I was both excited and apprehensive as I stood on the station at Lichfield waiting for the train to London. I have loved visiting cities on my own, catching trains, trams, underground, but for the first time I felt a little bit scared of getting confused with my new lack of sense of direction. This was no problem though because my daughter would meet me at Euston Station and take me to Greenwich where she lives.
Two tubes and a bus ride later, and we were in the house where she rents a room. Taking our cameras we went to Greenwich Park and as the sun heated up she took me through little shaded paths to where the squirrels scamper openly. As she sat on the path and got out a packet of monkey nuts, out they came and ventured up to take them from her hand, one after another. Occasionally one would screech or grunt at her and she laugh. It is so lovely to spend times like this with my daughter.
As she sat I saw a unique side to her, this is someone who I had told could do anything she wanted, and this was it in its basic form. Whilst people walked by, she simply sat and ignored them and fed the squirrels and coal tits that sat on her hand. She was engrossed with the moment and the wildlife around her. This was what she wanted me to experience with her.
We walked around the park, through the trees following paths that her boyfriend had shown her. We climbed the hill to the top where the Greenwich Observatory is, and I took her photo standing on the Prime Meridian Line. The climb was hard and my back and legs were very painful. The view from the top across the London skyline is indeed beautiful.
We walked around Greenwich as she showed me her favourite shops and places, she is so at home there. As we walked we chatted about anything and everything as we have always done.
Out for dinner at…Jamie Olivers Italian in Greenwich, which we were both looking forward to and had a lovely meal, in a very relaxed atmosphere. Back home and to bed as I ached in every joint I have!
The early hours of Friday morning I was woken up around 5 am by the freight trains trundling along the line at the end of the garden, followed by Claire’s housemates taking showers next door at six, along with a chorus of birds; gulls, jays and parakeets squawking outside. She says you get used to hearing the constant noise of the traffic also, but I am not sure I would.
Claire persuaded me to stay another night so that we could have another day together, so we set off to the British Museum. How anyone can remain overweight in London is amazing because there is so much walking even though you hop onto buses and tubes. I decided not to take my camera so that I could enjoy the exhibits. The museum was packed, and each glass exhibit was hidden behind groups of mainly Asian tourists taking photos before moving on quickly to the next one. We started out with the Ancient Egypt part but there were so many rooms and things to see, by the time I was in too much pain to continue we still hadn’t finished it. She took me to the Dome to look round; it was packed with people eating in the restaurants before seeing Michael Buble who was playing there later that evening.
Again we had had a lovely day together, chatting as she showed me the sights of London near where she lives. I am so pleased I caught the train to see her, and will be visiting her more often, but understand my difficulties with directions.
A couple of times I was aware of my lack of attention, especially when I was looking in my bag on an underground escalator and she said “Mum you need to get off now”! I had no idea where we were on the underground or where we were going, but Claire did so I just followed her.
She took me back to Euston Station on Saturday morning to get the train back home, as I would not have found it easy to find my way there and back I came to the peace and quiet of our boat home.