November saw us returning to the UK. We spent a month cat sitting in London for a couple who also does house sitting as well. What they do is arrange to house sit somewhere else in the world and then get sitters in for their cat – sounded like a great plan!
I’ve been wanting to spend more time in London for ages, really exploring the museums and markets with no worries about catching buses and trains home. I felt like a month would give us a good time there so when we were accepted for this house sit I was so happy. It was looking after a cat as well which was perfect – often we’d see sits that were for dogs that couldn’t be left long on their own. It would really curtail our days in the city and potentially mean spending more on tickets getting in and out if that was the case and it always put me off applying for those. Anyway, our sit was perfect, it was in a borough on the outskirts of London, but still on the tube line which was walkable to. If you want to know more about house sitting check this post out.
Our time in London was also slightly marred by some health issues. On our last few days in Italy James developed an eye infection/irritation. He’d had something similar before, when we were travelling the time before and were in Germany. After our epic Doctor visit there and finding out it was just hay fever/allergies we weren’t in a rush to do the same in Italy! He decided to wait, knowing we;d be in London soon and get an appointment at the doctor there if still needed.
We tried to clear his eye up with drops, anti histamines, tea bags on his eye, but nothing was shifting it this time. We eventually managed to get him an appointment at the local dr – an infection. Here take these drops. No help at all. In the end he went to another dr, who worriedly sent him to the hospital where they diagnoses him with Iritis. After the initial worries (why send me straight to a hospital – what is wrong with me??) it transpired that they think his eye problems are part of an issue he has with his back (and 6 months afterwards he finally got the diagnosis for Ankylosing Spondylitis). So we had a few back and forth trips to hospitals and doctors, all made more tricky because we weren’t in our home ‘base’ but we managed it.
We really enjoyed our time in London, the city was starting to get excited for Christmas and so we could see the big stores all decked out and decorated. We particularly liked the Liberty store which is a beautiful building on the outside and has some lovely things inside too. We’re not big shoppers so this says something!
The tower of London was displaying the poppies to commemmorate the 100 years since the beginning of the first world war, but it was moving it soon after Remembrance day, so we rushed in to see that. It was incredibly busy around that area, but I’m glad we saw it. A very moving tribute. I still have never made it inside the tower of London, I’d really like to one day, but it always seems like such a lot of money for all of us.
We went to many, many museums – The Natural History museum, the Science museum and also the Imperial War museum featured highly, oh and we did Ripley’s Believe it or Not too, which I think would count as a museum. I think I would have liked to do more! There are so many free options in London that you’ll never get bored if you like museums!
The Natural History museum looked stunning all dressed for Christmas and with the ice ring outside.
We explored many places, including Soho, Notting Hill Market, around the tourist hub of Big Ben, we went to platform 9 and 3/4 in Kings Cross – I think that was the highlight of the trip to be honest! I’ll be writing up some of the things we did individually and creating a good round up of things to do with teens too.
There were a whole load of these paddington statues around London too on a trail that was set up for charity. Unfortunately it’s not still there, but it was fun to find, even for teenagers! 😉 Well, one of them!
Overall we loved our month in London and I’m really glad I got to experience life as a Londoner! Well, as far as you can in a month!