Monday, December 12, 2011

London trips

For the first time in my life, I've finally been able to start biking to work. But a five kilometre round trip is not all that much & is especially helped by it being a lot flatter than it seems in the car - which is quite the reverse of what I was expecting. So it may be closing in on the longest day of the year, but if it's not raining & I get up early enough to get organised, a ride to work (even if it just one or two degrees above freezing - thanks Canada for not making me avoid the "cold") is a nice little start to the day.

Last weekend was a trip up to London for Levi & Marki's Christmas party. Always good catching up with them & there was plenty of food too. Also pretty fun catching up with a buddy from high school who I hadn't seen about twelve years - I thought I'd got away from Canadians telling me to watch Trailerpark Boys, but it turns out Jeff is a bit of a fan too. There was no playing football on the deck with an offcut from the woodwork shop, but then the deck at the apartment is a little small & had more important duties as the beer fridge. Somehow I managed to walk out (just managed to walk onto the last train too, thus avoiding my first ever night-bus) with a huge ham - apparently I was the most worthy cause as Levi & Marki weren't going to get the chance to eat it with travelling on the cards.

A photo of me in it not on a bike
Around Sidcup on the weekend was pretty relaxing, on the way to visit Ray & Jill on Saturday morning Trish & I paid a visit to Rudolph's buddies & their spindly looking antlers.  I'm sure they would still do a bit of damage.

Even after a big sleep in, Sunday was looking pretty grey so Trish & I decided to head out to another little Kentish village - Westerham - to check out Quebec House. After a nice lunch in one of those great English pubs that look like they're doing a commendable impression of a drunk trying to stand up, we strolled through the village to check out the house. It was the birthplace of General Wolfe - who was apparently the first English military figure to be a popular hero. The name of the house comes from the name of the victorious battle that won him his fame & took his life. All very Nelsonesque - except Wolfe pre-dated him. I'd learnt a little about the battle that saw the British defeat the French in the war for control of Quebec City & Canada when I was at Buckler's Hard a couple of weeks ago - some of the ships built there sailed to Quebec before the battle. Always interested to get a bit more Canadian history, the museum above the coachhouse had great displays & was very informative. The house was pretty dark inside, but had some interesting period pieces - muskets are pretty heavy it turns out.

I was back in London three days later for yet another appointment about my bung shoulder. So I'll get keyhole surgery sometime next year - I asked for after-February so I can go skiing at least once this winter. As it's been three months to get this far, I'm hoping that's a safe request. I'll be out of action for a while (six weeks in a sling) with no driving & definitely not biking - but it'll be nice to get it fixed up & hopefully avoid the agony of the last dislocation repeating. So 2012 doesn't look like it'll be so active - but perhaps I'll finally get around to seeing some more of Europe, which I think was the whole idea of leaving NZ two & a half years ago. Oops.

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