Sunday, 9 February 2014

Exploring London with my mom { A Backyard Series post}

I am going to take a break in the recapping of past holidays to share a bit of my right now.  I fall into a pretty grey area when it comes to defining my place in the UK and probably the world {dramatic much? haha}. Although I lived here when I was younger, I moved to South Africa when I was about 5 or so and that is the country I remember growing up in. I went to school and university there and grew up in a small  beachy town with the best friends and childhood memories. I really do love South Africa. The grey area comes in due to the fact that both of my parents are British and both grew up here and got their respective degrees/careers on track here. My dad's entire family have only ever lived in England, and my moms brother lives here too, so while I like to think if myself as a South African expat, am I really? I hold both passports, and have only ever been a tax payer in the United Kingdom, I have more family on this side of the world, but I vote in both countries elections and feel patriotic towards both. It's kind of like I have a split personality,am I more British or South African?! Identity crisis of note I tell ya! Try watching a sporting game between England and South Africa with my issues...its not pretty! Anywho, I digress, the point I am trying to make is that I sometimes forget to enjoy my time in London and England because it just feels normal to me, like home, but this year I made a conscious decision to explore my "backyard" and make the most of my time here- who knows where the future will find me.

Yesterday my lovely mom took a short train trip down from her little village in the Midlands to spend the day with me in London. She only recently relocated back to the UK and it really is so great having her back on the same soil as me - not only do Hamish and I have a second home to visit in the countryside when we get tired of the craziness that is life in the Capital, but I can call her with my free minutes, at any time of the day! Bonus!  I won't even go into the fact that she brought my beautiful dog Sophie over with her  - that is a whole other post!

Introducing Sophie, otherwise known as the best, most beautiful dog in the world.
We had a great day being tourists in London. We started the day off at the markets in Greenwich, which are indoors {thankfully as it was pouring}so we spent some time perusing the various craft and food stalls before heading to a cute little arty cafe called the Red Door Cafe. Their hot chocolate was amazing, or so says my mother dear, but sadly I was not impressed with my cappuccino. I am a big coffee lover and it tasted like the coffee had been burned and was incredibly bitter.  I was not a happy camper, sigh.  I was soon cheered up when we found an authentic old school sweet shop, anyone who knows me will know I have a soft spot for junk food and sweets, especially sour sweets. We got chatting to the lady serving us and somehow the conversation turned to sour sweets and my love for them. This led to mom and I leaving with two sour sweets. Two, you say? How bad can two sweets be? My thoughts exactly, but these came with a health warning, no more than two a day or else you could have stomach issues and your mouth may bleed.  I tried them later on in the day, when Hamish was around to witness the reaction, and let me say, they did not disappoint. Wow! 

Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College
The weather cleared up enough for us to take a boat  trip from Greenwich to embankment and it was brilliant! We got some great views of the city of London and  Canary Wharf, which is where I work. I gave mom a quick tour around Covent Garden and then we headed back to the river for a  late lunch on board the Tattershall Castle. This floating boat is, in my opinion, a hidden gem in London. It is never busy, ever. We have always been able to get a seat and if you are at the window, the views of the Thames and the London eye are second to none.  Considering just a few hundred meters away the streets, restaurants and shops are always crammed and chaotic with people, this little pub is an oasis of calmness. I love it. 

There is so much to do and see in London, I am really looking forward to spending more time exploring this great city this year. I just need to remind myself every now and then to actually go and do it! Thanks mom for a great day, was lovely to see you! 


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