Reporting from Pontypool (because I forgot to press submit!)
30.06.2011 - 03.07.2011 21 °C
We made it... We are in London, having ticked off the final packing and organisation required in Shanghai. The flight was ok, the kids were good, but both were sound asleep believing it was the middle of the night when we landed at 4:30pm.
We settled into my sister's house comfortably, pleased with ourselves for navigating the Underground and a taxi to find it. And were keen to wait up to see her and meet her fiance when they got home from a concert in Hyde Park... alas, not to be as we all crashed out into slumberland by about 9.30.
The next morning dawned bright and sunny and after an early breakfast, the four of us set out to explore Islington at 5.30am. The kids were keen to run and make noise, and we tried to keep them a little sedate knowing that the neighbours probably had to get up in an hour or two and head to work. But the sun shone, the streets were quiet and we explored - finding a gated playground, that would open in a few hours, a pretty little church and garden, a collection of closed shops, a canal and lots of pretty townhouses. We came back home - Jie Jie exclaimed that we had just done the longest walk she could ever remember, and the house was still quiet.
Finally, yay, my sister, Marns, got up, and we were all excited to see her again, and then not long afterwards we met James, her fiance. Had a lovely chat over a leisurely second breakfast, and then it was off to work for them. Leaving us to explore Islington and Angel a bit more. We went to the park, and walked up to the shops, enjoying the London summer day.
Early afternoon, Jie Jie fell asleep as we were walking back to Marns' house and we thought, "hmm... let her rest", then I lay down for a minute to read my book about 4.30pm... I heard movement in the house, and was sure Marns and James had arrived home early from work, because bear in mind it was still broad daylight... uh no, it was 7.30 - my 20 min powernap was THREE hours. I heard the TV on downstairs singing out some cheerful children's theme, and thought that Jie Jie and Didi were both watching something... went down and Jie Jie was still asleep!! In the pram!! Dead to the world!! SEVEN hours of sleeping!! OH NO.
So no problem for her to join our late-ish BBQ in the back yard in the dusk. Well done Marns, I was truly impressed with your Weber handling ability! And dinner was delicious.
Needless to say Jie Jie was up and about at 3am wondering why it was dark and why nobody wanted to talk to her! On Saturday, I still felt sleep deprived, and like I was nursing a hangover extraordinaire!
If we could convince the kids to stay awake for 'another 2 hours' or 'until 7pm', we would have beaten jetlag faster, but as it was they would fall asleep and there was no other alternative!
Now to enjoy London!!