Farewell, London

Unfortunately I didn’t have the best sleep on Tuesday night. While it hasn’t been as hot as it gets in Perth in the middle of summer, it’s still 30+ degrees and there was no air conditioning at Jackie’s so I suffered a little in the heat overnight, which felt like 24degrees. At night that feels just awful.

But anyway, I lounged until 9:30 before finally rising and having breakfast. Donna, Jackie and I talked about our evenings (Jackie went to the Royal Albert Hall for Gospel Proms) and then we decided to go for lunch at Hudson’s in Putney (near the river).

I packed my rather light luggage and updated my blog and then we walked to Hudson’s. We had a very nice lunch (my chicken breast was delicious…maybe it had something to do with the garlic butter mmmmm), trying our best to ignore the baby brigade in the other room who were pretty loud.

After lunch we walked to the river to watch a heap of young boys getting rowing boats out and set off for a row. As we walked back to Jackie’s place, we saw three of her friends and stopped the have quick chats with them. The heat was starting to feel oppressive though and it was nice to get inside and have a glass of water.

I updated my blog while Donna had a snooze on the bed beside me and then, at 4pm, it was time to leave. Jackie very kindly gave me a lift to East Putney station (thank god because I would have suffered in the heat with my luggage). Donna and I said our goodbyes at the station entrance, giving each other giant hugs, glad that we’d seen each other and spent time together, sad we were now heading in different directions and would soon be on opposite sides of the planet.

Donna and I have never been away together where it’s just been the two of us. I’m pleased (and proud) to say that we actually get along pretty well. There were a few moments where I niggled at her, but without Glen to annoy and with being her older brother, who can really blame me? I hope we’ll be able to travel together again…and I can’t wait until she makes it over to Toronto.

I caught the underground up to Paddington and then the Heathrow Express (which was really quite full. Wasn’t used to it) to the airport. For some reason there was no queue at the American Airlines check in desk, even though it was about two hours before departure. Not a bad thing, was just a bit surprised. The luggage carousel thing wasn’t working so I had to put it on a trolley. Who knows if I’ll ever see it again.

Darlek in Heathrow. Surely that's not safe.

Darlek in Heathrow. Surely that’s not safe.

Through security which was of course filled with people not quite prepared, or to stupid, to get through the x-ray machines efficiently. It’s not that hard. Empty your pockets into your bag before you get to the front of the queue. Extract large electronic equipment (yes, that does include your laptop) and put it in a tub. Put the bag on the conveyer belt and then go through the metal detector. Baffling how people can’t seem to figure out a way to get through this quickly.

I bought two bottles of Pimm’s duty free though I’m a bit worried about what will happen to them when I fly to Toronto. I have to put them in my checked luggage because I’ve got such a hideously long wait in New York (and an airport transfer). Here’s hoping they don’t smash and drench everything. A bit worrying.

Boarded quickly, settled, watched Jack the Giant Slayer (that Nicholas Holt is so tasty) and then Olympus Has Fallen (meh). The flight looks like it’ll be shorter than originally expected so that should mean I will have enough time to catch the shuttle to La Guardia. I originally tried to book one of the airport transport services but because they stop at 10pm (and I am unlikely to get out before 10pm) they wouldn’t take me. I’ve booked a different one which stops at 11pm. Hopefully they’ll take me.

All up I have ten hours in New York to kill. I did ask at Heathrow if there was an earlier flight to Toronto but it look like I’ve got the earliest (for American Airlines anyway). With the transfers and customs and checking in, I’ll have about six hours at least where I will just be sitting somewhere. I wasn’t going to get a hotel room because they’re about $250 a night but as I haven’t slept on the flight to New York and had a bad night’s sleep last night, it’s looking mighty tempting. I’ll see if I can get something cheap.

Only a few more hours and then I’ll be “home” and get to see Glen.

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