The Bucket List Blog – Chapter 4 – The UK

It would be four years before my next overseas trip – which took place in April 2014. A lot had happened in those four years.  I eventually got out of a very acrimonious relationship with ex-husband No. 2, we sold the house we had bought together and I bought my own little matchbox of a place.  By this time I had my British Passport and one child out of school.  But with two to go and trying to build myself up again to a place where I knew who I was, travelling was not first and foremost on my mind.  Then I met Daniel and 14 months after we got together, he moved to the UK.  His grandfather was dying (albeit slowly) and he wanted to be there to spend as much time as he could with his grandfather before he got too ill.  And so Daniel left South Africa without an end date for returning and so the epic saga of our long distance relationship started.

At about the same time my mothers side of the family were planning a family holiday in France over June/July and because the sale of my house was about to come through I decided to join them.  And then in the style that has clearly permeated all my previous holidays, my friend Annabel and I decided to join that holiday with a holiday to Spain. (But more about that in my next post).

Sometimes I do things spontaneously and because I knew I had the money from the sale of my house, and because I was missing the boyfriend so much, on a whim, I decided to go over in April too, over Easter,  and do London with Daniel – or was it do Daniel in London??  I think it was both! 😉  It was the best spontaneous decision of my life.  It came at a time when we really needed it.  So within the space of two months I did another two trips in quick succession.  I think that this was the start of the plan that was eventually going to lead me to where I am today.  I really felt an affinity with London and knew very quickly, that I could move and live there.  The more I think about it the more I think its because English blood runs through my veins.  My mother was born in England and all her family before her for as many generations as our family history goes back, lived here so it stands to reason that I feel like I belong here.  We have a family Bible that shows the family tree going back to my great, great great-grandfather so there is history here!

Daniel lived in Central London and for the purposes of my holiday that was great!  For the purposes of having a life besides paying rent, it was not great, but that story is far too long to get into here.  He lived in Marble Arch and was literally a minute’s walk from Hyde Park – that’s how central we were.  Besides for 2 days when I went to the Cotswolds to visit Annabel we spent every single day out and about exploring London.

My first time at Hamelys! Check out the price tag on this bear – no wonder he is hanging his head – probably he is sad as no-one will buy him for that price!
Another visit to the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum – it wasn’t nearly as fun without the 3-year old!
Me at the Natural History Museum – I look awfully excited! And thin, which is why I’m posting this picture! 😉
Love, love, love the Science Museum. Could go there a million more times! Always something fun and exciting to do there!
London Dungeons – first visit and it was amazing! Have done it twice now and both times equally as good!
Me in the Cotswolds getting spring water from a natural spring on the side of the road. Again, looking very pleased with myself!
This tree looks like it stepped out of an Enid Blyton book! I have seen many fairy tale trees since then but this was my first.
Drinking beer in the countryside with Annabel – Malvern – Note the sign behind me.  It’s very rare to find a pub that serves food ALL DAY, especially in the country, hence me posing in front of the sign.
Our local – we would go sit here while our laundry was being done at the launderette across the road. Perfect excuse to drink beer and read the newspaper.

No smoking inside so we spent quite a bit of time on the sidewalk playing silly buggers with this sign.
I discovered my favourite meal of all time on this trip – Bi Bim Bap – it’s the national meal of Korea. I could eat if every day! They bring it to you still cooking – its rice at the bottom, then veggies and then whatever meat you want, with an egg on top – then you mix it all together with this amazing hot sauce and voila! Soooooo delish!
We went to see War Horse – got last minute tickets so they were cheap and front row – what an amazing experience, absolutely fantastic show!
Haha, had to include this photo. As this is (one) of the small gifts I got for Nick on this trip. But its funny because very soon after that he actually got a whole trip to London from his mom!

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