As you know, I don’t mind the odd trip to London now and again. Fine, I probably go to London too much, but it really is my getaway. I love it. So it is rather surprising then, that my littles only went to London for the first time ever this weekend!!
I have been wanting to take them for ages now. But it’s having the time, having the money, them being old enough to cope with all the travelling and walking and such. It’s quite a daunting task deciding to take them to London, because I would be on my own and it’s bad enough getting myself through the big city without injury (re:the time I got my wrist stuck in the ticket barriers or fell over as I got off an escalator….. oooops) let alone two littles.
Anyway, I’m going to cut a long story short….. it turned out that I wouldn’t have to go it alone. A family member volunteered to come and help me out with the adventure and we spent a few weeks planning. We decided to do Buckingham palace, the boat ride down the Thames, some parks, picnics and finish it all off with a dinner somewhere on Bond Street. All the touristy things. The kids were counting down the days. So was I. Then, on Friday, the evening before the big day….. I had a message from my boss. To put it simply, he messed up on the rotas and added me in a week ago to work on Saturday… I didn’t bother looking at the rotas to see I had been added in and it turned out that a 50/50 cock up on both our parts resulted in me having to work Saturday morning. Of course I stamped my feet and tried like hell to get out of it. I asked everyone at work if they could cover for me just this once (I have NEVER let work or anyone at work down before…. I will know not to be so easy in future) and I had no luck.
So I had to break it to the littles and family member that I had work from half eight til half twelve. We were all stressed and upset at not being able to go but then we came to a compromise. We decided that I would go and meet the littles in London after I finish work. That way, they wouldn’t be let down and could make a day of it, and I would still get to experience seeing their faces in London.
It was still a huge let down. Firstly, I am their Mum. I do everything with them. I hated the fact I wouldn’t get to see their first tube journey (which was a big deal as Leona isn’t great on transport but she did OK) , I wouldn’t get to see the palace with them or go on the boat ride. It was also a huge deal trusting somebody else with them in London. It’s me that takes them on all their trips, I am always with them for whatever they do. But instead, I had to trust that they would have fun and be looked after. (They did and they were….so yay for that!)
I spent the morning at work dealing with rude, snobby customers then rushed to get the train to London. I didn’t get in London til nearly three and by the time I had met the kiddies, they had ticked off pretty much everything on their to do list. I could see that they had an early start and were really starting to get tired, so we agreed to get a meal and then send them home. I was upset that I missed the whole day but sometimes, these things happen and the fact that the kids had the time of their lives and got to see the magic of London is what is important.
We went to Duke street just off Bond street which holds significant memories for me. When I was younger and had my hole in my heart, I was in a London hospital. After I had my surgery and was let out of hospital, we all went for a meal in Duke street. Then when I was pregnant with Leona, I also had to go to a London hospital. They wanted to see if the baby had the same condition as me via scan, so once I got the all clear from the scan, me and my sister who was with me at the time …. (going it alone even back then!!!) headed to Duke Street for a celebration meal. So that was our choice of place this time.
We all absolutely stuffed ourselves, and I got an Italian Espresso which absolutely blew my brains out. Who needs wine when you can have a shot of that and be done?
We made our way back to Liverpool Street Station, and I got to see the Littles on the tube. Ha!!! Hahahahahahaha!!! Lex loved it, because he’s a proper man and stuff. But Leona….. oh goodness. The fear in her eyes. She hated everything about the tubes, from the escalators, to the heat, to the noise of the train. I have picture evidence. You can see the fear in her eyes despite the smile!! She’s such a good girl though, she didn’t complain once. She definitely sucks things up and gets on with it.
So I only really got to take pictures of them at the restaurant and the station. Still can’t believe I missed the majority of their day in London!!!
The family member who took the littles insisted that I stay on in London for a few hours. I didn’t get there until three so it would have been a complete waste of forty bloody quid to go back home at half five!!! I panicked for a moment about the kids going home without me but then I came to the sucky realisation that they had managed all day without me so they could get home just fine. They wanted to go home, they were tired. But they loved London. And I am so glad they got to experience it.
That last picture cracks me up so much!!! Leona had just told Lex that the train had left without them. What a stinker.
But after all that, what exactly is a girl like me to do in London all on her lonesome?? Yeah, you guessed it. I took myself off to the Jersey Boys house didn’t I?
I am bloody glad I did. Sandy Valli on a Saturday night. He was incredible. I know this is going to sound weird, because both Michael and Sandy play the part of Frankie Valli and obviously have to sound like/imitate him…..but you guys….. Sandy gave me chills during Walk Like A Man. You might remember me saying ages ago that when I was younger, I liked Frankie V and The Four Seasons, I listened to the CDs, I loved the music….Walk Like A Man is obviously one of the big three songs, and other than immensely enjoying it every time, It doesn’t affect me like my faves do such as My Eyes Adored You and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (all very eye related there…..)
But during this song on Saturday night, my jaw was almost on the floor as Sandy sang. Frankie V is known for his high notes obviously , but he also has a VERY distinctive voice. If I had closed my eyes during the verses of Walk like a man, I would have sworn it was the man himself. I seriously got shivers at how good Sandy sounded. The show just got better from there , and when everyone stood up during Who Loves You, it told its own story that the guys had given one of their best ever shows.
In case you are all wondering, I haven’t broken my Jon Boydon as Tommy streak yet. Every single time. He is a rock star.
I ended up sitting next to a couple of girls from Finland during the show. They were energetic and dancing, they loved every minute of the show. And next to them were a lovely couple who also enjoyed it and were chatty and friendly. Basically, the front few rows of the Piccadilly were bloody awesome.
I did stage door. Probably best I leave that part out of this blog though. *holds head in hands and cries with shame*
I know that I am a bit of a sad fangirl for the whole Jersey Boys thing, but please, if you haven’t seen it then you must!!! The show is just amazing, the songs are great, the boys are fit, the cast and crew are all just lovely and it is the best night out in the West End. Yes, I followed Sandy to the show, and I will follow him to whatever he does next (That sounds very sinister…. run Sandy!!) ….. But I will always go back to Jersey Boys no matter who is in it. It has properly made me love it. As if you didn’t know!!!
Anyway, that is about it for now. I have to get back to the very important task of listening to the Wicked soundtrack and doodling peanut heads.