Now if that is not an exciting title I don't know what is.
Family have now left Mile End and have a new house in Ealing. Still in Mile End, renting, for moment as Florence has to finish her first pre-school year and then they will be in Ealing for the duration. It has all been stressful and exhausting getting this sorted out over the last few months as they were first gazumped and then mucked about by the vendors, but now it is theirs.
So I decided I needed to find out how to get there. I was a pretty nervous London driver when I started doing up to London on a regular basis when Florence was born, nearly four years ago now. First time I ventured forth I was in a state of nerves but got there, albeit getting lost on the way. I then managed to get home again. Right, then years of same journey and I learned short cuts and how to avoid traffic hold ups etc. All was going smoothly until one day huge pile up outside Stratford (just before Olympics) so traffic was bad anyway and found myself being channelled and pushed into a road I did not want to take. Daughter could not understand this, my reply You try getting into left hand lane when you are jammed in right and need to cross three lanes to get to the correct one. Ended up circumnavigating North London until I recognised where I was (Islington) and worked my way through the City to Mile End. I ended up doing a gigantic circle but was pleased I did not panic and got there in the end.
Two weeks later a notice fining me as I had strayed into the Congestion Charge area. Wrote a letter explaining what happened and that I was diverted. Got a letter back very snootily saying that there were no Diversions that day and my fine stood. Decided to take it further but thought best to pay £60 before I did so. Rang up and was immediately charged £100 despite the original fine being 'under discussion'. Threw an almighty wobbly and then I was told 'Oh OK £60 would do'. After all this nonsense, got cross and wrote to Dear Boris Mayor of London. Pointed out that I was using the word 'diversion' in its proper sense not something that Transport for London had organised, stressed that I was driving to see my baby granddaughter, I was an elderly lady (!) who had been totally panicstricken by it all and then on top of that somebody tried to charge me £100 and, Dear Boris, I need your help.
Three days later a letter cancelling charge and the £60 repaid into my account. Sorted.
Well after that I decided I could cope with anything so off I set but will admit to feeling some trepidation. Got onto North Circular and on way met roadworks, accident and total jams. Finally made it to the London Borough of Ealing, hooray I thought, and then missed my turn off from A406 and sailed past it. Found myself at the Chiswick flyover, a monstrosity of concrete and huge and scary and told myself Just Go Round it Elaine. So I did and came back to the turn off I missed and found that though it was clearly signed coming from Chiswick it was not coming the other way. Anyway to cut a long tedious post short, I made it and very pleased to arrive. Three hours. Yuk. Going back on Sunday took 1hr 40mins and now I have done it once I will be OK in future.
Thoughts: the North Circular is without doubt one of the most hideous roads I have ever driven along. The other was the M6 when I went to Birmingham. No beauty to meet the eye at all.
More thoughts: Florence likes to sleep with me when I visit. She snores, kicks the bedclothes off, mutters in her sleep, throws her arms out usually catching me on the nose, and is generally a pain. But lovely when she wakes me up with Good Morning Grandma. OK it is usually 6 am at that time but I have it under control. Downloaded a lovely colouring App on ipad and hand it over while I doze for another hour,
My plan for today: Watch Sherlock again.Will be writing about it soon. Barking mad. Love it. And this afternoon, catch up on The Bridge.
Life is good....