The Adventure Begins

London skyline

Well, I have now been in London for 14 days.  I arrived after two very long flights from New Zealand exacerbated by a mix up in bookings. But the frustration was quickly forgotten when I eventually arrived at my sister’s house.

Since then the time has been spent mostly in catching up on each other’s news and meeting family.  And I am part of a very large family.  Father was one of 13 and each of the siblings had a couple of children, with the exception of one sister and one brother who had none.  So while there are only two surviving siblings of Father’s there are plenty of cousins.  And my sister has three children and six grandchildren so life has been rather busy.

One highlight was a visit to a retirement home where one of the surviving sisters lives.  She is suffering a form of dementia.  She was perfectly lucid for most of the time we were there but then she couldn’t remember any of us, not even her son, his wife and their two little girls.  How very sad.  She also became very tearful when she was told that her brothers had died.  Very sad and scary because she is only 8 years older than I am.

Today we have been to NZ House to have a copy of my passport certified.  Somehow I have mislaid my driver’s licence so I had to apply for a replacement.  Have you travelled on public transport in London?  One bus ride, three tube trains and one hour and forty-five minutes later we arrived at the Haymarket and NZ House.  I had quite forgotten how big, noisy and crowded London is.  It is a shock to a “colonial” even a “colonial” who was born and brought up in London.

And how strange it is that when I am in NZ I call England “home” and when I am here I call NZ “home”  Today I felt quite at home in New Zealand House.

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.
Maya Angelou, American author and poet 1928 –

And London has of course changed since I was last here.  The changes to the East End are amazing –  this is because the Olympics were mainly staged in this area last year.  More on these changes shortly.


33 responses to “The Adventure Begins

  1. I thought it was time consuming getting around this little city on public transportation. I will remember your adventure when I start to complain. I am glad you are blogging about your travels. I look forward to the next installment of Judith’s Journey.

  2. Glad you’re enjoying your trip, Judith. Joss is just starting her adventure too . . . she was scheduled to leave for Europe yesterday.

    I expect that you meant to type “1928” not “1982” as Maya’s birth year.

    • Yes Nancy I have been following Joss and am looking forward to reading more of her travels in Europe. And thanks for the 1982 mistake – I have changed it to 1928.

  3. I will enjoy visiting “home” through your posts – travel safely. Joy

  4. Pinned this on Travels in my Mind Board.
    Thank you for shaing.

  5. Thank you so much, Judith, for this post. Family reunions are great. Sad about your sister who’s only eight years older than you. But this does not mean you are going to be afflicted in the same way. But you are right, it is a bit scary. My mum was like this before she died. However I tend to think that this probably is not going to happen to me.
    Enjoy your stay in London. I am looking forward to hear more about it.

    • Hello Uta. Thanks for the comment. The woman we visited was one of father’s sisters not mine. In any event it is scary to see this. I also think positively and tell myself it will not happen to me.

  6. And oh what an adventure you are having! I truly cannot wait to hear/read more. 🙂

  7. So happy to hear from you. I’m sure you are having a wonderful time visiting family. Look forward to more posts.

  8. Wonderful to hear from you again. Looking forward to your adventures. Don’t forget to give me a shout if you’re heading for the Oxford area. 😀

  9. Welcome ‘Home’ or not as the case may be. I suspect that when you go back to NZ you’ll know that it’s ‘Home’ really as you won’t have recognised much of London now.It’s changed so much and the regeneration has been good in some ways. In other ways it’s removed communities and taken away some of the spirit London was once full of, especially the East End. I hope there’s plenty you do still recognise though. Enjoy meeting all the new family members and though dementia is a cruel illness remember the sister won’t understand it most of the time and will be living with her past memories instead. xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • David thanks. Sorry I have been off the air for a few weeks but with all the changes in my life there has been little time for blogging. I hope you are managing without Julia. Time doesn’t heal but it does help. Hugs from the same side of the world.

  10. I think all of our bug cities (and some of our towns,like my home town) have changed drastically over the last 30 or 49 years. It all seems bewilderingly unfamiliar, then you come across an “old friend”. Luckily, the countryside still looks much as it used to! It’s still England underneath! Just had a makeover!

  11. I’m glad you are having a good time here, but its sad about your memory. To be aware your memory is failing must be horrific

  12. Hi, Judith! It sounds like you had quite a memorable trip to get to your destination–or is it one you would like to forget? Two long plane rides is enough in themselves. I’m glad you arrived safely and are getting to know the family you’ve been separated from for so long. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Well there was a mix up with the booking Patti and somehow was allocated Premium Economy when I had paid for Business Class. So I ended up sitting up for the first leg Auckland to China but after speaking to 5 different people only to be told they could do nothing, I eventually managed to get a Business Class seat without the service for the second leg. It was frustrating but I got here int he end. And a highlight is that I am going to meet a blogging buddy in the next few days – Sallyann of Photographic Memories. So I will certainly blog about that- watch this space.

  13. Judith, lucky you! I’m glad I get to live vicariously through your adventures. How wonderful you have so much family in London. Hope you get to spend time with them all!

  14. It is great to hear from you and that you made it safely to London! The first time I visited London I felt somehow that I had come home. I shall enjoy seeing London through your eyes and family. Enjoy it for all of us!

    • Thanks Jonelle. Yes London is home it’s where I was brought up. So I am not a tourist but am enjoying spending time with family. I am amazed at the changes and the new buildings that have appeared everywhere.

  15. It’s good to see a post from you! I’m glad your adventure has begun and you are able to spend time with your sister and other family. I’ve never been to London, but I can only imagine the activity in that city!

    • Thanks Janna. It is great to be with family and especially my sister after several years. Today we are going to meet up with Sallyann of Photographic Memories so that will be exciting. Watch out for a post on our day.

  16. Pingback: Oxford adventurer | Photographic Memories

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