Trip to the UK

I had a very hectic and varied trip to the UK recently, which was mostly a lot of fun, although also quite stressful (and painful!) in places.

I arrived into Heathrow on Sunday 28 May, picked up a rental car (a big Renault estate), and immediately drove up to Sheffield to visit family and friends. It was a lot of fun — I caught up with friends at the Lescar, went to a party, and also went to the Peak District National Park with my sisters Sharon & Vicki and their families. There are some pictures here:

On Tuesday I drove down to London, and after navigating through nightmarish traffic on the A406 North Circular, arrived at the storage unit in Clapton where I had dumped a load of stuff when I moved to the U.S. almost exactly 7 years previously. I estimate that I’ve spent something like £2,350 over the last seven years storing stuff that’s probably worth less than a tenth of that amount!

I started loading the contents of the storage unit into the car, but very quickly realized that there was no way it was all going to fit. I stuffed as much as I could into the car and set off through yet more nightmare traffic for my parents’ place in Chatham, Kent.

I finally arrived at my parents’ house, and then fell down some slippery stone steps behind their house while unloading the car, hurting my back quite badly in the process (at first I thought I’d seriously injured myself, but fortunately I was OK after a few days).

I made a start on sorting through all the junk, then had to go back to the storage unit the next day for the rest of the stuff. Even then it didn’t all fit, and I ended up giving a bunch of stuff to the guys at the storage place before heading back to my parents’ house again to sort through the rest of the junk.

After packing a couple of boxes to ship to myself in the U.S., gratefully dumping a load of stuff on my parents to dispose of somehow and throwing out a huge amount of useless crap, I headed back to London for a night out in Brixton with a few friends.

The next day, Friday 2nd June, I picked up my friend Haidy and we drove to Southwold in Essex for Lucy & Dirk’s wedding. We arrived at the sleepy seaside town just in time to change and drop off some projection equipment at the village hall before the wedding ceremony on the end of Southwold Pier. It was a nice simple civil ceremony, after which we all went back to the village hall for the reception, which was a lot of fun and involved much eating, drinking and dancing to Romanian folk music!

There are some pictures from the wedding here:

The next day I drove Haidy to Luton airport, stopped for lunch in a pub on Upper Street in Islington where I also watched the England v Jamaica friendly (6-0 to England!), then dumped the car back in Brixton before heading back out to Islington by public transport for dinner and drinks with friends on my last night in London before returning to New York the following day.

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