Sunday, 11 January 2015

January Blues and a trip to London

It's been a miserable week.  Christmas holidays have come to an abrupt end and it's back to mock examination week in school; stressed out teenager; grumpy commute-weary husband and piles of exam marking.  And the weather has been horrible. I usually deal with my low mood by getting out for a good walk with the dog.  So I set off on Wednesday morning with my neighbour on our usual route and we got absolutely drenched.  Some signs of Spring on the horizon though: I spotted this brave daffodil on my dog walk.

Last Saturday was a better day.  I spent it in London with a friend and our teenage daughters, catching the train early in the morning from Chester and returning at 10 pm.  The morning was spent on Oxford Street, shopping. Not really my idea of fun, but it was one of the main objectives of the trip for the teenagers with Christmas money to spend.  So we spend a long time in places like Topshop on Oxford Circus.  Many years ago I used to shop in that branch as, before training as a teacher, I worked briefly for Alitalia, the Italian airline which has now folded,  and its offices were just opposite.  We also went to Victoria's Secret, on New Bond Street, a truly awful place, looking like a night club with chandeliers, marble staircases and doormen insisting we put our dripping umbrellas in specially designed plastic bags lest we sully the overpriced undies on sale there.  My friend queued for 45 minutes to purchase a pair of the very ordinary looking knickers for her daughter, behind Spanish tourists spending £500!  My daughter, who is thankfully less brand conscious, and I escaped and went across the road to Fenwick's, a much classier store which hasn't changed that much since I worked London.

The day improved after that.  We walked down Regent Street, across Piccadilly and Leicester Square and ended up in Trafalgar Square.  Better than taking the tube, even it was a bit damp, as we could admire the lights and window shop.  Our friends had tickets to see 'The Nutcracker' at the Coliseum so they went there while Kate and I went to the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery.  She wasn't that keen but indulged me as I had endured Topshop.  Got my Monet fix and then went next door and saw a fabulous portrait of Judy Dench who looked just like she was about to walk out of the frame.  We rested our weary legs in the restaurant on the top floor for a fairly pricey but tasty afternoon tea.  Great views over London though, as you can just about see in my not very good photograph. A good day out to mark the end of the holiday.


  1. Glad you had a good day in London. Thankfully I have so far escaped shopping trips to the January sales as my boys are not shoppers and are happy to pick up clothes in the local 'Next' branch. Whew. X

  2. I look forward to similar trips with my daughter! I am sorry you are struggling January weariness and hope this week will be better. I quite like January, it is a slow month for us in general. Next year might be different when my teenager will have his prelims (I guess that is your daughter's mock exam equivalent)! I took the little boys for a long walk in the swamp (usually a pleasant woodland), we were dressed in full waterproofs and quite enjoyed watching our ping pong ball dog. James still managed to get drenched by falling into a puddle the size of an olympic swimming pool. It was hilarious to see his astonished face. x

  3. It sounds pretty good all in all! I hope that you got yourself something nice in all that shopping. xx

  4. a great shot of the London sky line. I used to shop in that Top shop too. As a teenager it was great. I'd like a day in London, the National Gallery sounds good. But yes, grumpy January teenagers, not fun. Here's to better moods all round! X

  5. Sounds like a really good day out with plenty of compromising with the teenager.

  6. Oh, that view is brilliant! (Rude question; was it hideously expensive, and do you think they'd let me order a pot of tea for one, even if I take all the children, well, my three hulks, with me? Just to see the view?)

    1. I think you can just turn up and have tea and scones which were lovely for £7.50. Full afternoon tea was 24.50 with service etc on top but we only had one of those between us and they were fine with that.