The trip over was still the full 23 or 24 hour ordeal. A 1-hour stopover in Bangkok… (the airport is very different from last time – endless bright highly polished halls and strings of moving walkways – who knows where they led.) Tina slept quite a bit but I couldn’t so caught up on lots of movies – Social Network, Fair Game, Hereafter a bit of a blur now…
Tips – Drink lots of water helps keeps you hydrated and you’re forced to get up and walk to the toilet regularly and bend and stretch and all the rest of it if you have to wait.
Travel socks – usually have crazy legs but they were quite a bit better this time.
Our plane was a bit late into Heathrow and Rhian who was meeting us. I wondered (as did she) if we’d be able to recognise each other. We’d be in trouble if we didn’t because Tina’s and my phones would no longer work… But just as we came through the barriers first face I locked eyes on was Rhian’s. Tears and much emotion! We had to hug over the barricades before we could race to the end and meet properly… She has a permanent and very special place in my heart. She still looks terrific – just the same in spite of years and a change of colour scheme!
On a more practical note, I don’t know how we would have managed if Rhian hadn’t taken us in hand, armed with Oyster cards she’d acquired for our use, guiding us through the maze of trains, platforms and steps, helping us with what seemed suddenly a ridiculous mountain of luggage. She delivered us to Kevin’s door where we all collapsed in a heap for a bit and had a good old cup of tea. She gave us lots of help and tips about finding our way around… including that the TATE Britain for a watercolour exhibition from a very different angle – so that immediately went on the list for the next day.
Too soon she had to go as she herself was leaving for France the next day (and our eyes were rolling around to the backs of our heads from tiredness!) Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up more later – lots to catch up on.
Met Kevin too over a barricade! Down at the station a very kind lady let us have a hug and get the keys from his flat. With Kevin’s true flair he’s created an artistic and interesting as well as luscious and welcoming hideout. It was great, as always, to swap stories and fun and very generously, Kevin treated us royally. I just wish these friends weren’t quite so far across the world!!
PS about the pics… As well as Spring beginning to spring, I also gota bit obsessed with the chimney pots…