wk 23 – london town, visas & family

It’s Tuesday so it must be London, and first night in an ‘easy’ hotel, reminded me of a place we stayed in Bangkok…orange jet branding somewhat in your face, plus side was the 3 minutes to the Indian visa place for 8am queue next morning made it almost worth it, and about the only plus where the visa was concerned!!!

And so began the visa saga…in a genius move, the out-sourcing from the high commission has increased the potential waiting time from 24 hours in 2003 to up to 15 working days in 2011, a true feat, leading to half an hour of frustration, until we came round to the fact that being stuck in the UK for another couple of weeks is pretty darn exciting.

The light in London has been spectacular and as I have a bit of a thing for power stations, will bore you with my two favourites below, they are turning Battersea power station into a snowboard freeze fest next week…

First museum visit was the V&A, satirical private eye turns 50 exhibition full of all ages chuckling out loud, jewels through the ages featuring many ornate tiaras, loved the art deco collection, impressed by the courtyard, and a carpeted Rafael room where you could lie looking at the paintings on a giant blue rug, finally the murano chandelier in the entrance hall hanging just over the info booth, as Conrad pointed out, could be nerve-racking for the staff…really looking forward to wildlife photographer of the year which we’re off to see today at the National History museum…

Lunch in Henley has been planned for a while, lovely to see everyone together, strolled along the river with the family, a few generations now, photo below of the traditional line-up, we’ve been doing this since I was about 7 years old, this time plus partners, unfortunately eldest has not meant tallest for a while, it used to look much more diagonal!!

ps have heard since that my Aunt & Uncle now have an allotment, I’ve always loved the idea of your own patch of land in a big shared area, genius idea in wartime,apparently there were 1.4m plots in the UK during WW2, and historically goes all the way back to the division of plots on common land under the Saxons..

After an epic ride on the Saturday night 37 “party bus” to and from Putney; random drunken groups occupying the back seat, the odd police car and early evening home made entertainment courtesy of a phone, cannot believe we thought the concept of getto blaster dissapeared in the 80s, volume much worse than a double speakered autoreverse stereo…

we guessed the house number correctly, Conrad peered through the letterbox, and had a fab evening with M,K and R…

I still adore walking around London and we’ve covered major ground over the last week, including Wandsworth to Wardour St, one of my favourites is wandering along the Thames, so I’ll leave you with a few Wandsworth and Battersea images, and a ponderous strolling ponder, on how you get used to living at a slight angle on your houseboat at low tide?

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