Day 18 of UK Trip
July 22, 2009

What still staggers me about the UK is the number of people smoking outside.  Of course they can no longer smoke indoors so they are all outside but there seem to be an inordinate number of them outsiders.  It struck me again this morning as I was walking to the tube at 8am (while everyone else was still sleeping) that almost everyone I passed was smoking.  Unfortunately I had to walk twice to the tube station because I forgot my tie the first time.  Just as well that I did because I found the key in the door of the flat from last night still!  Helen would have been looking for it everywhere.  Just as well England is a safe place.

I had my usual time at work going from meeting to meeting and taking and making phone calls to the SA office in between.  We had a client lunch today and as we always do we walked there.  It was about a 20 minute walk (there and back).  We went to an Italian restaurant and the food was quite good (more Italian Chris but I avoided the pasta as I am very self-conscious now following your hurtful remarks).  Helen and the kids were going to come through to the office today so they could see where I worked but when I phoned to check if that was still on, Helen said that because it was raining (yes again), that they wanted to stay in the flat.  That meant I could work longer so I eventually left work at 6pm and headed back to the flat.

Helen and the kids had pretty much spent their day in and around the flat.  They had gone out to fetch the boys’ Oyster Cards (for them to go on the tube/buses at reduced prices) from Victoria Station and they had done some shopping especially for dinner (from Marks & Spencer).  Michael had been getting in his Wii tennis and even Chloe is now playing in tournaments.  I tried my hand at beating Stephen and Michael and to ensure that they maintain a healthy self-esteem (unlike mine was has taken a battering from Chris), I let them both win.

After dinner we went from a walk down into St James Park and probably added 10 ‘lifers’ just from the park.  It had turned into a lovely evening and we walked around the park and enjoyed the birds and the scenery around us.  It was twilight and the lights from the historical buildings on the Mall and from the London Eye looked beautiful as a backdrop.  We got back to the flat at 9:30pm which gave me some time for a little Wii playing and unfortunately I was knocked out of the Australian Open by John McEnroe after an epic struggle that lasted 18 minutes.  I must have burned off at least the desert today with all that playing and my shoulder is really hurting now.  Might have to phone in sick tomorrow.

Kids in bed, Helen watching TV and I am sure we will soon be heading for another night’s peaceful sleep.

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