The views expressed in this blog are personal and not representative of the U.S. Government, etc etc etc.
Read at your own risk.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


This trip to London was my fifth trip (if a long layover where Brandon and I did some sightseeing counts) to the city, and my third trip this post.  I've spent over three weeks there, and I think that I can say that London is one of my favorite cities in the world.  I don't actually like large cities that much, so it really is saying something when London brings nothing but warm joy into my heart - even in November.

This visit stretched out over eleven days because it took a week to get the results for some of the blood tests I needed.  When I did my check-in visit with the medical unit at the embassy, the wonderful nurse looked at me after I summed up my visit (had an exam, got a bunch of tests, told me to come back in a week), smiled and told me to enjoy myself.  "You've got nothing terribly wrong with you, and there's nothing you need to do, so live it up!  You're in London alone.  Enjoy all of the wonderful things there are to do here!"

And so I did.  It turns out that I'm actually a rotten tourist, so I only actually played sightseeing tourist one day the whole time I was there.  I took myself to Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields.  But really, I find touristing much more enjoyable with someone, and we have plans to spend time in London on our way out of Tajikistan, so it didn't make much sense to go see the things that I would just be re-seeing in six months anyway.  

So instead I did the things I don't usually get to do when I'm taking care of my family.  I slept in, went running in Hyde park, went shopping for Christmas presents, went to the temple several times, went to a ballet, an opera, and a musical, and took myself to a Michelin-starred restaurant for a very tasty dinner.  

I also caught up with a very dear friend and her family, and spent a good amount of time hanging out with them.  Because being alone in a city can get, well, lonely after awhile.  So my friend was wonderful enough to let me hang out with her and her kids and crash their house all Sunday.  We even got to ditch the children with her husband one night and see Aladdin, the musical.  One thing I love about the Foreign Service is the great friends I make and the opportunity to hang out with them in random parts of the world.  

Brandon's brother, his lovely British wife, and their cute baby also live in the greater London area, and we were able to attend the temple together and then spend time at her parents' house and have a wonderful time together.  One day I want to have a perfect little town and fill it with all of the wonderful people that I never get to spend enough time with.  Until then I will just have to see them when I can.

Every time I talked with Brandon, he assured me that all of the children were alive and getting at least two meals a day, so I didn't feel like the worst mother every for abandoning everyone to go and have a wonderful time by myself.  I missed my family in a theoretical way, but I knew that I would see them again, and so I didn't spend a lot of time (or actually any time) crying into my pillow.  That probably makes me a bad mother and wife.  I'll have to work on that.

At the end of my visit, the doctor pronounced me Not Sick Enough to Do Anything Drastic, told me to keep taking high doses of anti-inflammatories, get retested if things still aren't better in three months, and sent me home to my family.  Good because I don't have to take chemo meds, annoying because the doctor didn't make it all better. 

I'm not sure that I would ever want to actually live in London and try to make a real life there with expensive cost of living, no household help, long commutes, and small housing, but it sure was great to visit.  Until next time, London! 

No comments: