I can honestly say that in the past five months I have not spent this much time by myself since I was in the womb.
That, and the fact I was generally exhausted was why I cut France short and headed for the comfort of London.
And, I know this is going to sound stupid, but the first thing that struck me about London was that everything was in English.
It’s the first time on my travels that I’ve been able to ask for directions without having to play charades and the first time I’ve been able to converse with the people around me.
Although, I wish I could have pulled the ‘don’t speak English’ card when I got stuck next to three generations of quintessential Essex women on the train from Luton Airport (which is by the way in the middle of nowhere).
The youngest was a big-boned girl, wearing a highly unflattering fluoro pink bodycon dress, complete with streaky fake-tanned legs, orange makeup you’d need a chisel to crack off and a travel makeup bag rivalling the size of my backpack.
Accidentally hungover from my failure to balance my food-to-alcohol ratio during my last night in Paris, I snapped when she said she’d like to backpack – “I don’t think you’d be able to handle it.”
I then took slight offence when her grandma made a point of giving me a mini religious lecture complete with a ‘where are you going in life’ booklet. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know you could be religious and dress like that.
Strangely, two days later I received the same booklet from a lady at the bus stop.
Apart from that I don’t have much to show for my 11 days in London. I was incredibly lazy thanks to the mint digs I found myself in.
The first place was home to the world’s most comfortable couch, the second place I had my own room and the third place I had my own room – complete with views over a tennis court, swimming pool and the river.
I did manage to catch up with a lot of old friends though, as well as new friends from my travels and Casio watch boy from Naples.
I made a pavlova.
I did a bit of life admin and bought myself some new threads. Although, I cut the shopping trip short, after one sales assistant replied to her co-worker, when he was politely trying to guess my UK jeans size – “hell no I’m a 29-31.”
I went to a hat party without a hat – hence the gimp hat.
Not sure what the guy on the left is doing… All in all it was a good night, though I did get sprung having a full on conversation with myself in the bathroom (bad habit from travelling by myself).
I ticked off my fair share of touristy London sights.
I went to Harrods and found myself transfixed watching this poodle get shampooed, seriously some people have more money than sense.
I watched football at the pub over a couple of pints and found my cousin’s description of Wayne Rooney to be disturbingly accurate – “he’s like a potato with eyes.”
But the thing I enjoyed the most about London was visiting Parliament.
I nearly didn’t get in though, after they detected a large amount of metal on me.
Turned out it was just my ridiculous collection of one, two and five penny coins, but it didn’t save me from the full pat down before I was escorted to the welcoming public galleries to watch the debates.
It was like Parliamentary porn for me.
And, I couldn’t believe my luck when my image of a true Tory woman was confirmed after a member of the House of Lords rose to speak in her pompously pious British accent, wearing a Jackie O type pastel pink skirt suit, complete with pearl earrings and necklace.
I loved Parliament so much I went home and investigated working for a British MP.
But I’m not quite sure I’m ready to be a fully functioning member of society just yet…