First Week in the UK – Catch Ups and Celebrations

I’ve been in the UK for a week now and it’s flown by. I’m staying with my parents in Essex after not seeing them for almost a year, not the best time of year but my mum turns 90 (yesterday actually) and there is a big celebration for her.

So far I’ve had a day in London with Sarah from Travel With Me, a night out with friends from way back and a 90th birthday party.

The day in London with Sarah started at the Barbican where I had suggested we meet. I have no idea why that place came to mind because there wasn’t too much there. Anyhow we made our way to a cafe for coffee and a “get to know you” conversation. We had so much to talk about, it’s great to meet up with a complete stranger and get on straight away. It was my first time to meet a fellow blogger, hopefully not my last. My Dad sent me off with warnings about how did I know this was a real person or even a woman, the worry for a child never goes.

A few of our photos below of our wonderful day together. If you follow Sarah and myself then you will have seen some of these photos already.

After coffee we walked to St. Paul’s and looked for a place for lunch. We found a very cosy pub in a little alleyway called Williamson’s Tavern, former residence of the Lord Mayors of London. A walk across the Millennium Bridge after to walk off lunch and a visit to the Tate Modern to look at some of the fabulous art on display. Back across the Blackfriars Bridge and then we said our goodbyes. It was good to put a face to a name and make another friend too.

“Each new friendship can make you a new person, because it opens up new doors inside of you.”


The weekend was very busy with a family lunch on Saturday with two cousins, brother and family and my mum and dad. I had not seen my two cousins for over three years so we had lots to talk about.

Sunday was the big day and my mum’s 90th birthday. The party started at 2pm and finished around 6.30pm. My dad had hired a hall and my brother and sister-in-law had organised all the food. It was a wonderful celebration for my mum. She received so many cards, flowers, chocolates and all kinds of gifts.

“Age is simply the number of years the world has been enjoying you!” 

I’ll be adding this post to Natalie the Explorer’s blog for weekend coffee share and public art challenge.

πŸ‡ Kung Hei Fat Choi πŸ‡


  1. Happy “90th” birthday to your mum. She looks gorgeous, as do you and Sarah. I read Sarah’s post of your blogger meet up earlier today. What fun!

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  2. Ali, Looks like you had a fun day and sunny weather in London with Sarah. It’s great when we can make new friends. I met a few bloggers IRL already and enjoyed every meeting. Happy 90th birthday to your mum! I love all of your photos. I hope the rest of your stay in the UK goes really well. Thank you for your weekend coffee share and PPAC contribution. I look forward to your next update.

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  3. Happy 90th to your mother. I remember the first time I met a blogging friend my husband gave me the same warnings. Yet each time it feels as though I’ve really known the person when we’ve met.

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  4. Great to see our lovely day out captured in your photos! I love the reflection in the Ironmongers Hall in particular πŸ™‚ One small point, my blog is Travel with me (I think someone else has Travel with Intent?)
    Good to see the party went off so well. I thought of you all on Sunday. Your Mum looks pretty great for 90! Are those the trousers you went off to buy?

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  5. It’s so wonderful that you and Sarah got to enjoy each other’s company. Your trip to London sounds amazing and getting to celebrate your mother’s 90th birthday is so special. She doesn’t look anywhere close to 90 years old – such a lovely lady.

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  6. Lovely Alison. I’ve met three bloggers now, one in New York City. One in Nuremberg and one in Helsinki. I’ve met my Finnish friend lots of times now and we are even planning a weekend away together somewhere we can both get to! Continue to enjoy UK.

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  7. Happy Birthday to your mum! She’s looking great for 90. Meeting up with blogging friends isn’t really meeting with strangers because you already know them so well. I’ve met four of my friends in person and even had several holidays with one. Kindred spirits!

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  8. Dear Ali, really enjoyed your blog about your mum’s 90th, and fabulous artistic pics of London in the bright sunshine. We’re going to a movie at the Camelot tonight featuring Margate.

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