A spoonies adventure in London

Nick and I recently went to London to visit family. We took Sam with us and he had a ball on the train. Thankfully he travels really well and in his usual happy style he made lots of friends and was very comfortable taking up as much space on the train as he could.

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We planned our trip well as we had 5 days to play with. This meant when we arrived in London I could rest up and Nick, Crellin and Emma could play board games.

Part of the reason we wanted to do a trip to London, apart from to see family, was that I had never been to the museums and Nick hadn’t been to the Greenwich maritime museum. We kicked off our three days of Museums by heading straight to Greenwich maritime. Once there we heading to the Observatory and the view of the city from there was quite spectacular.

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After having had lunch and allowing me a bit of rest time, Nick and I headed to the British museum to see the Ancient Egypt display of Mummies. The museum was a little too crowded for me unfortunately, I find busy rooms to be exhausting, but the display of artefacts and mummified body parts were fascinating. It really hit me half way round that these linen wrapped human shapes, behind the glass, were actually real people who had lived real lives. It must have been such a wonderful time to live when the Egyptian tombs were first discovered. All the treasures which were unearthed, the study that would have gone into finding out what each item was and why it was placed in the grave. I could have spent another full day reading and studying all the items which were there. We are so lucky here in Britain to have all this information, art and history surrounding us and all to be seen for free. It’s a shame, myself included, that we don’t take advantage of it more.

The next day we decided as we had only seen such a small section of the Birtish museum to go back and see some more. We walked our way through the world of the Inca, into the chambers of Egyptian gods and out through the Parthenon. A fascinating journey around the world in a few short steps. As a child I didn’t have much patience for learning, probably due to my dyslexia and love for being active. Now however I can’t believe there is so much I didn’t know. I could have stayed in the museum forever but as Nick very rightly pointed out I was starting to flag and really needed a bit of rest time. He managed to get me quick stepping my way out after stating that there was a Waffle House around the corner and we could stop there for lunch. We were little pigs and got a huge pancake each, I added fruit just to make myself feel a little healthy, and a waffle to share.

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That evening we had booked tickets to go see the Cirque du Soleil show Amaluna. Nick and I have seen Cirque du Soleil before while we were in Vancouver, so I had an idea of what to expect. I was however happily surprised that this show was nothing like the high speed one we had see previously. This show was stunning! The music was so soothing and really told the story of love that was unfolding in front of us. The acrobatic displays were breath taking and the lady who did the, as I call it, stick trick had me and everyone else in the hall holding their breath. The whole night was just magical.

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We were late home that night so it was straight to bed for me. I really couldn’t be more thankful for both Adam and Emma giving up their bedrooms for me while we stayed there. It makes such a difference to my health having a good, comfortable nights sleep.

The next day I was really starting to feel all this activity catching up on me. Nick and Adam where happy to go at my pace so we wondered around the V&A, looking at all the beautiful cloths, embroidery and jewellery, then making our way to the casts/replicas of items from around the world. It was fascinating to read that all these replicas were made so that people in Victorian times could physically see the statues, pillars and art they read about in books without having to travel the long distances to see them. Travel these days is so easy and fairly cheap so we take for granted that if we want to see Italian design we can just hop on a plane and be there in a few hours. Also with the internet you don’t even have to leave your house to immerse yourself in culture. However in Victorian days travel was expensive and time consuming so these replicas must have felt magical and awe inspiring to have so readily available.

From the V&A we had to take a wee break to re fuel as I was really flagging. We found a great takeaway inspired shop called Leon where I got the most delicious fish finger wrap and baked chips. This made for a very happy Amy and after the food was consumed for a less grumpy Amy too.

After lunch we headed to Portobello Road as Nick wanted to show me the markets. By this point I was too exhausted to care, which was a real shame as Nick and I do love a good antique shop, but I did enjoy looking at all the colourful houses. We ended the day a bit early, which I was uber happy for, and headed back to Stratford. On the way back Adam noticed my physical decline, which does happen quite rapidly, as I started to trip over everything, lose my footing on stairs and jumble all my words together. Not the best while you are trying to fight your way through the busy London Underground.

I was really glad to have a very early night that night and pleased to be heading home the next day too. I had a wonderful time in London and I really can’t wait to go back and explore some more of the museums. We still have plenty to see and museums we still haven’t visited. I would however change the way I structured my days. I would definitely make sure I had more food to hand to boost my energy levels, along with doing less underground travel as I find it the most exhausting way to travel. I’d make sure I stick to breaking the day up so I have time to rest, that way I’m not running on adrenaline and then having a crash out of the blue. I’d also listen to Nick when he says “Amy I think we should stop for a wee rest/ food” as he really does pick up a lot quicker on my tiredness levels than I do. ¬†Not that I like to admit it to him!

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