Back to the Motherland

Well, back to Andy's motherland anyway, and my adopted one! After spending a week in Portugal we flew back to England for nine days. We split our time between Andy's parents house near Portsmouth and Lee and Claire's place in North London. Lee is Andy's best friend who we met up with in Vietnam earlier this year.

A few highlights and observations...

  • Ella had the opportunity to meet her only living great-grandparent, Andy's paternal grandmother. Ella is also her first great-grandchild so the meeting was pretty special all around. Andy's family is full of boys (his dad is one of 2 boys, and they have two boys each) so Ella is the first girl as well. Andy's grandmother gave us some of her jewellery to pass on to Ella which will be such a lovely way for her to be remembered by Ella.

Ella with her great-grandmother
  • We had a great afternoon at the pub The Alwyne Castle in Islington where lots of our friends came to say hello. That night was the England/Wales rugby match which meant the pub got pretty rowdy once that started... I did the responsible mum thing and took my baby back to Lee's with Claire. Although she was in a deep sleep in the Hug a Bub, even through all the yelling and cheering.

Ella meeting Alison at The Alwyne Castle

Alwyne Castle - Ella and Sinead (aka Sweaty Betty), before the pub got packed!
Mmmmmm hamburger!
  • The tube is not a fun place to have a baby. Not all stations have lifts, and for many of those that do you have to walk miles to find them (I'm looking at you, Green Park). It's also super loud and screechy. Actually all of London is loud. You notice these kinds of things a lot more with a baby.

Ella's first tube ride
  • Living in Melbourne we are obviously massive coffee snobs, and wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks anymore (not totally true... airports are an exception!) Luckily Harris + Hoole has a branch outside of Southgate Station which is where Claire and Lee live.  It's almost like being in Melbourne, except of course its a chain and we don't have any of those here in Melbourne ;)

Morning Coffees at Harris + Hoole, Southgate

  • My dear friend Guillaume unfortunately got sick right before Kristin's wedding which meant he was not able to attend. Luckily I found an evening to travel down to Brixton to visit him when he was feeling better, and we were joined by our friend Jamie for a few beers at the Trinity Arms in Brixton. It felt just like old times and I was so sad to have to leave them at what would have been considered ridiculously early before baby Ella came along! Miss those guys :(

The Emirates Spinnaker Tower

  • We spent the day before we left in Portsmouth with Andy's parents. We did Dave's favourite walk along the seafront, the Renaissance Trail from Old Portsmouth to the Spinnaker Tower. Earlier this year Emirates sponsored the tower (making it the Emirates Spinnaker Tower) and they wanted to repaint it red and white, the colours of the airline. However, those also happen to be the colours of Southampton Football Club, Portsmouth's biggest rivals. After huge public outcry they relented, and they were in the process of repainting part of it "gold" (yellow) when we were there. Looked much better when it was all white, if you ask me!

Portsmouth Harbour

Walking along the seafront in Portsmouth

Last night snuggles with Grandad

  • All in all we had a lovely time in England, and as usual it went by way too quickly. We are so grateful for the quality time Ella got to spend with her grandparents, and for Lee and Claire for being such amazing hosts while we were in London. We are going back to London in June/July next year for Lee and Claire's wedding (Andy is best man), and we are already looking forward to that. 

Gearing up for our 25 hours of travel!
Apologies in advance for any typos... I am frantically trying to publish post before we go away for the long weekend!


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