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  • Day343

    My final trip to London

    December 9, 2015 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Well my final few days in London has been spent with those who made a great impact and whom I'll miss greatly when I return down under.

    In true style I have managed to cram in as much as possible. I spent the weeks before trying to think of that final spot or thing to see or do that would encompass the journey, but in the end the four days covered everything of my two years.

    I flew in on Sunday lunchtime thinking I'd have plenty of time to make it to my late bottomless brunch breakfast at 1:30pm. But alas I got grilled one final time about my visa and passport and reasons for being here!

    Jumping on the train I rushed to Flesh & Buns, which was located in Covent Garden. I was meeting Nicky, Nat and Chloe for a glorious bottomless brunch! It takes place over 2 hours in which you are served copious amounts of alcohol and food.

    We began our brunch with a cocktail Bellini on arrival and Japanese nibbles on the table like Edamame beans. We then chose between Prosecco, Red or White wine for our drink of the day and proceed to select as many of the small dishes as we liked. We chose a main each – buns, and when we had had our fill they brought out dessert - one of which was a berry crème Brule, it was amazing!

    Covent garden is one of my favourite places and was my first place I explored when I arrived in London. It was where I saw my very first play, Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse and had my first meal, which was at the Earlham Street Clubhouse, a pizza and cocktail bar. I have always enjoyed walking through Covent Garden, especially in the early morning (like 9am) on the weekend when the shops were just starting to open and the tourists had yet to make it out of bed. I had spent many a day and night adventuring around here. As it was the first place I visited, it was appropriate that it be the first place for my last time.

    As our waiter advised that we had now gone past our allocated 2 hours and we needed to vacate the table, the girls and I took one last selfie out the front of the restaurant before waving goodbye – the first of many this week.

    Chloe and I swagged towards Holborn where we caught the central line home, ready to watch the next episode of First Dates. Day 1 was over.

    Monday

    Today I took a walk along Oxford Circus, ducking into all of the little streets, reminiscing over all of the places I'd temped, cafes I'd hid in on days I was low, lunch places I’d explored and adventures I’d had. The amount of times I had traipsed through Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, up Seven Dials and across to Covent Garden seemed endless.

    After cruising past the 1 pound café one last time I headed towards Mile End to meet Louise for lunch. She took me to her favourite Chinese restaurant that was cheap and good. We were the only ones in here and it was all decked out in Christmas celebrations including Christmas crackers. Louise had never had a cracker before and I basked in the glory if grinch about yo skis her how it worked, inducted her into the paper hat and interesting joke haha

    We had a great afternoon discussing our past year. From here we headed back to mile end and into a cafe she liked. It was cosy and warm with giant pots of tea and dry cake lol. I was helping Louise with her final assignment for the term and proofing her report. As the cafe closed around us we headed back to her apartment to finish reading and say goodbye!

    I didn't have time to be too sad as I was off to the next goodbye! I rushed home showered & changed and headed to Waterloo station to meet Marian. We were going to try and find the hidden bar behind a bookshelf in the BFI Southbank.

    After roaming around and asking several attendants who told us it was closed we found the entrance to the bar, which was sadly closed. So off we headed across the bridge to a boat to see if any has drinks happening tonight.

    We did find one, which allowed us to buy prosecco and cheese, a staple of our past two years, and sit up on the deck overlooking the London eye and Big Ben. When everything was drunk and eaten we walked back to the Southbank BFI for red wine and chicken wings and a final fiesta.

    Tuesday

    I decided today that I need to pack up the apartment today. Tonight I was going out for final drinks with the TMP crew, so figured packing hungover wasn't an option. I also was waiting for dad's present to arrive, it was due at 1pm.

    So after a lazy morning I pulled all of my belongings into our living rooms and began the process and deciding what would stay and what would go. I weighed the bag and panicked when it said it was over 30kgs, but I think that was a misread.

    By the time I was due to leave my parcel still hadn't arrived and worryingly I received an email saying it had only just been dispatched!

    But off I went taking one last swing through Carnaby street before heading to Hudson's for a final drink with the team. They came down in waves, all overworked and sick. They even brought me my final ascent calendar that was left in my desk!! Which James insisted that we eat before the night ended.

    Eventually they all headed home, it was a Tuesday night after all. Left standing was Sarah, RLR and myself. We finished with a meal deal from hungry jack's, a final hug and into black taxis we went! Thanks TMP and grad team, you've been wonderful! I'll miss our nights in Hudson's.

    Wednesday

    I of course woke up with a hangover on Wednesday morning - signs of a great night had! Chloe was on a late start so we had breakfast together before saying see you later. Hopefully I see her in oz one day. A great Roomie!

    After doing one final pack and wash I headed into the city to shit down my accounts with Barclays - present still not in sight.

    I went through the new Tottenham court rias station which was snazzy! For whole of my two years this station has been under development and only on Monday had it re-opened! It was beautiful.

    Barclays was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had used my card the day before and the payments hadn't yet transferred, which meant that the everyday account has to stay open. I could withdraw all the money and shit the savings one down, but the other would remain open until the final payment went through. Right, not ideal but I had a Harry Potter exhibition to see!!

    Off I headed up to Godge street and into a small gallery. The two graphic designers who were responsible for all 8 movies had curated a collection of their finest pieces, it was fantastic! Everything from the Hogwarts letter, the maurader's map, text books, the tri wizard tournament and newspaper, just to name a few. Perfect! Harry Potter to say farewell.

    I walked back past all of the cafes and restaurants I'd stopped in for lunch or taken the team in outings. Then up Tottenham court road and past the office one last time, waving up at the team just in case they saw.

    It was then back on the central line and home to deal with the parcel. After seeing that the post had tried to deliver it while I was out I tried to ring the post office and find the can - you can't ring the post office in London - go figure!

    I tried calling the supplier and in the end I can Not on the high street, the place I bought it. Explained that is bought this mug, paid additional to have it delivered yesterday, they tried delivering it today while I was out, my bank accounts were closing and I was flying out of the country! Oh the drama! Haha

    She apologised and said to leave the parcel, if it wasn't collected it would return to thrust warehouse and they'll give me a refund. I give up explaining that my account was closing. The refund was there by the time I reached Dubai and my bank account remained open.

    Mum rang and I took in the moment, in 24 hours I'll be home. I packed my bag and suited up. Thanks to the winter I was able to watch the sun set over the London skyline one last time. It was perfect!

    I left a card for Chloe and boots I couldn't through them away, we'd been through too much and I didn't want to press end on the journey.

    I walked through the gardens one last time, up the high street and into the central line. I changed at Oxford circus for the Victoria line and out to Victoria station where I changed one last time on to the Gatwick express, with no return ticket.

    I checked in and sat up in Jamie Oliver's bar, toasting a prosecco and wine final hurrah. Goodbye London you've been a blast! I'll miss you xx
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