Dear Karen,

As I’m soon coming up to my first anniversary of living in London, I thought I’d take a look at what I’ve actually been up to for the past 11 months.  You’ll be happy to hear, I’m not going to bore you to tears by doing a day-by-day breakdown.  Even I’m not that cruel.

I’m going to take a look at last week and hopefully, it’ll give you an idea of the highs and lows of life in a London home.

Here goes!


I took the train from Victoria Station to Lewes, East Sussex, to visit my friend of many years, Tonita.

Leaving London by train on a foggy morning

Leaving London by train on a foggy morning

A beautiful start to the day

Still on the train, an hour later…a beautiful start to the day

I left first thing in the morning, on the 0747 train, and it was almost empty, as you can tell.  It only takes an hour to get to Lewes, more or less; that’s considered quite close to London, so many people do actually take the train to and fro every day.  I don’t know that I’d like to do it every day, but once a week?  Sure!

View from the dining room table, midday

View from the dining room table, midday

Tonita's lane.  Just a little historical information, should you care to stop and read.

I love the breezy way it’s mentioned that this building ceased to be used for its original purpose in, oh, let’s see…1361.  A mere 650 years ago.


I slept over and came back on the 0948 train, which, because it’s half-term here, was packed with little kiddies.  I was surprised to see not a single parent telling their child to stand when an adult came on the train.  I thought that was de rigeur, that the young give up their seats for the elderly, infirm, pregnant or disabled.  What I noticed was a lot of mothers studiously ignoring the adults and in turn I noticed the adults not even bothering to raise a fuss.  In our day (did I really say that?), Nana, who put the Hot into Haughty, would have raised a fuss, shot piercing looks at the parents and best of all, would have issued a proclamation in her startling vibrato about how children simply must stand for their elders.  She wouldn’t have backed down.  “Backing down”, she would have sniffed disdainfully, “is for other people, certainly not our type”.

Wednesday and Thursday

I spent these days cleaning and ironing—oh, what jolly good fun, as we say over here!  Actually, I’ve never once heard anyone say that, except in Enid Blyton radio dramas, that is.  Let us skip over those days, other than to point out that I missed my beloved musical lesson on Wednesday, due to my neglecting to write down the time in any one of 4 diaries I keep on or near by me.

Because I gave myself a bit of a scare regarding the missed lesson, I started using my Lumosity account again, in hopes of retraining my brain—I fear it’s become lazy this past year.  Perhaps that’s a sign of empty nesting?  Or perhaps it’s because of menopause or maybe, just maybe, I’m going senile.  All this has been discussed and worried over in another post, so I won’t go into it here.  However, if you wish to refresh your memory


Lars, who had been away on business, came home after 5 days away.  We shared a bottle of wine on his arrival (another reason I have no memory?  Nah, couldn’t be) and caught up on all the essentials of the week:  what the cats were up to, where our children are and what they’re doing, the upcoming weekend…the usual.

I’d been out shopping, in order to buy food for Saturday lunch; there would be 6 of us, and as I hadn’t seen 2 of them since summer, I was really looking forward to it.


A 7-hour lunch?  That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it.

A 7-hour lunch? That’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it.

One couple stayed the night, so we all fought over the best chair in the living room while watching Swedish crime dramas on TV.  Man, are the Swedes on TV ever a depressed bunch of people. I couldn’t imagine a fart joke or bottom-pinching or even simple, uncomplicated laughter from these characters. After one hour of having my heart wrenched out of my body via my larynx, I was more depressed than Sylvia Plath the day she discovered her oven wasn’t working properly. Time for bed.


This was a day of rest and long walks.  We bade a fond farewell to our friends and Lars and I went to Selfridges to buy me a small diary for my handbag.  No excuses anymore—this diary has its own dedicated pencil, which is cool enough but what sends it into the stratosphere is the fact that it’s purple.

Smythson yearly diary with cool pencil, in purple

Smythson yearly diary with cool pencil, in purple

I feel quite confident I’ll make fewer errors now I’ve got this.  Between Lumosity and Smythson, I’m set.

This week is perhaps more interesting than last—we’ve got a cat spaying on the horizon, tea with friends on Wednesday, dinner out Thursday, and then the countdown begins to your arrival next week.  It’s all go, go, go!  I can’t wait.