This big, small world

These first few days in London were all about staying quiet and adjusting our body clocks. I’ve selfishly wanted to do more things, see all of the things, do all of the things, but we have had to take it slowly. The girls are adjusting and coming to terms with a VERY different way of life. All the people. All the traffic. The opposite sides of the day. So it’s been a lesson in listening to what our bodies tell us, cancel plans at the last minute. Let the tantrums come and go. The tears come and go. We’ve been spending plenty of time at home…adjusting…and going to the park. Kids need to just play, and be (much to my frustration at times)…lucky it’s all so pretty. And there’s a wee family of birds Daisy found that we need to check on. London in the summer truly is SO beautiful. Lush and green…potted colour at every corner. It smells as good as it looks.

This morning we had a visit from one of Rob’s oldest friends today with her family. I’d never met her daughter and it was truly precious to have my girls spend time with her little lady. No matter the distance, they had a lovely time playing.

After that Rob took the girls for a few hours while I went out for a solo explore. I walked for hours and over km’s exploring Chelsea and up to Sloane Square. What people watching! WHAT SHOPPING. It was the most wonderful few hours…just walking and being Beth. I cursed the fact that I never moved here….never lived in London when I should have. I watched young people with too much money spending it. Gaggling ladies sipping champagne over a long Saturday lunch. European loved up couples walking arm in arm. Fashion…the most wonderful fashion all in the one spot. Markets filled with amazing food and drink, families spending their Saturday together. The whole world it seemed, together, doing all the things that we ALL do.

It’s not such a big place after all, this world we live in. But boy is it good to be able to see it.

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  1. What a darling picture of those beautiful girls. Frame it and stick it with that one of Daisy walking up the street from the neighbor’s house.

    Remember… if you had moved to London, you would have had the dreary winters to contend with. I can’t even get my hubs to take me there to visit, so bad are his memories of the weather when he had to go there frequently on business. You have the best of both worlds, with your lovely Australian surroundings and the ability to visit London in the summer. Have fun!

  2. B I lived there for a wee while and it certainly wasn’t glamorous. What i had imagined was much similar to your description in your post…..long pub lunches, shopping, gigs, long weekends trawling markets – in reality was that I earn’t shitful money working miserable admin temping jobs, lived with my bestie in a single EXPENSIVE room in a filthy house full of weirdos in a low class area where the sound of domestic violence was not uncommon and ate cheap pasta and plain tomato sauce from Tesco’s (2 for 1 baby!) every night. There were certainly fun moments peppered throughout and yes lots and lots if shopping…..(and a massive credit card bill to contend with once I got home. You spend those pounds like dollars unfortunately). Sooooo those UK Work Visas aren’t all sunshine and rainbows (or snakebites and chip butty’s…!) xxx

  3. I lived ther for five years during my twenties – absolutely fantastic and I still miss it everyday! My boyfriend (now husband) and I earnt fantastic money and boy did we know how to spend it. I loved the summers – proms in the park with wine and friends, blue sky’s and long days. I loved the winters – cold and crisp with pub lunches, roaring fires and ski trips to France. I loved all the days in between! So jealous of your trip and the pictures send me back to my memories. It is the most magical place – enjoy and soak it up.

  4. When I first met my husband, his parents were nearly 2 years in to living in London in their early 50’s! They had sold their family home and decided to do that now that the kids were older. They ended up stating for another year or so, then came back home. It’s my inspiration! I never lived in London when I was younger either, but there still is time!

  5. I think just walking and observing particularly the locals is the best way to really discover the essence of a place. Great you got that chance. I miss the fashion!
    London on many levels has so many charms but I stayed on the other side of the city where many of the battlers dwell and witnessed the struggle that is London. Quite a different aspect.

  6. Loving your photos of London! I lived there for 6 years. I moved from Aus with my kids aged 5 & 7. It was fantastic! Living there gave my kids some interesting experiences and memories and lots of little trips to Europe. They are now 18 & 20 and very grateful I was brave (or naive) enough to go for it. Enjoy! London is a fantastic city all year round, but especially in Summer!

  7. I’m soaking up every installment of your travels, you share it so beautifully. Enjoy x

  8. I think 3-4 months in England (somewhere I can get to london on the train) over the summer months would suit me just fine. So much exploring. Just to soak it all up, living on the other side of the world with so much of Europe on your doorstep. Love Erin’s comment about her parents-in-law doing it after the kids were grown. Never too late 🙂

  9. How lovely to get a few hours peace to yourself. It must be hard to just stop and let the kids play when you’re gagging to get amongst it! Lovely photos 🙂

  10. Yvonne Duke says

    I am loving all your photos of your trip ! I moved to London from Scotland for a while in 1983/84 and it is much better to visit as a tourist then actually live there ! I loved walking around for miles looking at everything, but the British weather can be unpredictable ! now enjoying sunny winters in Queensland but missing old buildings, Sainsbury’s, M & S, robins….

  11. I love London but living there is Hard- the weather, the expensive real estate, the lack of family, the insane school fees…I reckon it’s fab to visit but to live there well you need tonnes of money. Are you going to visit any gardens? Have fun x

    • I’ll try to although I suspect it won’t go down well with the others! Might have to save it for a special garden trip…any excuse!

  12. There is the best children’s park ever in Kensington Gardens. Not sure where you are staying but it’s well worth a visit.

  13. Hi, I just love London especially in June, everyone and everything definitely seems to get a spring in their step. Your photo’s are beautiful. I was lucky enough to live there for 6 years before marriage and kids and absolutely had a ball. We took our girls (who are about the same age as yours) there this last Christmas to visit family. The girls were great little travellers although I do remember thinking that we were going to get arrested on our first night when both were in hysterical tears at 4.00 pm in a cafe, we thought we’d try to keep them awake as long as possible and were bribing them hot chips, hot chocolate & ice cream to filthy looks from everyone else in there, all the girls wanted was to go to sleep and were screaming at us to go to bed (that by the way has never, ever happened before or since), suffice to say that wasn’t a very clever plan. Anyway if you haven’t yet been we took them to Hamleys Toy Store on Regent St (after they were over the jet lag), they were in heaven. I ducked off and left them with my husband to go to Massimo Dutti (Zara’s big sister, I think you’d like it if you haven’t been there already) so I was also in heaven and my husband got to experience the joys (!) of being with 2 little people in a toy store. It was win win on two fronts anyway! Enjoy your holiday.

  14. I too wished I had lived in London for a while. Visits are never enough but we do our best. Have a great time and thanks for ‘taking’ us with you x

  15. Wow. I felt like I was right there with you on that walk, Beth. Thanks for the little piece of London escapism for my Monday. x

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