It's a good thing that I don't make my living blogging, because I really suck at it.
3 weeks since my last post.
However, one of those weeks was spent in London, which was FAB! But I didn't bring my laptop with me, and I prefer to not write my blog on my phone. I'm already near the point of needing reading glasses. :)
Amazing! Gorgeous! My hotel was near both Hyde Park and Paddington Station. I bought a visitors' Oyster card, so I was able to get around very easily. I'd also downloaded a fantastic app that helped me plan my route wherever I wanted to go.
I ended up walking about 3-4 hours every day. The weather was very cooperative, which was nice. But, honestly, even if it had been pouring rain the entire time, I still would've walked.
Since I spent 2 entire days traveling to and from, I ended up with 4 full days in which to explore. I'd thought about seeing a show, and looked into taking the train to Cardiff to see the Doctor Who Experience, but train tickets are VERY expensive. And I really didn't want to spend 2-3 hours in a dark theater this time around. Maybe if I'd had more time. There was certainly no shortage of great shows playing.
But what I really wanted to do was explore the city I love and have missed so much. So each day I chose a neighborhood and did just that.
I did get to see an exhibit at the British Museum about Gothic literature and film, which was fun. And I went to the National Gallery. Most, if not all, of the museums have free admission. You pay to see certain exhibits, but the permanent collections are free. So while I didn't get to see the Rembrandt exhibit, I got to see some other lightweights. Y'know, like Money and Renoir. ;)
On my last day, I went to the Tower of London to see the poppies. It was amazing! I'm so glad I went, as they took them down a couple days later.
From there I walked over the London Bridge to Bankside, through the Borough Market, and on to the Globe Theatre, where I took a tour. Then it was back over the Millenium Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral. I was going to walk from there to a store called Forbidden Planet, but by then it was nearing rush hour, and having ridden the tube during rush hour previously in the week, I wanted to avoid that at all costs, lol!
I also got to meet a friend for dinner on Thursday night. We'd worked at the Shakespeare company together, and hadn't seen each other in 20 years. She now lives in London and works as a producer for a VFX company. It was so great to see her and hang out!
But I spent most of my time there not speaking. Which was actually pretty cool. Kind of like a silent retreat, but in a bustling, crowded, amazing place.
London has changed quite a bit since I'd last been there. But then, so have I. Being alone in a city that is not your own is a great experience. And, for the first time, I didn't have anyone to answer to but myself. I went where I wanted, when I wanted, and did what I wanted to do.
And was able to think. About Stuff.
I'm hoping to go back next year. My mom has said that she'd like to go, as she hasn't been in years. And that she'd pay for a trip for both of us. Which I think I'll take her up on, lol! She's assured me that we won't have to be attached at the hip (especially since hers is new, wacka wacka wacka!). That we can go off and do our own things. Which is good, because she and I aren't necessarily interested in the same things...
The best part is the realization that I CAN go away for a bit without everything falling apart. Hubby had a great time with the kids, and they, in turn, were just fine while I was gone. Sure, it's a bit humbling, to say the least, to find out that you are not nearly as essential to everyone's well-being as you'd previously believed yourself to be. But it's also liberating. I can maybe start to let go of some of the Mom Guilt should I actually, say, do a show or get anther job.
Finally, I must say that I'm pretty proud of myself. I planned a trip and actually WENT. By myself. I navigated the city on my own (with the help of Google Maps and a couple of kind strangers). I began the process of rediscovering ME, apart from wife/mom/teacher, etc.
And it only took me a week and a half to get over my jet lag!
OK, that's it for now. I hope all my U.S readers had a lovely Thanksgiving, and everyone else had a terrific Thursday. Have an amazing weekend!