20.06.2013 - 21.06.2013 19 °C
Woke up just before 6 feeling infinitely more human than when we went to bed.
Walked to Lords to meet Callum's cricket group. Callum looks a bit tired and overwhelmed. The only other grade 8 boy broke his leg the day before we left so poor old Callum is feeling a it left out with all the older boys. Resisted the temptation to smuggle him back to the unit with us.
Chris stayed with the group to do the tour and Soph, Marcus and Nic navigated the tube to get to Piccadilly Circus. Found kids heaven at M&M world, then Hamley's toy store. Walked back along Regent Street (finding the best icecream on the way) to our unit. Soph and i were greatly tempted to chain marcus to a bike rack so we could do some serious window shopping. Chris spent the afternoon with the boys at Canterbury College. Callum in much better spirits and being looked after by the older boys. Didnt have a win today, boys were exhausted and competition was extremely tough. We had a fabulous night at Wicked, great seats 4th row in the stalls. Classy dinner for kids and chris (maccas) at Victoria station before heading home. Marcus amused at having to pay to go to the loo. Saw an amazing busker on the way home, playing plastic drums and saucepans. We watched him for ages, and got home about midnight.
Kids killed us the next morning by getting up just after 5, but a full day sightseeing was the best revenge! Joined the other tourists on the hop on hop off bus. Spent a few hours at the London Tower, Marcus was enthraled by the Beefeaters Tour, except for the bit where he told the kids that they were never safe and there actually usually were wicked men hiding either under their beds or in the cupboard every night. Spent nearly 3 hours here before jumping back on the bus. Next stop was the unforgettable Westminster Abbey. Chris was happy he didn't wait outside (£20 pounds to get into a church!!!!!) We were guided by the dulcet tones of Jeremy Irons, in awe of the architectural detail and history here. Soph was enthraled, and even Marcus admitted it was ok even though "I'm not really into religion or history". I think he was mostly relieved that we weren't going in for mass as he originally thought.
Kids were starting to flag a bit but we weren't finished yet. Walked up the road to Buckingham Palace, tried to figure out which room the Queen would be in and what she was having for dinner. Hung around there for a while taking it all in then headed down to Piccadilly, along Regent Street (new shoes for Chris and a successful trip to Nike Town for Soph) on the way home. Arrived back around 7 then off to the local (The King and Queen) for a drink (there's good gluten free beer!). By now the kids were literally begging us to go to bed so resisted the temptation to stay at the pub. Toasties for the kids and curries for us from a tiny but fantastic Indian place next door. Kids were asleep before Chris got back with the takeaway. Hopefully will put us back into a normal-ish sleep routine. Typing this at 7am Saturday morning listening to the rain outside and they are still dead to the world.
Marcus told me today "no offence, but London is actually much better than Brisbane". He is loving the sounds, smells and sights and is totally at ease with the crowds and on the tube. Soph is a bit more reserved, she did admit today to missing Callum though I was sworn to secrecy. Will try to get her to some crafty markets over the weekend, that will be her heaven!