I begun my journey a lot sooner than the rest of my fellow expeditioners(most of them lived in England so getting to London didn’t cost them a fortune) on Friday 17th July as I left my family, friends, house and dog for four weeks. The later was the most emotional farewell, as all other dog owners can relate to. In the morning I arrived at Aberdeen and left to get my train all the way to London town. For baggage weight purposes I had to wear 5 layers on top(underwear, a,T-shirt, thermal, hoodie, fleece and waterproof jacket) and another two layers on my bottom half and although it was raining, I could feel myself cooking. After battling my way through the barriers, a battle I always loose because I am such novice at trains, I found me perch for the next 9 hours or so. I was set to arrive at Kings Cross at rush hour which made the fact I had to get through the underground in full arctic gear sound even more incising since it would be rush hour… The train had wifi so I got on facebook and joined in the conversations about heading out on our four week escapade but the majority of the time was spent on sleep.
Arriving at Kings Cross was rather bewildering but thankfully I was meeting Gabby’s sister, Charlotte, who I thought was just going to take me to Paddington but she, and her boyfriend, drove me straight to Victoria station. London traffic allowed them to make many detours and I ended up getting my own mini, brief yet extensive, tour of London. I think we covered many places on the monopoly board and got the main sights. I felt like a child lost in the big city as everything seemed so big, bigger than on TV. They got me to Victoria and Charlotte helped me with the odd train that splits in half after a certain number of stops, so it was vital I got on the right carriage. If it weren’t for Charlotte and David, who knows where I would have ended up!
Gabby managed to meet me with immaculate timing, although she thought she was late because of an incident with a hundred or so drunken cyclists, and she took me back to her house. Gabby is one of these people who always seems happy even in the worst of times and her positive attitude is infectious as is her massive grin! She can effortlessly make you smile and keep everyone entertained. We pulled in to the driveway and were greeted by two small dogs chirping and sniffing your feet. Inside the house was very nice: the living room had a large stone fireplace and a white leather lounge suite. There was a door to the back garden where I could see the hint of a swimming pool. Her parents greeted me with open arms and told me to make myself at home, just as I did there was a knock at the door. It was Gabby’s “friend” Mel. At first I thought she was coming to visit but as she kept talking it seemed she was asking for somewhere to stay but she seemed to be boasting about the state of her life. She stayed over and I managed to assume the type of situation she was in but it seemed as if she was choosing to live in the down and out conditions of the park bench.