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UK - April 2006

UK, April 2006 |

Wow, quite a whirlwind trip to the UK, but such fun to be back after so long! I can’t quite believe I haven’t been to London since I left three years ago! I landed at Heathrow at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, having had a surprisingly good night’s rest. Sat next to a real live “Rocket Scientist” on the plane, which was certainly interesting… Ant was at the airport to meet me – and boy, he sure wasn’t kidding when he said I should (try to) travel light – I basically managed to fit all of my HAND luggage in the boot of his Lotus, but somehow didn’t seem to mind quite as much when we left my luggage at his place, took the top off the car and cruised down to Southampton enjoying the exceptionally sunny and warm spring day!! We met up with some of Ant’s friends and headed off to the Church for the Wedding – which was really lovely – the only shock being the bride in RED!! And I have to say, after the initial shock, I really liked it. Hmmm. The reception was fun, complete with cheesy wedding tunes, and then we all spent the night at an old hotel nearby before heading back to London on Sunday.

I had a lovely late lunch on the river with Kate, Sue, Nicole, Angie and Ant, and it was so good catching up with everyone that the time just seemed to fly – and next thing I knew I was several drinks down and more than ready for bed!! Managed to sort out some stuff at the bank on Monday morning, giving me access to much-appreciated funds, and then headed off to meet Anna in Barnes. Wow, it was so fantastic to see her – I cannot believe that she’s married and had a beautiful baby boy since I last saw her! It feels surreal, but baby Oliver is just gorgeous, and Anna looks happier than I’ve ever seen her.

In the afternoon I got the train down to Newbury, which is where the course I was attending was being held. Got there fairly easily, nice hotel – but how depressing being there on my own! Had dinner by myself, and by the time pudding came I overheard some Cadbury talk coming from a table behind me and decided to introduce myself to them – all guys from AUS, and one Kiwi from Japan, and landed up having a pretty fun time. The course was excellent, and I got to meet so many of my finance colleagues from all the other regions – will come in handy, I’m sure!

I spent Thursday night at Sue’s place – got fab Chinese takeaways… I love Peking Duck, which is impossible to get at home, so a real treat! Great catching up with Sue and Nic again, I miss those girls so much! Friday was my dedicated shopping day – and can’t believe it, but I bought very little. I just wasn’t in the best shopping mood, which is truly just tragic – do they make a pill for that?!?

Met up with Ant, Kate, Justi and Sue Barron for dinner and drinks, and then headed off to High Wycombe to stay with Ant as Sue’s place had become a little full with both her mom and brother coming to stay. There may have been a little ulterior motive in there too, though… ;-0

I met Anne Archer for breakfast on Saturday at a really lovely place called Giraffe along the Embankment near Waterloo. It felt strange seeing Waterloo again after all those times passing through to the BD club at the Hole in the Wall on a Tuesday night! It was awesome to see Anne and have a decent catch up, before heading to Canary Wharf to meet Kate for a stroll around Greenwich Village. I cannot believe how beautiful London is looking – it’s just so green and there are flowers EVERYWHERE!! There are daffodils wherever you look, and tulips of every shape and description in the gardens. Just lovely!

Ant and I managed to get tickets for a new show in London called Footloose, which is loosely based on the film starring Kevin Bacon in 1984. I have to say that this is one of the most fun shows I’ve ever seen – the dancing was excellent and the songs really got you going! Sunday was a bit of a lazy day, and headed off to Henley for a pub-lunch and a walk along the Thames, and then in to London for Sue’s Cheese and Wine birthday drinks with lots of people that I certainly haven’t seen in a while. And on Monday we went off to Oxford to have a bit of a wander and lunch before I had to get to the airport and my flight home ;-(

Locations Visited: Johannesburg, London, Southampton, Newbury, High Wycombe, Henley on Thames, Oxford, London, Johannesburg

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