It’s been ages! I started this post several days ago but after a great lesson in relief society yesterday on personal histories where the following quote was shared, I need to make a greater effort to get over my fatigue in the evenings and write. Here’s the quote, which I’ve kept next to Malachi 4 verse 6 to remind me that family history is about us living too:
“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories. ” Tafta Johnson Watson
Remember when you turned 16 years? Well, we had that special birthday in our family last month and Daur1 decided she’d like to celebrate with a visit to the capital city and it was my pleasure to take her. There were a number of things on the London wishlist:
1. Buy a dress for prom – #1 priority “we have to get it now while the sales are on!”
2. Eat lunch in Soho (Chinese buffet preferably).
3. Visit Covent Garden.
4. See Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and generally as many of ‘the sights’ as possible in a day trip! Fortunately it was payday a few days before our outing, last Saturday, and I am always one for travelling, maybe not shopping, but walking and sightseeing, that is me!!
So, we boarded the national express coach at 0740h Saturday morning – “why are you doing this?” teased my dear husband as it was just getting light – and we headed off. An hour later and we were within Greater London and I was pointing out Twickenham Stadium of which Daur1 later commented on, which [football /soccer] league are they in? and admiring the architecture, some great 1920s and 1930s residential. Anyone arriving into London by coach knows that means London Victoria Coach Station, a simple bus station on a corner facing an iconic structure, the National Audit Office – in fact, both buildings are great (in my opinion) and the white blocks mean their hard to forget.
Oyster cards purchased, we made our way to Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park. The road where anyone in the know buys dresses and it didn’t disappoint. It seemed there were several school girls doing prom dress shopping – the sales – but the first purchase was for me. I saw, and tried on a great African style dress which looked like it was made for me – long, fitted, colourful, I knew I would regret not buying it. And then I also decided to buy a cute and colourful African peplum peplum style skirt for Daur2. Thinking about it, those purchases were probably my mistake and why today I feel the trip ruined me financially!!!
A fer trying on several dresses, in several shops, Daur1 had established, not burgundy, not red, not puffy skirt, definitely not going home with nothing. I’m grateful for messaging as Daur1 messaged yet another dress to a group of trusted friends back home and I messaged my husband. It has a high enough neck line, with matching shawl/scarf to cover shoulders, not a full skirt, and critically for Daur1, heels will have to be worn, it’s long!! With the emergency oast and raisin cookies now finished and task complete, we headed back to central London and Covent Garden – the market, the Royal Opera – where Daur1 was in awe and exclaimed “This is AMAZING! I’m going to study in London!!” It’s still a den of iniquity, I joked! Really, I think everyone ought to experience living in a capital city at least once in their life, preferably when they’re able to explore all if has to offer. And in the UK we have 4 to choose from – Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London. Culturally nothing compares to living in a big city – the galleries, the built environment, the businesses, the transport, the government. Clearly there are big non-capital cities which are also great places but, for me, there’s a certain buzz when you are at a seat of government.
Was the next exclamation and I couldn’t understand why Daur1 was so impressed with American clothing, until she pointed out the shop to me with a roll of her eyes and headed in to browse. From there we walked to Leicester Square “So this is where Jennifer Lawrence was!” We admired the street artists, art and comedy and musicians. We wandered up into Soho, Chinatown, came across the most urban primary school – Parish of Soho Primary, then on to Piccadilly Circus. Bright lights and advertising wasn’t so impressive since we emerged from the street right under it but there was the bagpipes player and usual throng of people around Eros, or is it Cupid? We bought hot dog, chips, falafel and water then headed on to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral and then back up Victoria Street and the coach station.
It was a great day and I’m thinking of doing it again, with the others. It was lovely spending time with our eldest daughter. We are similar in many ways and yet very different. But or enjoyment of the simple pleasure of walking through streets, admiring architecture and spaces, it was great.
I know this has been a very diary like post but I don’t want to forget what we did. My phone lost it’s charge not long after we arrived at Covent Garden so we didn’t get many photos. I learnt to enjoy the moment more and even though I spent more than I planned, I’m glad for a memorable time with one of my babies 🙂