Well here I am - at last! I've been here 24 hours now. I should have been here 48 hours but oh well... The flight left pretty much on time and was uneventful. The middle seat was empty which makes it always much nicer for spreading out. Luckily the line for passport control wasn't bad however about 75 of us waited a long time for our luggage. At the train station it was a mess with delays galore but was able to get a delayed train in a matter of minutes - it was absolutely packed and I had to stand until I got to East Croydon which luckily was the next stop about 15 minutes away. It was only for the kindness of a train guard that I caught the next train - as I was approaching and tottering as fast as I could the doors were closing and he put his hand in to stop it for me. It was so kind of him to do this especially as it delayed the train a bit. This train wasn't as crowded thank goodness so was able to sit down until I got to Streatham Common. And here I am.
Claudia fixed me a lovely pasta lunch and we had a catch up. Then I talked myself into going out even though I was really really tired. The temptation to sleep was alluring but I knew I would be awake in the middle of the night if I gave in to the temptation. I was able to get fixed up with a new SIM card at EE (and I actually got a helpful person there) and also popped into Sainsburys to pick up a couple of things. I hung in until 8 p.m. and then had to crash. Thanks to melatonin I slept for nearly 12 hours. I know I will be dragging tonight though.
It's nearly noon and I am still in jammies as I type this. Claudia, the other guest who is from Vienna and myself sat and had a great visit over coffee for about two hours! I have all the time in the world. This afternoon I will head into town and hang around Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square - tourist land! Tonight I will attend a Norwegian concert at St Martins in the Fields that is put on by the Norwegian embassy. I missed the unveiling of the Norwegian Christmas tree last night in Trafalgar Square as I was just too tired. I knew I would not feel safe in a very crowded situation with pickpockets and the like - you need to have your wits about you in central London especially at this time of year. A pity as it's one of the reasons I came so early. Ah well, I will see the tree tonight in all its glory.
Here are some photos of my room where I will be based for the next two and a half weeks and then four weeks in January/February. It is warm and comfortable.
And that's all she write...for now!!!