It has been one of those weekends when my feet have hardly touched the ground. There has been so much on that I have decided to split the weekend over the next two days.
Saturday saw me off out early and by 8am I was leaving Bristol Temple Meads on a train to London. I don't often make it up to the "big smoke" these days but having lived there for 6 years I always enjoy a visit. I always find the contrast between the so familiar and the so changed very striking in this great city.
My first experience of the day in London was definitely a new one for me. I acquainted myself with Uber cars. This was the suggestion of my cousin who I was making a speedy visit to. Uber cars for those that have not heard of them are a taxi service using modern technology. I had downloaded the App on my phone, added my credit card details and I was ready for off. All I needed to do on arrival at Paddington was key in my location and destination. A car was matched to my needs, I was sent a photo of the driver and the car registration and hey presto the car arrived and we were off! The price is about half that of a London cab, no cash is involved being just charged to my card and you have the facility to text the car and journey details to anyone you wish. I had a delightful driver and was at my destination in no time.
So what was the reason for my visit? It was to meet and have a lovely cuddle with the very latest and precious member of my family.
I did not overlook the opportunity to take a photo for the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt of Alternative 2 A Baby. Isn't she just adorable?
Although I could have stayed there all day I soon had to say my farewell to my cousin and move on to my main reason for this day out. Fortunately before I left they were able to give me some tips on something else that was totally new to me. Gone are the days of popping your money into a machine to purchase your tube ticket. I made use of my contactless debit card to enter and leave the London Underground. All so easy!
Arriving at Goodge St Station and travelling up in the lift I was taken back 35 years. I was here to attend a 35 year reunion of the set of nurses with with whom I did my general nurse training at The Middlesex Hospital in Mortimer St. The walk to the reunion was a bizarre mixture of familiar noises, smells and sights combined with areas changed out of all recognition. The greatest change was the new modern and sadly ordinary building which has replaced the demolished hospital. I had no time for photos but here we all are outside the still remaining nurses home. Eighteen out of thirty of us from all around the globe.
The rest of the day went far too quickly chatting, reminiscing and eating. One thing that has definitely changed is the price of the food! Gone are the days of our favourite little Italian restaurant Montebellos in Great Titchfield St where a carbonara and bottle of house red gave us change from a tenner. This time our Italian choice in the same street came to £50 plus each!
It was no time at all before we all had to say our goodbyes again and left each other with promises of another reunion next year. So it was a rush against time back to Paddington on a packed tube train to catch my train home with minutes to spare! Back to our beautiful corner of the country which I would not want to change for all the hustle and bustle of London.