My little brother came to London for the first time last week. He departed hot and humid Brisbane, stopped off to say hi to mum and dad in France, and arrived in London for a few pleasant 9°C days.
Monday night saw us all goggled up at the Clapham Picture House for the first 3D instalment of Peter Jackson’s take on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy, The Hobbit. It was such an epic film that I was disappointed to learn that we have to wait a full year for the next instalment.
On Tuesday I took a sneaky day off work to show Alex around London town. We ticked off ALL of the major touristy destinations. We started the day with a ride on one of London’s famous red double decker buses then we strolled from illuminated Piccadilly Circus to Buckingham Palace, stopping off at the M’n’M store in Leicester Square, to see the buskers in Trafalgar Square, to pat the horses of the Horse Guard, and to enjoy a beer at a traditional English pub near Westminster Abbey. We laughed at the squirrels in St James’ Park and had the obligatory red phone booth photo with Big Ben in the background.
Then we had a beer on board the ferry to London Bridge and explored modern urban life in New York and Tokyo through the photographs of William Klein and Daido Moriyam at the Tate Modern (because we needed to tick off at least one museum). After such an exhausting day, Dan met us for a drink in the members bar at the Tate and we all enjoyed the view of London looking over St Paul’s Cathedral. We stopped off in the city for a few Christmas drinks with friends and arrived home drained after a very long day of sight-seeing.
The following day I was back at work while Alex battled the Christmas crowds at Westfield. He was on strict instructions to pick up a few things for mum which can’t be sourced in France. We ordered in some delicious Indian for dinner on the Wednesday night and the following day Alex caught a train back to France for Christmas with the family. It was awesome to see him, even if it was for a brief few days. I still have hope that he will move over to Europe while we are still here because there are many more things to see and do!
On Friday night a bunch of us headed to the Brixton Academy to dance to Soulwax’s electronic/alternative rock. It was an amazing night and we danced well into the wee hours of the morning.
After a relaxing Saturday night in (they don’t come often enough!) we battled the supermarket on Sunday afternoon to find the ingredients for our designated meals for an Orphans Christmas feast a few days later. Luckily we were able to find the essentials for Dan’s prawn, mango and avocado salad and scored big when we stumbled across a tin of Milo in the International section!
That night we joined a team of 12 fellow Aussies at the Underdog in Clapham for a hilarious game of Bogan Bingo. Even our friend Richard, the token Englishman from Matlock in the Peak District, let loose and had fun with us all. Unfortunately some of us were a little eager on the dance floor and Dan scored himself a cut chin and sprained left ankle while attempting to ‘cut some shapes’ (his words, not mine!). I think he was a little worse for wear on Christmas Eve but we made it to Clapham late that night with our salads, sleeping bag and enough clothes to last our 2 night stay for Orphans Christmas…
First Published on: Dec 27, 2012 @ 18:42 #12monthhoneymoon