Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bound for Bloomsbury

This time tomorrow night, The Heiress and I will be winging our way to Heathrow.  She is beyond excited to immerse herself if her studies, meet some new friends and make the leap to self-sufficiency with her parents far, far away.  R has never let an opportunity pass at the dinner table to joke that as soon as The Heiress packs up we're redecorating her room, having a pool put in, buying a really fun car and who knows, perhaps even buy that ice-cream maker we've been talking about.  Her response is always the same..."Uh, hello, I'm right here!"  Joking about her not being around is how we keep things light and let her know we will be just fine when she strikes out on her own.

We've never been clingy parents.  You know, the sort who soaks a box of tissues when their child attends their first day of kindergarten or goes on a bus to overnight camp.  Even tonight, R asked me if I would be stopping in to see The Heiress after my week in London and before heading back to Canada.  A glance at my bulging itinerary said it all.  "Uh, hello, I'm right here!" shouted The Heiress before bursting out laughing.  I can't quite remember where I read about young women, some still in their late teens, joining the Red Cross to go overseas as nurses during World War II.  Now that would take some intestinal fortitude on the part of the young women and faith from their parents.  What we will go through as a family during this venture is a walk in the park by comparison.

There are bookshops to visit, shows to see, train rides to take, London Walks to go on, cakes to try and blog friends to meet.  I'm even excited about the gray skies and chance of rain on the day I'm to tour Highgate Cemetery!  How atmospheric can you get?  And Rachel emailed me with the exciting news that the second series of Downton Abbey will begin while I'm in London.  Talk about all your Christmases and birthdays coming at once.

I can't wait to indulge in a Full English breakfast every day, buy just about everything that comes in black current just because I love it, eat roast chicken and stuffing sandwiches from Marks & Spencer Food Hall and try a different flavoured yogurt every single day.  Pet dogs out for their morning walk in Russell Square and try to spot magpies hopping around in the bushes.  And there is a cafe in Bloomsbury that once served me coffee with cream so sweet I didn't have to add sugar, I wonder if it's still there?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, for chicken sandwiches and children, and the next twelve months will go by in no time.  I can hear The Heiress now..."Uh, hello, I'm right here!"


  1. Am so excited for you--I enjoyed reading your account of your last trip to London! I will be there the first couple weeks of November and it looks as though you and I have many of the same things on our agendas. ;)

    Will look forward to your blogposts! Have a fabulous time.


  2. Glorious sunshine here today, Darlene, so I hope it lasts for you. But you need a slightly gloomy day to get the Highgate atmosphere!
    But I did wonder ... don't they have yogurt in Canada? It seems a long way to come! Although I'm very partial to a full-fat rhubarb and custard.

  3. Lisa, That's wonderful! Well I will do my very best to bring you a full report of my travels and perhaps give you some ideas to add to your list. Will this be your first visit?

    mary, We have yogurt but the flavour selection isn't all that exciting. Companies are just starting to branch out from your basic strawberry, blueberry, raspberry etc. The Heather Honey and Lakemead Ginger is a favourite from M&S and the Lemon Curd...oh my goodness! I'll scan the shelves to try your favourite, it sounds delicious!

  4. I'm going to have to take a closer look, Darlene ... I do like their lemon curd, but I'd no idea about honey and ginger. How come you manage to be so much better informed! I'm only five minutes away from M&S!

  5. mary, Oh dear god, please don't tell me they've discontinued it...anything but that!

  6. How exciting, Darlene!! I know you'll have a wonderful time... can't wait to hear all about it.

  7. Have a wonderful trip, Darlene. I'm so sorry not to be able to get to London to meet you, so if you should happen to be at a loose end one day, just hop on a train up to Edinburgh!
    I hope The Heiress settles in quickly and enjoys her time here.

  8. Have a really *great* time and enjoy an extra scone for me (or maybe some tasty yogurt in a nice exotic flavor)! Are you going to try and drop in and be an extra in Downton Abbey? :) I hope that you'll get to go pick the Heiress up next spring? Wish her good luck for me, and take lots of pictures.... (can you tell I'm vacation-deprived lately?).

  9. Darlene-
    Actually, not my first trip--I have been fortunate enough to go every couple of years or so! Am always looking for suggestions, and like everyone, have my "rituals" when I go to London, as well! Happy travels!

  10. Darlene, I've just read about part of your jaunt on Simon's blog and I didn't recognise your name! It sounds as if you're having a lovely time!

    As soon as you mentioned young women going to France during WW1 I thought of Downton Abbey (and Vera Brittain, of course!) Have you managed to see episode one of the new series yet? I'm watching it with my own Heiress. Foolishly, I forgot to supply myself with a hankie before it started...

    I hope your girl has a wonderful time in England! :)

  11. I'm gutted that I missed you :(

  12. Have a wonderful time in London. I do like your positive view on the 'empty nest' and your allusion to the young women during the war.