He didn't get to the UK until New Year's Eve, but since Carl was born on Christmas, his mother often said he was her "best Christmas present ever". When I walked up to my flat upon my return from Turkey, it was my husband who opened the door. The night before I left on my Turkey trip, I called Carl to tell him Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, and by the end of our conversation, he had decided to book a flight to spend the last part of my Christmas break in England. I didn't think I'd be seeing him until March, so it was quite a treat. We celebrated his arrival and New Year's Eve with a nice dinner out and brought the party poppers, Christmas crackers and hats from the restaurant back to my place to shoot off at the stroke of midnight. If I had remembered I had a telly, we could have at least watched the fireworks over Big Ben, but I just didn't think of it, so we just popped our poppers in my kitchen.
Since Carl hadn't been to Canterbury, we stopped there for a wander through the town and a quick peek at the Cathedral on our way back to Tonbridge.
We went to London 4 times together while Carl was here. We took in a lot of London theater and saw Wicked, Billy Elliot, and War Horse and attended a performance of Mozart's Requiem at St. Martins-in-the-Fields. They were all so wonderful! Theater is my favorite, so seeing 3 plays within a span of 4 days was a dream-come-true!
Both Carl and I both loved being able to walk to the train station from my flat and within an hour be in London! Just walking around the city was so much fun. Covent Gardents became our regular lunch stop and we enjoyed seeing places that we had visited on our honeymoon 26 years ago. That time we climbed all 528 steps to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral. This time we just went to an evening service on the ground floor. We just happened upon this motorcycle in need of a driver and then wandered into "Winter Wonderland," a Christmas festival happening in Hyde Park.
|At Winter Wonderland|
|Service at St. Paul's Cathedral|
|Of course we had to have our photo at the gates|
of Buckingham Palace!
|Big Ben at Night|
On Sunday, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite things about my UK life with Carl: my church, the farmers market and panto. First we went to church at St. John's in Hildenbourough, where Carl got to meet some of my lovely friends. Then we headed to the farmer's market, which just happened to be in Bexley that weekend at Hall Place. While we were there, we noticed an advertisement for a bonfire later in the day to celebrate "Twelfth Night" so we returned for the festivities. The fire itself was not all that impressive, but Hall Place is pretty interesting and we got to join the kids coloring sprites. Carl colored a very nice sprite and proudly hung it in the orchard.
No trip to England at this time of the year would be complete without panto!!
I took Carl to his first ever pantomime, Peter Pan. I'm addicted, it was my 5th panto this season.
Fun, fun fun!!!
When I had to return to work on Monday, Carl returned to Canterbury to explore the Cathedral during the day, then on Tuesday went back to London to spend time at the British Museum. On his final day here, Carl went to school with me, where he was a big hit with my pupils. Trying to keep some semblance or order while Carl was tossing kids in the air was a bit of a challenge, but it's always so fun to have two different parts of my life collide. He told the kids he would be back in the spring, "when the flowers bloom," which I thought was terribly hokey, but the next day, they were all looking for signs of buds. One of the kids gave me this card the other day, which begins on the right side of the paper, and says "to mister tuisku Love Myles." The left side has directions for me which read, "Can you send this to mister tuisku pleese Mrs tuisku if you do giv it I wil giv you a sweets...if you downt you wil get nothingk."
I guess I know how I rate! But that's okay, I'm busy looking for signs of budding flowers.