Sunday, December 4, 2016

Travel Entertainment....Buying Groceries...

A trip to the grocery store in any foreign country has become part of our travel entertainment.  So yesterday we ventured out for some "retailtainment" here in north London.

But before taking care of ourselves we needed to walk the dogs we are taking care of, which would also give us the opportunity to check out this neighborhood. Nearby is the well known Alexandra Palace, a large entertainment venue that features a park with a lake filled with wild life and peddle boats, a skating rink, concert hall and facility to hire out for weddings and other events. The park is a lovely green space complete with playgrounds and walking trails filled with families enjoying the chilly, brisk air. With a high temperature of around 45 I thought it was safe to forgo the hat and just wear m down coat with gloves.  But soon the wind was blowing and my ears started to freeze. Darling Clyde let me use his scarf which I wrapped around my head and ears making the walk much more enjoyable. 



After taking the dogs back to our little flat we headed out in the car to find a grocery store.  While we did drive by some heavily congested shopping areas where we spotted grocery stores, we found absolutely no parking. Much of London is a walking world so there seems to be little to no need for car parks or parking garages as we know them. With one of the most efficient subway systems in the world apparently living here is easier without a car.  Eventually we did stumble onto a large Morrison's Grocery store that did have parking. 

Christmas Pudding

35 pence each!

Once inside we were quickly impressed by the array of inexpensive everything.  From crumpets to tea cakes, scones to fig pudding and so much more.  Much like our American supermarkets the assortment included a variety of pre-cooked convenience foods along with the normal assortment of produce, meats, bakery items with plenty of junk foods.  Most of our house sits in Italy were done for British expats who gave us samples of what to expect in the UK. Many told us how much bigger and overweight many of the Brits are which is in direct relation to what they sell in the grocery stores. Yes, the Brits do seems to be larger than the natives of Italy, and surely twice as big as the people in Thailand, but sadly still don't compare to our fat American counterparts.  And Clyde and I can say that being former obese people ourselves who still struggle with food and weight issues.

Tasted like girl scout mint cookies

On our way back to the apartment we noticed large groups of people walking in the streets dressed differently.  Men stood out with tall black hats encircled with fir.  Their bodies were dressed totally in black suits with long top coats.  Others showed white knee socks atop of their black shoes leading me to believe they were either in shorts or some type of native skirt or wrap underneath long coats. Who were these strange people?  Apparently there is a large Ultra Orthodox Jewish population here in London.  Estimated to be 30,000 of them living together their population continues to grow rapidly as they believe in creating large families according to the bible's suggestion to, "be fruitful and multiply."

Blurry, but I was driving by

Again, a little blurry

Central London, the more touristy part is just lovely with it's Royal heritage, gorgeous architecture, Themes River, bridges, double decker buses, subway and more.  But with all of that comes the price of admission to the touristy hot spots that are just too pricey for our budget.  Or perhaps we are just too cheap to pay 18 pounds (per person) to walk into a church, or 30 pounds to ride an elevator to a lookout point high atop a glass building.  Even the famous London Eye, a large, slow moving ferris wheel type of thing where each pod holds up to 25 people commands a cost of around $25 per person too.  And in case you're wondering about the US dollar to British pound conversion rate it is this. One pound is equal to $1.27 on the US dollar, which we hear of a good exchange rate, but still costs more per dollar to us.

The Tower Bridge
Often confused as the "London Bridge"

The Schard

While in the grocery store we stopped by the pharmacy or "chemist" for Clyde's steroid eye drops. We were told they are dispensed by prescription only so he will have to find an eye doctor at some point when he runs out of his supply.  But I picked up some Loratadine allergy medications for only 2 pounds per package along with some paracetamol (acetaminophen) for around 1 pound, both very cheap.  Still have not managed to find calcium supplements with calcium citrate instead of carbonate here, but we will keep looking.  But the good news is that they DO carry my type of contact lens solution which is for rigid gas permeable lens.  I have not been able to get this in Panama, Thailand or Italy but am still using my supply from the US thus far.

So our life as full time nomads still continues to amaze and delight us, keeping us on our toes every step of the way.  Yesterday we needed a day to relax and stayed close to our flat for much of the day.  We took the time for some grooming, hair cuts and color done by yours truly, cleaning, laundry and cooked up a big pot of soup for dinner. Currently it's a brisk 39 degrees outside with bright sunshine so we will need to bundle up for another chilly and refreshing walk in the park with the dogs......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE


  1. I really enjoyed your descriptions and thoughts on London I always wondered how much the big wheel was , however there are many things you can still do in London for free I had to Google it to make sure the British museum and if all else fails Browse at Fortnum & Mason or Harrods . At Christmas Harrods has a wonderful display of things only kings can afford .Lol
    I am a friend of Mary lous and Bills I am also an ex pat of UK do hope she will send me your next chapters Merry Christmas ..Cathy

    1. Cathy, sent your email address to

      I will put you on a list to receive all of our blogs. Or just join the blog!


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