Monday, February 1, 2010

I've Gotten Behind.

It's been a very busy week, and I've not written a single thing about it. I suppose that's not entirely true. It's been a long exhausting week, but perhaps not a lot has happened. I've been sick. Briony's been sick. It's getting old. We went this morning to the doctor, who told us it was viral, and we just needed to treat the symptoms. Which is what we have been doing, to no avail. As soon as we got back from the doctor, we both started sneezing. A new symptom, great! And it's Briony's 14th Birthday. And she gets to spend it in bed.

So, to go back to the last time I should have blogged, I'll talk a little about Monday, January 25th.

We were up early to get the train to London for Nid and the children's medicals for their visas. We each packed a bag with snacks and a lunch, and various other things like mp3 players and books. The train was pretty busy, but we were in a quiet coach, and I managed to sleep for most of the hour and a half ride. Arriving at St. Pancras, we walked to the Tube station and bought our day passes. We got off at Bond Street, which is actually on Oxford Street, and since we had plenty of time, we walked down to Grosvenor Square, which is where all of the Embassys are. As far as London goes, Grosvenor Square is quite attractive, and we took some photos. I had heard about a pharmacy near there that sold American sized passport photos, which we have to have when we go back for the interviews, so we went in search of that. It was right up the street, in view of the US Embassy, which was great. What wasn't great was the price, just under £18 for the three of them, which got us two photos each. But we had to have them, so we didn't have a choice, and I'm glad to have it done. While we were there, someone brought in their cell phone to store, which they apparently charge £2 for. You aren't allowed to take bags or cell phones or much of anything into the Embassy, so it's good to know that we can leave things there for such a small fee. The name of the place is Audley Pharmacy.

We left there and went straight to the Knightsbridge Doctors office. The map they had given us was not to scale, and missing some side streets, so it was a pain to find. We went in, filled in the paperwork, and had our lunch. It was pretty crowded in there, but we got there just in time to take the last seats on the leather couch. The kids ended up needing to get a flu vaccine (which was not on my list of required vaccines, but oh well) and Nid had to get a booster as well since we do not know about his childhood vaccines. Then we went into another waiting room. Nid had to get blood drawn and have a chest x-ray taken, and they all got full physical exams. While they were out of the room, I chatted for a bit with a man with a Russian or Ukrainian type accent. He was there with his wife and their two children (little) and were trying to get visas for Canada. He said it was harder to get Canadian visas than US, and as many times as they kept taking them back I believe that. He was told that it wouldn't take long, and his children were so bored, I felt bad for him trying to keep them entertained in the small space. Thankfully they did have a small box of toys in the waiting room.

We finally got out of there, after paying a whopping £455 with instructions to get a few things checked out at our GP before they could forward the results to the Embassy. We took the Tube to South Kensington, and walked for ages underground to the Science Museum. Only to emerge and realize that we were there. We literally came out at the front door, which was excellent. We had about an hour there. I was very excited to see a Veterinary section. Then we got to it. On the 5th floor, tucked in a corner. The room was hardly bigger than my living room and dining room combined, and basically was a few plaques, with equipment next to each one. These are the things that they felt summed up the history of Veterinary Medicine:
Military Veterinary Medicine
Marking For Ownership
Veterinary Surgery
Veterinary Treatment
Each of these headings got the same amount of space. What a waste of a trip to the 5th floor! You can see the correlating photos on my photo site. The Human medicine section was a lot more interesting, with lots of dioramas.

We met back up and took the Tube back to St. Pancras. It was rush hour and quite crowded, but certainly not as bad as it could've been. We ate at Burger King right outside the station, and the first song they played when we walked in was Shania Twain's 'Man, I Feel Like A Woman'. It might have been like a little bit of home away from home, except that with a speaker right over the cash registers, it took forever to order because I couldn't hear what the guy was repeating back to me. Dinner was wonderful though, a nice treat at the end of a long day.

We thought we were in for another great treat, First Class accommodations back to Leicester. But unlike regular class, First Class does not have a QUIET option. And the train was packed. With families. Little kids. It was not relaxing. One of the chairs was broken and very uncomfortable. The lights were on full blast even though it was dark outside, and it hurt my eyes. It was a much longer ride home than it was trip there, and I was so glad when we pulled into the station. A short walk and taxi ride later and we were home! The kids brushed their teeth and went straight to bed, and we relaxed the rest of the night. Despite the cost of staying in a hotel, I am glad that when we go back we won't be doing it all in one day.

I've got some more things on my list, but I think I'll save them for Random Tuesday Thoughts tomorrow.

All my photos are located HERE.


Mykal-Ann said...

So I've been reading your blog for awhile Jenny and I've finally decided to comment it. That sucks that you and Briony are both sick, especially on Briony's birthday! I hope the virus runs its course ASAP!

It's interesting to read about all the things that you write about, I don't find ot boring at all! It's nice to see all the pictures you take, you seem to be documenting things well and enjoying the moment while you're 'across the pond'. :)

Jenny said...

I am so glad that you have decided to comment Mykal-Ann! I've got a visitor counter, but that just says people have come, not that they've read it all or enjoyed what they read, so it means a lot to get a comment, thank you.

Already we are both a little better, which is something. We've moved her birthday dinner to Wednesday, when she (and I) can enjoy it a little more.

I'm glad you enjoy the photos as well. I need to be better about taking them of *everything* because we don't have much longer here, and sometimes I forget that.

Thanks again for taking the time, M-A!

jakes janet said...

Jenny, it's the wrong week, or I'm late (undoubtedly) but I wanted to say 'Thanks' for staying up late and running the show for the Dierks Grand Ole Opry. I personally had a terrific time, and I didn't expect to. I loved talking with Nid when David handed me the phone in Vegas. It just makes us seem all the closer. That what the blog does as well. Hope you feel better soon.

Janet in San Diego

Jenny said...

Janet - It was our pleasure, really. It took a lot out of me in the days following, I admit, but during the show we were having a great time. I'm glad you had such a good time as well. I know Nid loved talking to you as well. It must've been great for both of you to match a voice to the face.

I'm glad that you think my blog brings us closer. That was why I started it, so my friends and family could know what was going on with us, and not feel so far away, and it's gotten quite a bit more readership than I originally thought, but it's great!

Thanks for the well wishes. I am somewhat better today, after a few days of getting worse. I fully admit to not being a "good" sick person. It's not an excuse so much as a warning to those around me.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

It sounds like it was an exhausting day Jenny, but that's a big step in the process out of the way now. Happy to see above that you're both feeling better.

Jenny said...

Sarah - It was definitely worth it to be that one step closer. Thanks, we're glad to be feeling better as well. Nid is sick now, so we're hoping we won't be giving it back and forth to each other.

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment here :)