Well, as you may have guessed I'm back home. Landed back in Sydney at 6:30 am on Monday morning. The flight home was quite good, I dozed on and off for a great deal of the trip. Managed to sleep through most of all three hours of Watchmen (which was fairly good from what I remember). Watched an episode of Flight of the Conchords (which is a show I could easily love very deeply) and an episode of a great show called Being Human; a British drama/black comedy about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost sharing a house in Bristol (starts on ABC2 this Friday night).
It's been a tough couple of days from the point of view that I want to sleep early in the evening and then I wake up very early, perpetuating my sleeping problems. Monday I was asleep at 5 pm; I then woke at 4 am absolutely starving and got up for an early breakfast and to watch the final two episodes of True Blood. Yesterday I managed to stay up until 8 pm but then woke at 2 am and tossed and turned until I fell asleep again at 4:30 am.
Anyway, enough about my sleeping problems. Better finish this entry while I'm still awake. Let's catch up on the end of the trip.
I think we were off to Gordon Ramsey's Boxwood Cafe the last time I wrote. This is located in The Berkeley Hotel (where we had already enjoyed Afternoon Tea a few days before) in Knightsbridge. This restaurant has a Michellin star and is therefore a rung up on the ladder from Maze Grill where we had eaten previously. However we all agreed that Maze provided us with a superior experience. I think the problem with Boxwood was the service, it was odd. For example, we ordered a scallop entree to share and the waitress barely had time to get to the kitchen with our order before she re-appeared with the dish. It was a "what the...?" moment. The food was alright, my native lobster main being the standout dish.
After dinner we had a walk around the area, which was full of lovely little streets and Mews, studded with tiny local pubs. Then we came upon Sloane Street which is home to all things Big Name Designer. Shop after shop of the labels you see on the catwalks. Not that I'm a designer girl (unless you call Target a designer label) but thank goodness the shops were all shut. I'm sure that I would have found a pair of gorgeous shoes which would have equated to a couple of months' worth of mortgage payments.
The next day was our last in London. We packed and checked out, storing our bags at the hotel. The morning was spent at the amazing Burough Market. This is a foodie's heaven. Every type of gourmet food you can imagine is all here: cheeses from all over Europe, smoked meats, fruits and vegetables of every variety, gorgeous fresh seafood (including some of the most wonderful freshly opened oysters I've ever tasted), breads, pastries, you name it. Bliss.
Next stop, The National Gallery, for a last dose of culture. Then a taxi trip to the burbs to check out J's little flat in Hammersmith. As luck would have it Hammersmith happens to be not only home to my beautiful sister but also to the brand spanking new Westfield. Of course we needed to inspect this spectacle and after a quick stop in the iconic Fred Perry store we ended with a less than satisfying dinner at the Italian eatery.
Then it was time for the moment we had all been dreading, our goodbyes. I'm a pragmatist, I don't like to wallow too much in potentially painful emotions but it was so hard to say goodbye to my sister. It goes without saying that I love her but above that I just like hanging out with her so much, it so easy to be with her, it's the thing I miss most about her living overseas. So knowing that I wouldn't be able to do that again for quite some time was difficult to face. But we did say our goodbyes and after a short lived drama with the mini cab driver we were off to Heathrow.
Before I finish my entries about this amazing drip a few more tidbits about Odessa. One of the things which kept J and I endlessly amused were the menu translations. Every menu provided opportunities for sniggering and outright hilarity. Here is one of my favourite entries: Sliced Frozen Meats with Soaked Vegetables. Mmmm, doesn't that sound tempting?
You know you're living in a post-modern, globalised world when you are driving through Odessa and seeing posters for the forthcoming tour by Chris Norman from the 70s mega group Smokie. Sing with me now "Oh, I don't know why she's leaving or where she's going to go, I guess she's got her reasons but I just don't want to know 'cos for twenty four years I've been living next door to Alice...".
So on that note I'll put a full stop on my Odessa Adventure. Normal transmission will resume shortly.