Saturday, December 26, 2009

No snow in London

Well I'm finally in London. 12 Hours in an aeroplane wasn't sssooo bad after all, flying on Christmas day definitely has it's advantages. The plane was relatively empty and I landed up with three seats to myself which allowed me to "sort of" lie down, I still got back ache but the three people in front of me only got one seat each, so I'm definitely not complaining, thank you Lord. A bit of advice for long haul travelers: take a bottle of water with you, it gets very hot on board during the night, (possibly if you have a daytime flight the airconditioning will stay on), but I got so thirsty.
Having left Cape Town in the middle of summer where temperatures are in the upper twenties/early thirties and landing in the northern hemisphere in the middle of winter where 8 degrees is considered a warm day has called for a little adjustment but fortunately I was forwarned. It's raining here but at least the snow has stopped. The house in which I'm staying is also heated but getting around outside (and I'm an outside person) takes a little preparation, no more t-shirts and sandals.
We flew in while it was still dark so I've not seen much of anything yet, however while flying over Paris and the french countryside I did notice that there aren't many large open spaces left, not by South African standards anyway. The English Channel seemed so dark but from the air if one looked towards the front of the plane you could see the English coast, a mass of lights, and if you looked towards the rear of the plane you could see the french coast, a mass of lights.

 Trying to photograph lights from a moving plane isn't exactly easy, the camera needs a long exposure because of the low light so that everything comes out blurred. Well we will see how they turned out once I've downloaded them.So much for the flight.

Arriving at Heathrow airport was interesting in that once we got into the building we had to board an underground train to get to customs and immigration. For me there was no problem with customs but there was one poor chap who was being very closely questioned. They had his passport and were examining it with a magnifying glass (literally) holding it up to the light and asking for explanations and reasons, poor guy, I wonder whether they let him through eventually and if not, what they did with him. Would they put him on the next plane back home or what? My heart goes out to him.
My "ex" was at the airport to meet me and I must admit I was very happy to see her. She then drove me to her home in the smallest car I've ever been in, a Chevrolet Matiz, man these are tiny little things, one of my bags took up the whole of the trunk, and I travel light. She lives very near to the airport but the roads here are a mass of tangled confusion. Poor Susan is night blind too so as you can imagine, missed turns and detours and she is so happy to have me here that I think she was getting a bit flustered.
After reintroducing me to all the cats and spending a little time drinking coffee and catching up with e-mails and so on, she decided to take me shopping.

In this country, on boxing day, the stores have half-price sales and as you can imagine there are millions of people out and about, this is going to take some getting used to, in South Africa boxing day is usualy a day to recover from the previous days overindulgence and the roads and shops are empty, not the beaches though, summer is a time for outdoor activity.
We will be going into London today to do the touristy thing, you know, Trafalgar square, Tower bridge, Buckingham palace and so on. Hopefuly I will get some pretty pictures to add to my blog.
I must admit, I'm realy happy to be here and am truly grateful to Susan for all that she has done. I could never have done this without her. THANK YOU SUSAN. I'm of course very very very grateful to the Lord for bringing this about. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU LORD. I LOVE YOU.
What advice could you give to travelers, especialy those going overseas?


  1. What an adventure you are about to go on! I am so happy that you are having fun. Life is to short. (To travel is to live.) God bless you on your adventures in England. E-

  2. Hey Geoff, didn't know you'd been writing this long... James definitely looks like your ex.

    The photos of London are fantastic.