A bit about Sunday 

Sunday was a busy day: We got up early for church, in Camden Town.  Took two trains and maybe a half a mile of walking at either end to get there. I am notoriously early when it comes to church. So it was no shock to E when we were nearly 45 minutes early to get there. (We could go in for the Matins service, however E isn’t up for that yet, here especially).

We walk around Camden Town a bit and happen across a pub that we thought me might to do lunch at after church, however they don’t serve food, so that idea quickly derails.


We found a little park to sit in for a bit while waiting for church, it was across the road and down a little ways. So we say there and watched dogs play with their owners. 


Time for church. We are at the All Saints Greek Orthodox in Camden Town Street in Camden Town.  We sat in the back because I’m just as shy as E when it comes to bigger new places. Pews are narrow and the ones in the back were very creaky, So we were extremely noticeable when we stood or sat during the service.  (It didn’t help that I had my light, bright turquoise dress on when everyone else in the church -including E- was dressed in very dark colours. I may as well have carried a sign that lit up and said look at me!)

. There were maybe 35 in attendance, including us. I enjoyed the service immensely, though I think my transliteration version of the liturgy helped immensely. The service followed somewhat close and even when it went away for a bit, it was easy to find your way when it returned. 

Most of it was in Greek, maybe 10 words besides the Lord Prayer, the Creed and the Gospel were in English. I didn’t mind, as I can follow just as well in my Liturgy book and understand most of what is being said. I will say, however, that when the deacon came up to the pulpit to read the scripture, when he was reading it in English- I could have listened forever. There was something so soothing about listening to the scripture being read in such a calming voice, you would have thought the angels were reading it to you. It was my Favorite part of the service. 

After Church, E and I walked back to the train station to meet our friend, Bill, who is also here from the States for work. I’ve known Bill for going on 9 years. This was our first time meeting. 

We got to the station and Bill was waiting (I’d stopped to change from sandals to tennis shoes and socks, for sensibilities sake). We exchanged greetings and a hug and set off to the pub where we thought we were going to have lunch. We were directed in a different direction once we arrived and finally landed for lunch at Cobdens

E had a potato and leek soup, chips, and a sticky toffee pudding with custard and ice cream. Bill had a proper Sunday roast and a pint. I had fish and chips.

After lunch, we set off through Camden market to get to the canal, as we were attempting to catch a canal boat prior to setting off for the zoo. We seemed to have just missed the boat and ended up walking to the zoo. I fell and skinned my knee and twisted my ankle somewhere along the canal. 

The zoo was lovely, though the bulk of the animals seemed to be in the middle of their afternoon siesta. There was still much to see and the company was very pleasant. 


Bill ubered us to the train station and hugged us goodbye and 2 trains, 45 minutes and a half mile walk later, we were back at the flat. 

We were tired!! We decided a day off was in order for Monday, so we mostly only walked to the grocery and KFC yesterday. 

Here’s hoping today will be an interesting one. E is still sleeping, I have laundry and dishes going, and am looking over the London Pass book to decide what sounds like fun. 

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Ah Saturday…

It’s been another lovely day, though a very tiring one.

Started off the morning with crumpets and strawberry preserves. 

Showered, dressed by 9, and out the door to the train station.

On train to Greenwich, 5 stops and we’re there. Wandered a while, as nothing touristy was open until 10. Hit a bookstore, and a souvenir store. Bought a few bits and bobbles for E and her friends (No books today, alas).

First real stop was Cutty Sark: what a Lovely boat that was very instrumental in the tea and wool trades from what I gathered on board. I enjoyed exploring the layout of the boat and all it’s little details. 

Next stop…Starbucks!

We NEEDED a frappuccino, and though I didn’t get a photo, they spelled Anna and Catherine correctly (our Christian names) though I was sorely disappointed in the lack of a Venti size in the Fraps. We also met this cute puppy on our way out.


Next stop, national maritime museum…I think this one was E’s Favorite so far…so many things to learn about, and the people were super friendly, we even got a free souvenir book there. 


Next stop was the rose garden behind the museum…I could have stayed here all day inhaling the sweet fragrance of the roses. Hard to say which I liked best.


Next was the queens house. I loved this place, though it was easy to misplace oneself here. We went in circles more than once (and not just on the spiral staircase).


Last  real stop before we headed home was the royal observatory…it was quite the journey up the hill. But it was lovely. I could have stayed much longer exploring, were my feed not so bloody tired!


Stopped at Sainsbury’s on the way home, for strawberry smoothies, a coke to share, fettuccine noodles for this evenings dinner and a bag of crisps. Caught the train home, walked home and relaxed a while before dinner. 


If tomorrow is half as pleasant a day, I look forward to it already.

Goodnight

Good morning from Woolwich

Yesterday was a tiring day. We got up at 440 to get everything ready to self-disembark Queen Mary 2, waited almost an hour from when they told us to be in the queens room before we were told to get in the already formed queue that was midship, dragged our suitcases another 20 minutes through that queue and then walked our luggage off the ship. 

Taxi line was slow going, as the taxi supply had already been exhausted, and new taxis were coming in at a trickle. Luckily, we managed into a van taxi, as 4 suitcases, 2 backpacks and 2 people may have had some issues in the smaller sedans. The taxi driver nearly hit a woman who was crossed the road in a no pedestrian zone and was quite mad for a good part of the 5 minute drive. 

Got to Southampton central and went to collect My already purchased train tickets, but the machine would not recognize the card i had purchased the tickets on…after 3 failed attempts, i went to a different machine and had no issues with that one. It was cool on platform 1 as we waited for the train, but for the most part, people were pleasant. 

On the train…it was difficult to manage the baggage, I finally ended up moving one into a seat with the other on the floor below it, and our backpacks on top. That way we were able to have footroom and we weren’t blocking the snack/drink trolley. (Also, E can’t actually lift any of the suitcases substantially, so I had to help her get them on the train, into place, out of place and the gentleman in front of us helped her lift them off the train…she can pull them fine but lifting is difficult)

Once off the train at Waterloo…I made a spectacle of myself trying to get through the gate, I scanned my ticket to the machine at the wrong side of the wide gate, and the narrow gate I managed closed on and would not let go of my second suitcase. Then E’s Ticket refused to read. So I used her one day pass to get her through. (It was only good for yesterday and we were too tired to use it anyway).

Taxi driver, Tracy,  was pleasant on way to Woolwich, quite chatty…even showed us where she was married along the way.  Saw a lot of pretty areas as we drove and enjoyed the drive immensely. 

Arrived at the concierge to our property, where we were to meet Holly. Waited almost half an hour for her, even though I’d done everything to keep her apprised of our whereabouts. I’d told her when we were 40 minutes away, and we arrived 41 minutes later. People in theconcierge office were pleasant, and the couch was an inviting change while we waited. 

Got to apartment, had to pull luggage through large areas of pea gravel, had to carry suitcases up 8 small sets (8-10 steps) of stairs. Holly wondered why I didn’t make E carry hers up. Got shown around apartment, and wished a good visit before Holly left us. 

I unpacked us, and E helped me put away the piles of her stuff,  we are only using about 2 suitcases of the 4 worth of stuff at this  point, but the rooms are well appointed and have plenty of room for things to be comfortable. 

We were going to walk to KFC, but ended up finding the tesco express, grabbed a handful of groceries, and walked back to the flat (all without GPS).  

Made dinner, while E played on the Xbox. Had a pleasant evening, and ended up turning in somewhat early because I was exhausted (E wasn’t tired, and wasn’t impressed that I made her go to bed at 10) 

She read a while while I slept, but woke me an hour or 2 later when she heard a crash downstairs (I think she was hearing noises from outdoors, as we had all windows open). I slept hard and am waiting now for her to wake so that we can explore. 

We have a delivery coming between 1:30 and 2:30…logistics for that have been a chore! Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday morning

So, I managed to go back to sleep after my 4 am awake time this morning, and slept until 650, breakfast arrived at 655. 

I’ve yet to do laundry, as the facilities have been tied up since 730, when they opened. E and I ate breakfast, got dressed, and walked around deck for a while this morning, to allow Joey time to make up our stateroom. (I’d already made our beds but the fresh Ice is of utmost importance to me).

While walking around on deck, we decided to go see the anchor, as E noticed it on the model of the ship near the queens room yesterday when we went for afternoon tea. While there, we found a little butterfly who was getting battered by the wind and rain. She is currently in our stateroom and will be released when able. 

Last nights dinner, wasn’t our favorite. Menu selections didn’t fit our tastes, so we chose something we could tolerate, and ate bare minimum. (I think E was most disappointed by the idea that they had gnocchi on the menu but had a blue cheese sauce on it, she despises blue cheese…it’s a shame that such meals can’t have an alternate sauce available, the same as the salads do).

Today is a far wetter day, E and I both are enjoying that fact. We probably will explore off and on all day. 

Catch you tomorrow!

4:30 am

It is Monday Morning, my fourth wakeup on board, and it appears that 430 is my body’s natural wakeup time whilst aboard. 

I tend to be ready to sleep by 1130 and every morning, like clockwork, I am wide awake at 430 am. It doesn’t matter if the curtain is open or drawn, or whether I slept soundly or tossed and turned,  I wake promptly the same time.

I stare out at the sky and get up and wash my face, brush my teeth and hair, and do my toileting. I stand on the balcony for a few and enjoy the cool air, and lie back in the bed and just enjoy the solitude of the hushed breath of a 12 yr old sleeping soundly a few feet away. Maybe flip the tv on and switch it to 45 to see the current weather conditions….but it always goes right back off, there will be time for noise when E is awake, and trust me when I say that once she is awake, my entire day fills with noise.

Everyone we talked to slept a good portion of the day yesterday, including us. We had breakfast and I put the privacy sign out and went to sleep while she was playing on her Xbox, and when I awoke, she was sound asleep as well. Everyone at our table told similar tales of 2 to 3 hour naps, and so did the 2 friends I’ve made onboard prior to the  sail, Pixie and Wendy.

We managed to get to the Golden Lion pub yesterday for lunch. It was pleasant and the food was some of the best I’ve had on the cruise so far…and I’ve enjoyed the bulk of the food we’ve had, so that’s saying something.

Emma got a lovely baked Cumberland sausage with an onion gravy, set in a bed of bubble and squeak (cabbage and mashed potatoes)  I got fish and chips…the chops there were a far lovelier cut of potato than the fries served elsewhere on board, I loved them. 

We attempted to go swimming twice yesterday, but didn’t manage to quite make it. E did not wish to go the first time due to a live band playing in the area, said it was too loud for her taste. We attempted again after dinner, and there was a group of maybe 7-8 very unruly kids, with no parent seeming to take notice, so she chose again not to swim.

At 7 today our morning starts, we have breakfast brought to the room in the morning, it is our nightly routine to fill the card out together. I will start a load of laundry somewhere around 730, and it will be done by 9. We may try again to swim while it is in the dryer. 

May try the pub again for lunch, and we’ve arranged to meet for afternoon tea with the 2 girls mentioned before at 330. It’s another non-formal night for dinner, and  past that, it’s anyone’s guess what E will want to do today. 

I’m hoping tomorrow morning to make use of my early morning and see if she wants to get up with me to walk the ship for an hour or so to get photos, prior to the public areas being so crowded. 

Looking forward to London!

Early Sunday Morning

The time on my phone currently says it is 451 am, it’s been bright daylight here for more than an hour, and I’ve struggled to try to sleep at all over the course of the night, the cabin air is too dry and is messing with my sinuses, and it’s far too cold outside to leave the door open for very long. It’s 41 degrees but the natural wind mixed with more breeze caused by the ships movement  makes it feel far cooler out there. 

We have ridden fairly close to the coast until now, but last night around 9, we pulled away and started to cut towards the UK somewhere around 9 last night, from my understanding, just a bit north of the tit√°nics final resting place. 

I’ve been limited a bit more than anticipated on my activities thus far, as E does not like the crowds, I’m not allowed to leave her in the room unattended, and she is adamant that she does not wish to attend the children’s programming on board. Yesterday we reached a breaking point in that impasse, as we needed to be out of the room for the steward to tidy up, and she wasn’t interested in any of the options for lunch. I reached my limit after attempting 4 different options, 2 of them twice, and she would not be pleased. (The meal options in the main dining room were not anything I would have liked either, in her defense, and there was no seating in the pub, barring being seated with a woman who had taken the entire table up with her fish and chips). 

Cross words were said and a threat of an entire day with the children’s program came out. many tears were shed and a nap (but still no lunch) was taken by both of us when we returned to our room. 

Today we will be going earlier to the pub to wait for the 11:30 lunch time. Today we will be exploring more than just the shops and the outer decks. I think the breaking point needed to be there. 

Last nights dinner was pleasant, Nothing extraordinary or special, just a chatty meal with E and me, and our 8 older, British table mates. Margaret hopes we will set E next to her husband, Joe…as she is determined that he can get E to actually talk (though Ted asked her quite a few questions 2 nights ago, and Arthur was quite chatty with her last night) it was our second formal night, and everyone looked lovely. 

We saw a small pod of dolphins spy hopping as we got ready for dinner last night, they were only there for a brief moment before we were so far past them that we could not see them anymore. E has been looking for them and whales since we set out, so we were pleased to see them.

I’m hungry and breakfast isn’t for another 2 hours. E is still asleep, and I’m unable to even try. I’m glad to see a clear morning this morning as the fog was thicker than I’ve seen in quite some time last night, for most of the night. 

Here is hoping for a pleasant day, with many adventures. We seem to be on the cusp of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, per the map. I will check in more later. 

(I do need to say that though I write of our butting heads, it was a short lived episode, and it rarely happens with us, I believe tempers were a bit shorter for many reasons, and neither of us was more at fault than the other).

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