I’ve had a lovely few days in the company of dear friends who’d left the sunshine behind, flown across the ocean and generously invited me to share their fun in London last week. Not wanting them to miss out on a bit of country air, we brought them back here for the weekend and planned a few seasonal entertainments for them.
By some curious coincidence, friends from the opposite, other side of the world happened to be in the city last week too, so I was doubly blessed and had the perfect excuse to linger a little longer than I might have done in Daunts, whilst I waited for them to arrive.
I said goodbye to one set as they went off to enjoy a Danube cruise over the holiday period and then hurried over to meet the others who were already champing at the bit and raring to go out into the bright lights.
Oh my, did we have fun! With a 23 year old for company, what better place to go than Selfridges new shoe galleries? Of course, we had to explore Liberty too, which took us into Carnaby Street and beyond. After a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie (first one for some!), we were tuckered out. My goodness, I have energetic friends!
Of course, we had to ogle the Fortnum and Mason windows on the way back to our hotel.
Sadly, Thursday dawned cold and wet, so our photography walk was rather more about capturing reflections than we’d intended. Still, the company (and the chocolate) was good and there were quite a few hidden gems to be found.
I’d not seen the pavement in Plantation Lane with the history of London written into it and must return to take longer and look (and read) more closely. Much as we all enjoyed the tour though, there was one theme:
Rain. Until we were returning to our hotel after enjoying tea sitting (wrapped in blankets) on the platform at St Pancras Station, when Kristi looked out of the window and cheered - “SNOW!”
To tell a Californian that snow isn’t altogether good news would simply be spoiling the party. Fortunately, my hero braved the winter weather on Friday morning and rescued us from the big city, spiriting us away to the peace of the countryside.
Saturday morning dawned white, and of course, we had to go and play
Someone was excited!
Of course, our plans were put on ice. No “Winters Night” for us, instead an evening of wall to wall “Downton Abbey”. No Daylesford and lunch at The Plough but a day at home chatting, eating and enjoying each others company, with an occasional venture outdoors to confirm that yes, it was still as cold as it was an hour ago!
But worst of all, there was no plane home. Having got everyone back to Heathrow safely and comfortably settled into the Sheraton until it was time to check in, back home we followed Kristi and Diana’s American Airlines flight status. Half an hour after it was due to depart, we spotted that word “cancelled” appear and both of us groaned, imagining the discomfort and anxiety that was bound to accompany that news. But somehow, they managed to get themselves onto a flight to Chicago, from where they made their way to LA, arriving just about an hour ago – some 24 hours after they took off from Heathrow.
Today, Mary’s Virgin Atlantic flight suffered the same fate, but sadly, there’s no room for her until the 27th. There is, however, room for her at the inn…if that’s what we can call our home. We’ll look forward to an extra one at our Christmas table this year and look forward to her return tomorrow!
At least, that’s the plan…