Saturday, 21 June 2008

Fun for the whole family

June saw my mother finally give up on her decades-long, one-woman embargo on the UK when she came to visit me in London for a week. Amazingly, I think London was trying to make up for the treatment she received on her last visit (being described as 'bristling with prejudice' if you must know - I don't know what she's complaining about)... the sun shone all week, there were no major tube disasters to speak of, and most impressively their accommodation turned out to be a top floor apartment complete with balcony so close to the dome of St Paul's you could almost touch it.

Being forced to play tour guide in my new 'home town' made me realise how little I'd actually done or seen in London. Thankfully I could fall back on the tourist classics: a cruise along the Thames to Greenwich, a 'flight' on the London eye, a trip to the theatre, and packing them off to Oxford when I'd run out of things to do. The highlight for everyone was definitely the musical "Dickens: Unplugged" - a Shakespeare abridged take on the works of London's greatest novelist, fistula and all. Unfortunately it closed a few nights after we saw it so I wasn't able to force anyone else to enjoy it.

Being my family, a lot of time was spent in the Bacchanalian pursuits of eating and drinking. Unfortunately taking them out to my favourite restaurant-cum-foreign-correspondents' club The Frontline Club for my Dad's birthday proved a disappointing evening since the menu and atmosphere had changed since my last visit. Thankfully various Indian restaurants made up for it. Of course, not everything went entirely smoothly, but I managed to get to the end of the week without being berated for wasting my life, so perhaps it's true - absence does make the heart grow fonder...

1 comment:

Feeling Fuzzy? said...

Well done Pat!! You're a brave man!!
Family visits are always interesting - when I was in the UK in my youth (1998 to be exact) my Dad and 2 sisters came over - they stayed in a B+B up the road and every morning my dad would bring their dirty washing to my place for me to take care of. Hmmmm....