Farewell to old England, for ever?

London Travel Blog

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Up close to the tower with Big Ben in it

We are packed, the last of the washing is flying around in the dryer.  The last 10 days have consisted of catching two tubes to Parsons Green to have Andrew's surgery packed and dressed.  I went in with him on each visit as we explained that I would have to learn the proceedure as we would be travelling through Egypt, UAE, India and Hong Kong before we get home on the 28th September.  We began to gather the sterile items I would need, packing, saline solution, dressing, plastic tweezers and gloves.  Day three we saw a male nurse and again on day four.  As he showed us through the door of the treatment room he said he was taking things easy that day and I would be doing the dressing!  It is much harder than you  think just keeping things sterile and something simple like putting on the final dressing ended up with my gloved hand wearing it.

Double decker bus tours
  Tip...  only take off one side of the protective paper, apply then take off the other.

We saw this nice guy one more time and all the others were different each day.  I was able to get advice from slightly different perspectives and on a couple of occasions some squeezable vials of saline solution and 10 disposable plastic tweezers mysteriously appeared in my bag as we found them impossible to buy or order from all the ten or so chemists we tried.   From day four I have dressed and packed the wound myself while being supervised and three of those days I have done it at home, alone!  It was explained that the hole has to heal from the inside to the out or there is a real risk of infection being trapped in, plus a weak spot when healed. 

During these last days we again took a double decker tour of London, this time in much better weather, plus there was a ticket included in the price for a boat trip on the Thames so we went to Greenwich the next day and spent a couple of hours having lunch and visiting the observatory and standing in two time zones.

Trafalgar Square
The British Museum kept us interested as long as my aching feet held out.  Another day we went to Kew Gardens and walked for a couple of hours.  Began to notice strange things like we would gravitate to the section in the glass house which had plants from Australasia or going into a book shop and flicking through the pages of travel books on Australia!  We are really travel weary and home sick.

Found time to meet up with Andrew's niece Tina for lunch at a pub on the edge of the Thames between Hammersmith and Stamford Brook.  She had returned to the UK to look for some work to do while she still had a valid working visa and before she would go back to Australia to start a new Uni course.

The Cutty Sark at Greenwich
  She had set herself specific targets for the type of work she wanted, but hadn't succeeded and she too was becoming home sick and there is a distinct possiblity that she will be home before us.  We met up with Lorna, our folk festival friend, a friend of hers and V&A for a dinner and found the friend had lived in Canberra for 10 years so all of us had lots to talk about.  Last night my youngest cousin and her boyfriend along with us and V&A went out for a dinner at the Moroccan restaurant where we first went to with A at the beginning of our trip.  It had long been an ambition of mine to have these 4 people meet up as I knew they would like each other, and they did.  A lovely dinner- thank you all for treating us.

We have had great hospitality during our stay and have met so many funny, lovely people.

Views from Greenwich
  Weather has been amazingly good as we have probably spent about 14 weeks sleeping in a tent since the 15th March.  I think I need more time to analyse the negative things that I feel about my mother country, but I know that I no longer feel that I belong to the UK, nor in it.  We sincerely hope that a few of the special friends make the lengthy trip to Australia where we will be able to reciprocate the kindness and hospitality we received.

Heathrow airport next, then Cairo at around midnight!

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Up close to the tower with Big Ben…
Up close to the tower with Big Be…
Double decker bus tours
Double decker bus tours
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
The Cutty Sark at Greenwich
The Cutty Sark at Greenwich
Views from Greenwich
Views from Greenwich
Marking the time line at Greenwich
Marking the time line at Greenwich
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photo by: ulysses