Meeting Family in London for the First Time

I had been interacting with Daniel’s family on their WhatsApp group chat for many, many months, which was a pretty decent way to get to know them. But, realistically, no digital interaction is going to be better than an in-person, face-to-face, wine-glass-in-hand experience. Thankfully, this finally happened in May! Here’s how some London sightseeing and – more importantly – meeting the family in London for the first time went…

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After our 10 day holiday in Spain, we flew on to London. Apparently, air traffic control was quite busy that day as we had to circle Heathrow twice before landing. It was a nice view the first time around…but then got a tad redundant.
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Daniel took me to see The One Tun, the pub his mum ran for nearly 30 years! He even lived there at one point. It’s located in the Saffron Hill / Farringdon area and has a very long history…the pub was even featured in Dickens’ Oliver Twist in 1838 as “The Three Cripples” I learned!
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We finally saw The Book of Mormon and my expectations were exceeded 100x. People had told me it was ‘inappropriate’ but I had no idea just how naughty it got. We nearly wee’d ourselves laughing. In a chance encounter, a previous colleague of his, Dustin, happened to be there, too! We had a quick drink with him after the show in the gayborhood at some bar that smelled funny to me.
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The next day (and at long last), I got to see The British Museum. For some reason on my previous visits to London, it just kept evading me…but not this time!
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The quantity and quality of Egyptian artifacts in The British Museum is totally mind-blowing. I do struggle, however, to be ‘ok’ with the idea of mummies on display. For gaining a deeper understanding of human history, I can get my head around it. But, ultimately, someone’s final resting place was disrupted. How weird would it be if your coffin were on display 3,000 years from now? A teensy bit bizarre, I imagine.

The rest of our British Museum visit was pretty much me aggressively hunting out any and all ancient pieces that included sea creatures to 1.) satisfy my life-long fascination with ocean life, particularly in art form and 2.) generate ideas for potential future body art. The above were some of my faves.

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After the museum, we met up with Daniel’s mum, Caroline, whom we hadn’t seen since she spent a month with us in Australia last spring. We had a lovely lunch and wine in Covent Garden followed by a leisurely afternoon stroll around the neighborhood together.
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That evening, Daniel and I took a taxi to Wapping and !!FINALLY!! met his family – first for a quick icebreaker drink at The Captain Kidd and then dinner at Il Bordello restaurant. Pictured from left to right: Jan, David, Joel, Georgina, Sophie, Aston (I think that was his name? He was super shy. LOL jokes, Ast), Caroline, Daniel and yours truly. It was one of those excellent meet & greets where conversation flowed seamlessly. It didn’t feel like a gauntlet or trial by fire or 20 questions – more of an immediate, welcoming seat at the family table. For that, I am thankful! (And I superrrrrrrrr hope I’m not 100% wrong here, drank too much, made a fool of myself and they’re all just too kind to tell me now!) 😉 After a huge meal, we relocated to David & Jan’s place for a ‘quick nightcap’, which in reality ended up being several extra bottles of wine (I *think*)…I can barely remember! All I know is I remember laughing a lot, so it must have been fun.
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Miraculously, we made it back to our hotel that night…and the following morning, Daniel and I took the bus from Portman Square up to Golders Green and transferred to the Northern train to Edgware.
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Our arrival in Edgware! The farthest north I’ve been within London’s boundaries.
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We spent the afternoon with Caroline and her mum (Daniel’s grandma), Maise. About halfway through the visit, her surprise arrived: a visit from Joel, Georgina and their wonderful boys Harley and Riley. Harley is literally one of the sweetest, most thoughtful kids I have ever met, and if Riley doesn’t end up a hotshot rugby player when he’s older, I’ll eat my hat. Or someone’s hat at least. A HAT WILL BE EATEN.

After our social visit with the family, Daniel and I met up that evening for dinner with his best friend of 20+ years, Tom. He’s hilarious, warm, lovely and honestly it’s not fair to refer to him as just a ‘friend of the family’ – he is 100% a family member. We had a fabulous visit with Tom and it made me smile seeing him and Daniel reminisce and catch-up. I’m extremely bummed as the three of us completely forgot to get a photo together! (Unacceptable, gents. Truly. Shame on us all.)

The next day, we met up with Daniel’s mum in Farringdon for a goodbye lunch before we headed back to LHR to board our flight. But before that, another perfectly lucky moment took place where I got to reunite with a good friend…

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Our visit lasted just 10 minutes but it was time well spent! Lovely to see you, Christina!!!

And that, lovies, is that. All told, I think it was a spectacular first visit with Daniel’s family (I almost typed ‘successful first visit’ but that made me gag as it sounds like I was on a business trip and won some new clients or something). We all got on brilliantly, and I’m looking forward to the next opportunity for some fam social time – wherever in the world it may be! XOXO -JW

3 comments

  • Hey Wilbur i hope you dont mind me asking but out of all your travels and experiences as a frequent traveller which country has been your favourite? As in lifestyle, standard of living, food, work balance- (For countries you have worked) ?
    And which has been your favourite City?

    Sincerely

    John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John! This is such a tough question…but I’m going to have to say life in Australia (Sydney, specifically) has been spectacular. It’s a beautiful country, endless places to explore, incredible quality of life and very good work life balance and employment protections. So that’s my answer for LIVING life. For experiencing life….my favorite city…I’m struggling! I love Ghent in Belgium, I adore Byron Bay in Aus, and Barcelona is so fantastic, and Buenos Aires is gorgeous….I can’t answer!!!! 😉😉😉

      Like

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