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Although officially away for ten days, with two of those days basically travel days, that meant I had eight full days in London to look forward to. Not bad! The plan was to arrive in London around 6.30 pm and get to the apartment by about 9.00, in time to pop over to one of the local pubs recommended by Jo & Mark for a quick snack and a drink. But of course I was flying with RyanAir.
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I got to the airport in plenty of time, so I just relaxed with a cold beer and did a bit of stuff online while I waited for the boarding announcement. I was one of the last to pass through into the departure lounge and about two minutes later came the announcement… a 2 hour delay!

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At which point we were all stuck in the hot and airless departure area and not allowed to go out for a drink or to comfortably sit elsewhere. Finally we were off, with my already late estimated arrival now even later. After all the faff at Stansted – passport control, customs, luggage pick up – I hopped the train to Liverpool Street Station and then got a taxi to the apartment.

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Upon arrival I dropped my bags with the porter and said I’d be back in an hour to collect the keys, then hightailed it over to the closest recommended local on my list, The Prospect of Whitby (apparently the oldest riverside pub in London). Got there about 10.40 pm and asked if the kitchen was still open. Um…no way. In fact, I was told they were closing in precisely 20 minutes. So dinner that night was a glass of pub Pinot Grigio and a packet of Kettle Chips. But on the way home I was rewarded with this lovely view…
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And once home I felt immediately “at home” once again in Jo & Mark’s beautiful apartment in Wapping (it’s the second time I’ve stayed here). I did the bare minimum unpacking, had a cool refreshing shower to “wash the plane” off me and fell into my comfy bed.
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More to come…