Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Oh to be in London, now that April's (almost) here.

In just a few days, the Napppvalley brigade will be in London.

It'll be the first time in 18 months I've been in the UK, but the first time in three years I've been back to London. I'm very excited, obviously to see my family and my friends, but also to see my home city. I wonder if it will have changed much. We left just after Boris Johnson was elected mayor (something I vehemently opposed at the time, being a bit of a Ken Livingstone supporter) - has he made any difference? Will I feel uplifted at the sight of old familiar landmarks, streets where I once pushed my double stroller as a new mother with two little tiny boys? Will I feel a nostalgia on passing restaurants and pubs I once frequented as a twentysomething, places I once went to for business meetings? Will I feel as if this is where I really belong?

It will be particularly interesting to see how much the Littleboys remember. Littleboy 1 had just turned four when we left, and claims to have no memory of our house, nor anything else. Maybe going back to take a look at it will jog his memory? Surely he will remember the bandstand on Clapham Common where he spent hours scooting, the cafe where he always drank apple juice and ate wafer biscuits? Littleboy 2, meanwhile, was just two and half, and by rights shouldn't remember anything, but I will not be surprised if he does - he sometimes comes out with a razor-sharp memory for things that happened a long time ago.

It's funny to think that when we left, I was worrying about whether I'd be able to find British foodstuffs like Shreddies and Weetabix here. This time, I'm wondering if I'll be able to find the boys suitable-tasting hotdogs, challah bread and pretzel Goldfish in the UK supermarket. What will their impressions be of England? I hope it's positive, because they're going to have to adapt to it all again next year. As, of course, will I.

I'll keep you posted.

13 comments:

Knackered Mother said...

The Shard is going to leave you speechless!

Iota said...

Good luck with the pretzel goldfish... can't imagine they've made Sainsbury's yet.

PS I do find your word verifications difficult. I usually have to have two attempts - sometimes more. I once tried the one which you listen to instead of look at, and it was totally incomprehensible.

MsCaroline said...

I'll be curious to see what the boys say - Son#2 has absolutely no memory of the house he lived in for the first 3 years of his life, although he does remember more about our house in Arizona, where he lived until he was nearly 8. It feels strange to me that he can't remember it when we were both there, but of course, why would he?
I know what you mean about getting used to your new culture and wondering if you'll be able to find your new favorites 'back home.' Have already sent a care package with Korean favorites to Son#1 at Uni. Not sure the shrimp-flavored crisps went over too well with the roommates, but Son#1 was pleased....

Kit said...

Enjoy your nostalgia trip back to London. We also left when our son was nearly 4 and he hardly remembers a thing about living in England, not even all the parks and playgrounds that we frequented. We ended up doing tourist London and riding double decker buses when we went back four years ago, which was really weird!

Nota Bene said...

I can't believe Knackered Mother stole my comment. This will be a fascinating trip for The Boys...I shall look forward to (hopefully) catching up with you.

P.S. We all drive on the right-hand side now, and St Pauls has been replaced by a block of luxury flats for bankers

Expat mum said...

I dread to think how I would fare after 22 years here! My kids love England but it's mainly because we're on holiday and I spend the entire time racing around and making sure they have a fun time. Whenever we've gone back and it hasn't been summer, the weather has made them really fed up 'cause then we end up having to go from house to house which isn't really much fun for children.

Circles in the Sand said...

Have a wonderful time! Hope the flight goes well too. You'll love being back in London - and such a great time to go, with spring just springing! You might have to bring some goldfish with you - I seem to remember BB having to go cold turkey when we left the States and pitched up in Woking. Wish I could get to London to see you - my parents will, in fact, be here for Easter (omg, it was 100 degrees today already!!). Wishing you a great holiday and can't wait to hear all about it xxx

'Cross the Pond said...

Yay! The weather has been amazing. It's a great time to be here in the UK. I hope the weather holds up for you. Enjoy! Take in a few of the Queen's Jubilee exhibitions while you're here - or the Olympic stadium tour.

Muddling Along said...

Pretzel goldfish???? Not entirely sure these have arrived over here

Could you subsitute for Pom Bears? Mine would sell a sibling for some of those

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

You must be here now - welcome :)

Sadly no pretzel goldfish, though you may be able to source them at the very expensive foreign foodstuff shop up the top end of Gloucester Road in South Ken. Perhaps in other places but this particular shop (the name is escaping me) gave me a taste of home while a student in South Ken during my first years in London.

Challah - Brick Lane is your best bet.

I bet the boys will like the Easter Eggs!

Enjoy your visit x

About Last Weekend said...

How fantastic - will be fascinated to hear what you think has changed. Love that they put in those bikes - was that Boris? Also compared to ten years ago, I found it so clean and shiny and prosperous!

If I Could Escape said...

Oh, you lucky thing. I'd love to take a holiday over there right about now. *sigh* Hope you're having a fab time!

angelsandurchinsblog said...

do they still like Marmite? Hope the sun shone for your visit. Looking forward to hearing your state of the nation post-trip post.