mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
[personal profile] mcgillianaire
...I arrived in London to settle here permanently. The photos below were taken on the night and subsequent morning of that memorable journey. It was my first flight to Blighty in three years - and I only stayed a night on that occasion - so this was actually my first proper visit in nearly four years. I was over the moon, making childhood dreams come true and all that jazz.

With mum at check-in in Muscat (then Seeb) International Airport. Dad had a separate flight that night to attend a conference in Italy. I think my sis was still in India. You can see bits of my Liverpool jersey that I was wearing in honour of the Champions League Final that was taking place as we were flying towards the Continent. The Mighty Reds were taking on The Rossoneri (AC Milan) in Athens. The pilot was kind enough to give us two score updates along the way. Unfortunately, we lost 2-1.

The new Wembley Stadium with its iconic arch had opened only a couple months earlier, with the first FA Cup Final there played the previous weekend between Chelsea and Manchester United. The Blues won 1-0 courtesy a late goal in extra-time by their Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba, thus avoiding the lottery of a penalty-shootout (as in the previous year).

Wandsworth in south London. In particular you can see the Victorian panopticon HM Prison Wandsworth to the bottom left, that I was to visit as part of a law school excursion the following year. Notice also the rows of terraced housing.

Centre Court (pre-roof) and Court Number 1 at Wimbledon, and the village of the same name beyond.

The beautiful green expanse of Richmond Park.

And the equally beautiful village of Richmond-upon-Thames. Growing up, one of the joys of flying into London in the day was to admire the rows of terraced housing, interspersed with lush green patches. Even now I get a thrill from this sight.

The two rugby stadiums at Twickenham.

More terraced housing, this time in Hounslow.


Just a few weeks earlier I had completed a three-month attachment with the marketing team at HSBC in Muscat, and I had read a lot about their deal to plaster their logo on several airports around the world including Heathrow.

Is there a more beautiful aircraft than the 747? I think not. (T5 was still under construction, so BA was still based at T4.)


I'm so glad I took these photos. They brought back some wonderful memories. I don't think I expected this journal to still be active back then, so it's satisfying to know I was wrong. I'm just surprised I haven't shared these photos earlier. Better late than never I suppose. Anyhoo, here's to at least eight more years. And enjoy the rest of your spring bank holiday weekend!


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