At the beginning of November, Chris set off for his latest trip to visit Home of Hope in Malawi. With Jaxon in school, he and I stayed at home and held down the fort. There were a few confusing moments for Jaxon. At first, because Chris had gone to work before going to the airport, I think Jaxon thought that Chris was coming home before going to the airport.
Just under two weeks ago, Chris returned from his adventure. Following the morning service at church, Jaxon and I caught the train down to London then rode the Piccadilly line out to Heathrow to meet Chris. With Jaxon now being two years older than when we last took the train out to Heathrow, he was able to talk to me and tell me more about what was going on and what he was thinking.
Dad had recommended that we got the service to London that stops at Farringdon as it’s easier to get from the mainline to the underground. However, when we asked the lady in the station and she showed me the map, we were going to have to make extra changes so it wasn’t actually that much easier. We caught the direct service from Bedford to St Pancras with just two stops at Luton and Luton Parkway.
We were able to get table seats on the train which was really handy. This also meant we could finish our lunch before getting into London.
On our way out of Bedford station, he was chatting away to me about all sorts. Some bits I didn’t keep up with and other bits he was so excited about he almost didn’t stop for breath.
We arrived at St Pancras and then headed through the station to get to the underground. The station is already looking very Christmassy. The Christmas tree is 43-foot tall and is decorated with 600 replica bottles of Tiffany’s Signature Eau de Parfum perfume, 600 paper Iris flowers and 600 white and silver Tiffany Blue baubles. There’s also a 17-foot tall robot made of Tiffany Blue Boxes (but I don’t think I saw the robot from where we were). You can read more about it here.
Once we made it down to the Underground it was pretty much plain sailing all the way to the airport. Chris’s flight was running ahead of schedule for most of the flight so I was a little nervous that we’d get all the way to Heathrow and he’d have been sat there waiting for us for ages. Turned out that they were so far ahead of schedule that they spent 20 minutes in a holding pattern going round in circles just north of Greenwich.
I’d had great plans, Jaxon and I were going to create a “Welcome Home” sign for Daddy but I ran out of time (and the headspace to do patiently with Jaxon). So while we found a corner of the floor to sit on and wait for Chris, I scribbled this out on my iPad – not necessarily my best creation but Jaxon loved it all the same and wanted to show it off to Daddy as soon as he came through the Arrivals door.
Chris came through the Arrivals door and walked along in front of this sign in the picture below, round to the end of the barrier. Well in the time it took me to make sure we had everything, Jaxon was already running to meet Chris. Fortunately, he was in my sight line for most of it then was in Chris’s line of sight because Jaxon can move so fast when he wants to!
After catching up with the boys we headed down back to the underground and headed beack to St Pancras to get some food before heading home. Following dinner we found this art installation (not Christmas display like I thought it was!). It’s created by Jacques Rival (more info). There’s a swing in the middle and of course, Jaxon had to have a go! Well he’d been such a good boy on the train and then waiting for Chris that it was only fair we took a few minutes out to stop and play. He was even really polite to the others (mostly adults) who wanted a go too.
Jaxon really likes the Lego Harry Potter game so although we weren’t 100% sure he’d know where we were going we went to the Platform 9 and 3/4s display inside King’s Cross. Unfortunately it was so busy we decided to turn back towards St Pancras instead. We hadn’t told him where we were going so when we did have to go the other way it did mean he wasn’t disappointed. Hopefully another time we can take him and we’ll have time to stand in the queue instead. We headed back to St Pancras and got to the East Midlands platforms. We had about 20 minutes to kill while we waited for the train but then were able to board the train.
We got on the 1910 Nottingham service to get home. It seemed like the world and his wife had the same idea because it was so busy!
@EMTrains the 1910 from St Pancras to Nottingham service standard carriages are completely rammed whereas First Class is like 75% empty. How busy does it have to be to be declassified? My 4yo is having to stand next to the toilet (someone’s thrown up in there…)
— Hannah J (@HanPlans) November 18, 2018
There were absolutely no seats available and at one point we had to stand in the “foyer” bit at the end of the carriage right outside the toilet (that needed a good scrub down!). As I finished tweeting East Midlands trains thankfully, the announcement came over the tannoy that they were declassifying the next carriage so the three of us made our way along the carriage. We found a table with 3 spares seats and thankfully a lady who was already there let us share with her. I think she liked the entertainment given by Jaxon. Mum met us at the station to bring us home which was really lovely. By the time we got home, it was time to get Jaxon to bed as it was past his bedtime and he had school the next day. Even Chris needed a nap after all his travelling so I kind of had the rest of the evening to myself once we were home.