, and we’re all wearing super great jumpers.

    • Reply Lorna 20th June 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Sometimes I forget how old you’re not.

      • Reply Miriam Joy 20th June 2018 at 3:46 pm

        Haha. I mean, I was five-nearly-six, so not a total baby, but I also remember very little before the age of 10.

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