En route home from Sydney, Andrew and Anthousa planned a trip through parts of Asia and India. While this word gets overused, it was a truly epic journey involving birdwatching, animal watching, plant watching, and many other kinds of rarefied animal-horticultural tourism (Andrew is an avid naturalist). We were eager to receive them in London for a five-day stint at the end of their trip, before they flew home to Canada from Heathrow, for Christmas.
Lo and behold, midway through their trip they realized they were exhausted! They emailed us to ask would we mind if they came to us earlier for a longer stay of about three weeks. OMG! We jumped at the chance to spend that kind of time with our good friends and enjoy London together. This also meant there was time for them to plan a quick séjour to Paris (see what I did there?) which their previous timing hadn't allowed for. So we (David) blew up the air mattress, stocked the cupboards, and excitedly awaited their arrival.
As it happened, A&A (as I like to call them) ended up arriving on the night of David's MRes final show, so it was an exciting day all around. This being the one day out of our whole month practically that we couldn't go to the airport to meet them (or at least be home to let them in, for crying out loud), we were a bit stuck as to what to do. I asked my friend Kathleen if she might be able to hang out at our place for a few hours so she could let them in for us - but she was teaching a yoga class at the exact time of their arrival. (She's a good yoga teacher!) We couldn't think of anything to do. But Kathleen gave me the idea to leave our keys at a local shop that would be open when they got here. I immediately thought of our favourite curry place, right across the road from Streatham Rail Station. It's super good, super cheap (nothing to do with keys, I know), and the people who work there are quite friendly (there it is!)
I went to Curry n' Spice to chat them up and the guy there was very accommodating. We brought him our keys, a picture of the four of us together, told them our friends' names and when they would be coming, and hoped for the best. As it happened, it all worked out, and we came home to find them in our living room doing laundry! How great!
Since this visit was a good three weeks long, I'd better split it into multiple posts - but we were off to a great start.