Carters on safari

Expeditions to East London are not to be undertaken lightly when you live in Bexley.

You may think that because we live in South-East London that the East is a mere hop, skip and a jump away; that we share many a transport line and a general affinity for all things “eastern”.

We do not.  Most of East London is a right pain to get to from ours.

When the whole family was invited to an anniversary party by one of my very best friends, Dr Mike, and his lovely partner, Inge, we were pleased as punch.  OK, so, it was in East London, but if the Olympics could find their way to East London then we could, too, right?

Well, yes.  Eventually.

We set off at three on a sunny Saturday afternoon, already feeling lucky because the weather forecast had been apocalyptic, but was now rather pleasant.

We caught the train into town, then the tube, then the other tube, then a bus, then the right bus going in the right direction, and finally a short walk to the venue.

A mere two hours travelling!

But we were so glad we did because the party was lovely.  Only a small affair (perhaps 30 people?) but absolutely smashing.

There was free booze, free food, friends we seldom see – and the girls were a delight to watch: chatting, playing and laughing with people they’d never met before, as though they were old friends from way back.

Thanks so much, Mike and Inge, for inviting us, hopefully you had as much fun as we did, if not more! 🙂

The late-night journey home got quite exciting at one point when I looked out the bus window at the darkened streets of, er… Where is this?  Where the hell are we??  Where’s West Ham station??

The Lovely Melanie started to get nervous.

Fortunately, London’s been my home for over 20 years – being lost in a strange part of town at night isn’t all that big a deal, and when a station appeared ahead of us just a couple of minutes later we swapped our rogue bus for a dependable train.

I still don’t really know where Manor Park station is located, but I’m glad it is!

We arrived back home at midnight, the girls (as ever) fascinated by the night time world that they so seldom see.

Sunday, unfortunately, was a trial.  Everyone was tired and no one came out of it well.

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