CUWAM : London…the last hurruh…

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Jet lag, you are no friend of mine…but it seems you are a friend of this blog…and so a late night entry begins.

There is no denying that I am home….to the city of Sydney, the city that I love, to my humble home, back with Flora the cat, who is a little unsure of my return…her constant nudging, licking and need for affection, nothing out of the ordinary, but the welcome home courtship is a bit much….I am tired, not interested…yet happy to be reunited just the same.

Jet lag, and feeling of not knowing exactly with body clock to inhabit….London time, which would mean I would be eating breakfast right now, or to embrace the city of Sydney’s invitation to sleep…it is pushing midnight and it does seem like a good option….But I am interested in neither….so to blogging I turn my attention.

Hampstead Heath….October 4th…and the pilgrimage to the great romantic poet, John Keats’s house…..With the line to his poem, Bright Star’ whirling around in my head, I strolled up Keats Grove, eager to part with the 5 pound entry fee to spend time to the poets former home….only to be greeted at the gates to the home by the following message ‘ Due to an invasion of wasps, Keats House is closed today’

Wow wee….was not expecting that….Disappointed, amused, unsure of which direction to take….ironically I stumbled upon a library next door…a literary feast awaited me, and picking up a book of poetry by Keats, I walked over to a window over looking his garden, took a seat bathed in afternoon sun and started reciting aloud the poem ‘ Ode to a Nightingale’….and soon the libraries window sill was awash with spirited birds, chirping in unison with the melodic words of one of the greatest love poems ever written….

The above unfortunately did not happen…rather I imagined it or am presently swaying in an out of a jet lag lethargy that my writing style is more lucid!! Love it…But after my library dalliance…I headed to Hampstead Heath on foot, for an afternoon of good old fashioned British rambling, through forest woods, over hills, under bridges, via swimming ponds and historic homes….A beautiful way to spend any afternoon.

Rejoining civilisation ( ?) I caught the tube late afternoon, back to Covent Garden, for a coffee at Monmouth Coffee, followed by a 30 minute stint in the National Portrait Gallery. A quick glance at Trafalgar Square and then the tube ride home….

No sooner had I touched base at Canary Wharf, a phone call from Jo confirming that Yo and myself would partake in an evening movie and dinner date…. So to the cinema I went, watching a Ryan Gosling film called ”Drive’…a movie paced slower than an episode of Bold and the Beautiful, with such violence, I covered my eyes and ears for 74% of the movie….I guess you can say I did not like it….Dinner on the other hand was a lovely curry meal in a nearby Indian Restaurant.

And the morning of the my last day in London…I was sad, the London weather was too…the heatwave a distant memory now, replaced by a cool breeze, a brisk 15 degree temperature….Goodbyes to Jo and Yo before the clock had chimed 8am….an honest goodbye at an appropriate time… I will be seeing Jo and Yo over Christmas in OZ…when I have promised to make the mojito’s at a beach of their choice…my way of thanking them for the fun times they provided during my London stay….So Jo and Yo, thank you….the Bacardi is on ice till you arrive in town!!

Determined to go out in style, I headed out early….taking the train to Putney Green, bound for the Fulham Palace Drawing Room for a mid morning breakfast…The place reminded me of the Centennial Park Café in Sydney, on a grander scale….the diners predominately yummy mummies and their offspring…Feeling somewhat out of place, I was not deterred, I was just hungry and a bacon sandwich, coffee and jam shortbread cookie hit the spot.

Next stop, Kings Road Chelsea….to hit the shopping strip of the rich, very rich and very, very, very rich…Armed with a budget of 50 pounds I really should have thought twice, but I could not help myself…Kings Road was the place I first found employment when I arrived as a 22 year old backpacker to the UK…in an up market furniture shop…Heals….I can’t help but go back on each visit to the UK…for old times sake….

Shopping on Kings Road was a nice precursor to my afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington…a short 15 minute walk from the shopping strip…I arrived with a good hour up my sleeve in order to see the Postmodernism Exhibition, detailing the design and fashion movement from the late 1970’s to early 1990’s.

What was interesting about this exhibition was the fact that I was a young child, early teen during the late 80’s- early 90’s….I had lived through this era…But I had little awareness of the issues, ideas, fashion movements, design themes that had influenced this part of history…Did the Post-modern movement ever make it to South Coast of NSW, Australia….I should have asked someone at the V& A Museum….for I am left wondering….puzzled even….That time in history looked like fun….

Feeling a bit cheated when I left exhibition and even less keen to return home than I was prior to a thought processes crystallising that my home town was always going to be a step or two behind the movements that spread like wildfire through Europe and the United States…it took some coaxing for me to board the London Underground…nothing a chocolate bar can’t fix though

And the beginning of the end, the pre flight shower, the bag packing, struggling to fit in the new purchases, the item culling ( Jo and Yo, I hope you put the Colgate Toothpaste to use!!), the tube ride, boarder security, duty free browsing and then plane boarding.

There is little joy in long haul flights….especially if you have done them before, the discomfort experienced as you are sandwiched into a seat, squashed either side by strangers…soon to be nameless friends, who, like you, flick through the in-flight entertainment system, looking for something to offset the boredom, eat plane food so bland you at the end of each feeding session you are left wondering if you ate the beef option, or was it chicken?….

And then with a great thud you land right back where you started…and question if the holiday happened at all…..And jut like that I am back on home soil….Sydney, it is time to show me some love……

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