Back at the ancestral manse

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ye Olde Flat

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yes, the flight was lovely, especially because of the empty intervening seat.  We were actually able to eat, move, and breath. 

The trip from the airport to the flat we've owned since we lived in London years ago was smoothe as silk.  We could practically navigate the well-worn route in our sleep: Piccadilly line to District Line to Victoria Station to Southern train to Kent House.  (See the photo of Annie enjoying the view as the train leaves Victoria).

Alighting at the platform at Kent House we were struck with how gorgeous the day was--about 70 degrees (F, of course), light breeze, sunny.  The greenness and mildness of England began seeping into our tired pores.

Thanks to Agnes, our housekeeper, the flat was spic and span.  It was good to be home. 

We spent the day settling in and putting things back in order:  Why did the renters do with all our sharp knives?  And why would they unplug the electric clocks?  And put a pencil, two pens and a glue stick in the silverware drawer?  And plant a little Canadian flag in a basket on the bookcase?  Whatever.  Anyway, we're thankful to have short-term renters when we're not there; we have nothing to complain about.

We quickly resumed the normal routines of this familiar, alternate life: walking under the Kent House Station to the High Street to get some money from the ATM, to Sainsbury's for groceries, to the 99 pence shop to buy sponges and bin liners and a battery for the kitchen timer and replacement knives (four for 99 pence--not exactly Wusthofs). And we cruised the charity shops for new salt and pepper shakers, Christmas cards, sweaters, and plates.

Then our lovely niece, Ashlin, came over for dinner. It was wonderful to see her and catch up.  We ordered in a curry feast---what could be more British than sag aloo, vegetables Vindaloo, Korma, pilaf rice, and nan?

This morning, Tuesday, we bustled around the flat doing more rearranging.  Then, after working up an appetite, we went to the Hardedge Cafe in Penge (see photo of Ken eating his served-all-day breakfast).  Annie matched his breakfast with a jacket potato.  It seemed so normal to be sitting in a Brit cafe, hearing people talk about Brit things and eating Brit food.  Even the newspapers had very British headlines.  In reference to the recent Amanda Knox verdict in Italy, the Daily Mail's was: "Weeping Foxy Freed to Make a Fortune."

This isn't really a vacation--we're back home!
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Hillary on

This makes me long for London! I can close my eyes and transport myself right into that cozy little flat dining room. I can smell the "baked beanen" on your plate. I can hear the whine of breaks on the train line and smell diesel exhaust in the air. I can taste the Waitrose Gold tea. Mmm . . .

For some reason, even though I subscribed to your blog, I'm not receiving notifications of new posts so I'll have to remember to check every day.

Julie on

The curry sounds fab. Not sure about the beans for breakfast. Looking forward to reading more

Peter from Aus on

Love the BeansferBreakfast. God this is the first time I've commented on someone's blog.

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