Life in London

Christine’s Visit – Part 1

As most people who read this blog know, my sister Christine came and stayed with us for a week after Christmas prior to starting a semester abroad in Scotland. What a busy week! It started early in the morning of December 27, when Andre and I got up at about 4:30 in order to get to the airport by 6:30. Due to reduced services on the tube (they do a lot of scheduled maintenance over the low-traffic post-Christmas period) this meant more switching between lines than would normally be required. We got to the airport a little late but weren’t worried because we knew it would take a long time for Christine to get through immigration and border security.

As it turned out, she didn’t get through until about quarter to 8. We had brought some extra bags with us because Mum emailed to tell us that Christine’s suitcase handles had broken on the way to the airport. By the time it got off the plane, one of the wheels had broken off too! We unloaded most of its contents into our backpacks, making the suitcase easier for Andre to carry without handles. We had a second breakfast in the airport (because I hadn’t eaten breakfast and Andre was in need of another coffee!).

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Thanks to those reduced services and our train having to make extra stops on another tube line, the trip home took foreverrrrr (2 hours). We got there eventually though, and decided to spend the day sight-seeing. This included some of the general London sights (Parliament House, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, the Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Millennium Bridge, St Paul’s) and some Sherlock and Harry Potter sights! For Sherlock we saw the OXO Tower foreshore where they filmed the dead body in the Thames; the southbank skatepark from ‘The Blind Banker’; the Hungerford Bridge that Sherlock and Watson were filmed walking over; Waterloo Bridge where Sherlock paid one of the members of his homeless network; and last but certainly not least, St Bartholomew’s Hospital where Molly worked and where Sherlock jumped off the roof.

We didn’t see too many Harry Potter film sights, but we did see one Leaky Cauldron location in Borough Market. We went for a walk through the market, though because it was between Christmas and New Years a lot of the vendors were not operating so it was pretty quiet.

We called it a day relatively early so I could get home to cook a belated Christmas dinner for that night. I cheated and bought a roasted chicken on the way home from Sainsbury’s so all I had to do was cook the veggies and just put the chicken in the oven for the last fifteen minutes or so to heat it up! It was a tasty meal of chicken, potato, pumpkin, beans, carrot, garlic bread, mulled cider, appletiser with pre-dinner nibbles of rum balls and apricot balls and crackers with cheese from the Borough Market. Although I undercooked the pumpkin as I often do! Dessert was pretty amazing if I do say so myself – meringues with cream, ice-cream and a mixed berry compote, made with the berries we bought from the markets! The meringues were store-bought though, as we don’t have an electric mixer so can’t beat the eggs enough as required for meringues. It was super yum! Although the next day I realised I’d forgotten the Christmas crackers I’d bought and put in the cupboard!

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