Two weeks in the winter in London

Two weeks in the winter in London
“ You had better come here for two weeks before you go to see Andrew,” said my son David in the UK. So even though I had a pretty reasonably priced flight on American direct to Knoxville, I had to change to BA to get my free stop over in London. Hardly ‘free’, as one has to pay taxes to come to London which works out to 20 k more than list price.

“Ok Santosh, go ahead and book my ticket,” I said, making a snap decision to go to London on my way out rather than on my way back as I usually do. And don’t forget my insurance too to cover till my return I requested.

“ I won’t be there when you arrive as I am still in Poland,” my son David said, as he covers Europe in his job. “ The taxi will be waiting for you at the airport and the taxi driver will hold up a placard with your name,” he said.

“ Tell him to come one hour late as immigration takes forever,” I requested.

My luggage was trundling around on the carousel in Heathrow when I finally got out and went to collect my stuff. Both suitcases seemed intact and I walked out from the nothing to declare channel quite happily. There in the terminal 5 lobby was my cab driver, typical Pakistani well spoken , second generation Pakistani, with a clipped Brit accent who has never been to Pakistan.

I was extremely comfortable in a huge Merc taxi meant to ferry at least 7 people , but I sat in absolute splendour, chatting with him about The UK and his ‘country’ which he had never visited and never felt the need to.

Woking is not that far from the airport, a one hour run and I was home in no time to a smiling Naila, the Polish au pair who works for my son and lives in to help with the kids. It was cold and I was glad to have my new leather coat which fellow runner Corrine Fareed had made for me in five days before I left.

I also carried bottles of Meat Mirsang, a red masala paste which the Mangalorean daughters-in-law enjoy. Corrine packs the bottles in bubble wrap, all ready for me to push into my suitcase to bring.

Both suitcases were packed to capacity with gifts and I hardly brought any clothes for myself. For two weeks I could borrow Rashme’s in the UK, but in the US I have a whole suitcase of clothes that I don’t need to carry up and down. I even have a whole lot of coats which I can use when I am there rather than carry anything back and forth.

It’s fantastic to be able to just up and go to both my sons homes whenever I want to. They are thrilled to have me and I am thrilled to be with them for a few weeks.Thats why when anyone asks me are you not tense about travelling ? I always say no, ‘cause going to the boys is like just moving from one home to the next, albeit by ‘plane.

Soon it was dinner and Dave flew in from Poland and we all sat down to a great meal of three massive mutton biriyanis, two packs of Chicken Veruval and two packs of Pepper chicken. All bought and frozen for a day by my husband and then popped into the suitcase just before leaving.My daughter - in-law heated all of it which had been perfectly wrapped by the restaurant but I was still a bit tense that something might leak. But I did not have to worry. Everything came out perfect and they all sat down to a massive meal which everyone enjoyed.

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