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On April 22nd, I suddenly remembered it was Jimmy’s birthday in early July. So I diligently packed 2 giant packets of Tim Tams, a large bottle of vegemite and some strapping tape for their sporting activities into a small box, popped into Australia Post and $44 later it was on it was on its way to London, via the slow boat to China. You see I thought $44 was enough postage- I had 10 weeks until Jimmy’s birthday- even if I didn’t pay the extra $30 for the faster version of sea mail!

Proof that I sent the parcel on 22nd April, 2017
As the date in July grew closer I decided to let on I’d done this wonderful thing of planning 10 weeks ahead of Jimmy’s birthday and started asking Soph- did any parcel arrive? And each week the answer was the same…….Nope, no Mum, no parcel. So the birthday came and went and because I was lousy and tight and didn’t pay $77 to post some (of the most delicious ) biscuits and a bottle of black spread, there was no pressie. Days grew to weeks and weeks grew to months and I gave up on that parcel ever arriving. I could picture some posties sitting in the corner of the distribution centre with chocolate and vegemite oozing out of each corner of their mouth.
Fast forward to 25th August and we land in London make our way on the very fast train to Paddington from Heathrow (15 pounds each off peak, 25 pounds return) – thanks Michelle Lyons for the tip-off – and then cabbed it to our accommodation (20 pounds Paddington to Islington) – and I can now tick off ‘Catching a London cab’ from the bucket list. We were too lousy to do that in 1984.
Our London accommodation has a gorgeous garden but 3 fights of stairs and I am sure by the end of the week I’ll be trained up for those Alps in France. There’s nothing like getting to your bedroom on the top floor and remembering you needed a glass of water from the kitchen (on the bottom floor). The 19thCentury men and women of England must have also had very small feet because the stairs here are half the width of our stairs at home -tremendous concentration needed not to slide down them in the unladylike fashion.
We had showers and then Soph arrived at our house and momentarily had the life squeezed out of her. We then headed off to check out her London digs and as we all walked in through the gate what should be popped in the letterbox but a parcel delivery card. Yes the parcel had indeed arrived – four months to the day from when it was posted.

Yes that says delivered 25th August, 2017
Just think I could have brought that parcel all the way to London in my luggage and it would have arrived a day earlier! Needless to say I DID bring 6 packets of Tim Tams, a jar of vegemite and some strapping tape to replace the ‘lost’ parcel. They are now set up for the rest of their stay here. Apologies to all the posties of the world who I had falsely accused. Let’s hope the plebiscite mail does better than my parcel for Jimmy and Sophie.
We have had a busy time exploring London – their public transport system is so well set up for travelling massive distances in a very efficient manner. When you come to London you must acquire an Oyster card – it’s the way you get on and off the Tube and any transport quickly and easily. Load it up with plenty of pounds and off you go. Just remember to swipe as you enter the tube and as you leave.
We went to the Borough markets and bought some amazing French cheeses and ate my first Gumbo – a delicious spicy concoction and then went to Greenwich and lazed in an elevated park with some glorious views of London. Last night, we ate at Ottolenghi, one of the most iconic and dynamic restaurants in the country inspired by Yotham Ottolenghi – who has written some beautiful cookbooks which we have at home. The food is in tasting plate size, is very fresh and beautiful. Thanks to my kids for a gorgeous birthday present.

Today has dawned yet again like a hot steamy Brisbane day – so the winter woollies I brought for London will stay unpacked for another day. We are off to Maida Vale to recreate the iconic photo, then to see Jimmy living his dream working at the Budgy Smuggler (iconic swimmers made in Australia) pop-up in Shoreditch and then later some delicious Japanese for dinner.
As usual there is a theme on holidays and it revolves around food.