Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lovely Lovely Lovely London XX

I didn't realise its been a week since I have blogged.....I have dropped to No 31 on the ratings.....nooooooo!

I really can't remember what happened last week apart from the normal getting up late, shopping at Tesco, drinking too early and going to bed really late (or is it early?)!

So, we will start from Saturday when we packed up the motorhome with a month's worth of supplies to go away for 4 days!  The whole family was also packed aboard, as in two dogs and three cats.

We had an overnight stop at Wood Farm near Olney ... nice spot totally isolated with lots of wildlife running around.

On Saturday night, as we were close to Milton Keynes, I gave brother Russell a ring to see if he fancied coming over for a drink ... which he did and was accompanied by his missus, Tracy, their daughter Kimberley and her boyfriend Chris.

We went to the local at Emerton, where we were virtually the only customers! The barman was a Kiwi, who lives here with his girlfriend who has a surname the same as mine, Smith Macey.

They brought us over some Christmas presents.....

Including doggie advent calenders ...

....Which they are enjoying immensely!

Sunday morning we left the site and headed towards London, taking a detour to MK to brother Russell's house to sort out some Aussie business (more later).

We arrived at the site in Abbey Wood, which is just fantastic with all facilities and very helpful wardens ...

We took a walk to downtown Abbey Wood where we spotted a very nice Mini Cab ...

We then caught a train and the DLR to Greenwich, as we had never been there before ...

What a buzzy place.  It was Sunday night and it was going off like a belt fed morter!

Fantastic little undercover market ...

Just by chance Elaine's sister, Julie rang, as it turned out they were quite close ... so they came to Greenwich where we retired to a local dog friendly pub and had a couple, plus a good catch up chat. They then, very kindly, gave us a lift back to the caravan park.

So today we set off on the big adventure!  We caught the train from Abbey Wood to Blackheath, then walked across Blackheath Common to Greenwich Park ...

Where you get some lovely views of London ...

We stood on the cheapskate meridian line where there is no admission charge ...

I took a pic of the expensive one through the fence ...

We then walked down the hill into Greenwich on what was quite a mild day for winter ...

We passed a rude statue outside the maritime museum!  (Elaine said it reminded her of me at Stoke Bus Station ... those who were there will understand !!)

Another first for us, this is the entrance to a tunnel at Greenwich which goes ...

... under the Thames!  What a fantastic find, although Elaine's brother in law, Paul told me about it the night before.

Back to Greenwich we jumped onboard an Aussie built Thames Clipper for a high speed dash down to Embankment ...

Passing the usual suspects at a much higher speed than we did last July!

We then caught the tube up to Regent Street where we had a stroll to check out the Xmas lights and window displays.  This one had a video running of the surf in Sydney ... it was some Sydney designer's trendy London shop ...

Sammie went a bit nuts at the animated displays in Hamleys Toy Store ... much to the amusement of the passers-by.   We couldn't stop him window shopping after that - he was so excited!

The lights were a lot better than my pics do them justice ...

We caught a bus back to Trafalgar square where we spotted this giant blue cock!!

We popped into the Halfway to Heaven bar for a beer, which we soon realised was a gay bar.   It wasn't the crowd that gave it away it was the plethora of Knob Creek whiskey behind the bar :-)  Big bonus of course it was also dog friendly.  Sammie made friends with  nice chap who was sharing his crisps with him!

Then it was across the road to Charing Cross station to catch a train back to Abbey Wood.

We stopped by the local Indian in the Wood to grab a takeaway, very good it was too.

Tomorrow we head back to the boat via a visit and lunch with my mum in Milton Keynes.

Now back to our ever changing plans......last week we went house hunting in Bollington with a plan to buy a UK base ... this soon turned to crap because of difficulties with UK and Aussie residency, taxation and pension problems.  Too hard basket !

We have also been following the Sydney real estate market and it is going off the Richter scale bigtime! We decided we must buy somewhere to keep a foot in the door and we spotted some new build units in the Northern beaches that would be finished in April and were pet friendly, meaning when we go back we could live it it for at least six months and negate capital gains tax.

I rang my mate in Sydney on Saturday morning Oz time, so he swung by and gave us the thumbs up.  At this point there were three left, by the time we sent an email and received the reply a few hours later there was one left!  So we bought it!  The two blocks of units 26 in each all sold in a couple of weeks......it's bloody mental!

So hopefully we can now relax and will now maybe even keep the boat longer and cruise next year whilst also going away in the motorhome ... we have to keep a close eye in the exchange rate though as the Aussie dollar is dropping still against the pound. 


  1. Great blog, great time away and great security buying a base to go back too.i think you outdo the statue though : )

  2. ....now that is how to buy a house !! I'd love to meet you guys you seem to have the perfect approach to living this life, keep up the blog... we were in Greenwich on Sunday it is a really nice active place... and the travel is soooo cheap !!

    1. Loved Greenwich, yep bought unseen! Mind you it isn't even finished yet!

  3. Is it just the Sydney property market that is booming? It sounds just like SE England.

    Is the Aussie economy sound? You write of sky-high prices for food, vehicles etc and we know the minerals/ores market is in worldwide decline at the moment threatening oversea earnings. How does Australia make a living in the world?

    1. Sydney = London. Australia rode out the GFC well, never going into recession etc. Basically everything Australia can dig out of the ground it exports to East Asia, if China ever slows severely, Australia will follow. Still lives a fair bit off the sheeps back as well

  4. HoHoHo, now we know what the London attraction is, not Santas Grotto or the Xmas lights... I wouldn't take a Chance going to a bar like that... Great choice the Aussie pad.... now how old is that bloody cat??....

  5. Crickey! 3 homes now, that’s going some! Sounds like a great idea though - best of all worlds. Keep blogging and stay warm and safe. Hope to see you soon!

    1. Yep something will have to be sold, now which one.....

  6. How wonderful! It must be lovely to be so financially secure, you're both very fortunate. Awesome to see you embracing life so enthusiastically ;-)

    1. Fortunate to have owned a house in Sydney during a boom, but as the prices are still rocketing there it means we are out of the market to buy a house where we lived before. If and when we return to Oz we would not live in Sydney anyhow, so it will all work out....we hope!