I opened up WordPress to start the holiday blog (one day I will get back to the habit of blogging in term time), and discovered that I had two days of unpublished notes from the trip in September with Dom. There will be a reckoning, so I will do the catch-up shortly; however, here we are again at the start of our Winter Holiday.

Just getting here is a bit of a miracle, when we finished work only a week ago and managed a significant clean-up around the house and garden before we left, as well as catching up with family and friends to make up for being missing during January. However, after a lovely breakfast with Mum and Dad, and another of Pat and Lyn’s lunchtime spreads, we were at the airport in good time for the ageing 777 to Singapore. Noise-cancelling headphones can only achieve so much, when so many families are heading to Malaysia and Thailand. On the other hand, the flight from Singapore was in a brand new 777 and was less than half full.

That worked well for me, because I grabbed a row of seats and created a passable bed, so six hours sleep was possible during the long 14-hour flight from Singapore to Heathrow. Paula had no such luck, no matter how hard she tried. We met Graeme and Sally at the end of a long wait for Immigration and wandered over to Limehouse to find our apartment. We have been lucky, in that the place is everything we were promised in the advertising, so our two weeks in London will be comfortable, but it is odd to be back here in such a short time with the weather so different.

Staying with the Selmes is a bit of a hoot and we have made some good plans for the week. Boxing Day was lunch at Canary Wharf – a very subdued place on the Feast of the Protomartyr — followed by the search for the Tesco and a spag bol   dinner (well done, Graeme). Paula gave up at 6 and slept the clock round and the rest of us were not far behind. Sunday saw us walking for more than eight kilometres along the canal and back through Tower Hamlets in a constant drizzle. We will have to do it again on a clear day because the stretch we did was quite tarted up in a nice way, but the canal itself is historic and always interesting with quirky canal boats of all shapes and sizes.

We decided on a quiet one, as not much was open, and went over to Greenwich on the DLR. The Cutty Sark was more interesting the second time around and Paula, Graeme and Sally had not been able to visit it on previous trips. Lunch was at the Gypsy Moth, where we took full advantage of the Sunday Roast (such a great tradition). A wander and a shop was all we needed, as we are still disoriented at the early sunset. It is nice just to sit and read through the evening, but the rest of the week looks rather more active, with trips to the RAF Museum and Portsmouth planned.