The view of Richmond looking up river from Richmond Bridge
The view of Richmond looking up river from Richmond Bridge

If you call being in the airport on Day 1 of London, then I shall include it.  We arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 at 5.30 am, and got through relatively quickly.  Quicker than I thought.  Perhaps it was my imagination but I thought it definitely less crowded than the last time I was here.  Terminal 4 is definitely not very fancy, kinda looks like a domestic terminal.  The little one rolled around the airport on his Heelys and amused himself whilst we waited for Cousin to pick us up.

London has a very gritty air to it.  You can smell it as you breathe.  Or maybe Heathrow does, though I remember central London having that grittiness.  Cousin drove us to our new abode in Richmond, through Hounslow, Feltham, Twickenham etc.  We got to see a few suburbs, or villages as they call it here.  It was kinda surreal.  We’ve been working towards moving to London for so long that it seemed “strange” that we were actually here.  Even the flight to London was just another item on the “To Do” List.  I noticed myself taking in lots of different things – buildings, types of shops, types of street, does it look nice, does it look safe, where are the big shops, where does that street sign go?  Last time I was here, I was just after the big tourist attractions.

Finally we drove past on Twickenham Bridge and into Richmond. Is it my imagination or do the shops look a bit more “spiffier”.  They were cute and pretty.  I was starting to experience “Europe neck”.  The strain you get as you turn your head left and right, and up and down, as you look around you and you do it for ages.

Alas, we couldn’t get into our apartment, as check in was 2 pm.  Tiny little details.  Re-plan.  Cousin takes the bags, and we wander around Richmond.  It is definitely very pretty.  We took in some of the sights and did very well for people who were up since a day and a half ago.  We also did some “functional” things like look for the grocery store, organise a SIM card, and bought some proper walking shoes for the little one – Timberland, no less.  Yes they come in kids sizes, look very snazzy and no you can’t get Timberland shoes for kids in Australia.  Funny how my son, without any training seems to have developed very expensive tastes already.

And all throughout today, I really couldn’t quite believe I had finally arrived.  Nothing more to do than start a completely fresh “To Do” List.  How exciting.