It's been a long, cold winter in London - and it's not even officially two weeks old. We've been fighting the gloom by spending a lot of time with museums and friends, but it's still been a bit grim. However, this weekend London gave us a reminder of just how great it is. The weather was wonderfully clear and, for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, almost warm.
On Saturday Lauren and I went our separate ways, with she and our friend Stephen off to the Florence Nightengale Museum and I off with English friends Lewis and James to see Britain's greatest obsession - The X Factor!
Kidding. It was actually Britain's second-biggest obsession - football. We went to a Premier League game, Fulham versus Manchester City.
Both are mid-table teams, so they're not quite up there with Chelsea and Liverpool, but the quality of the game (1-1) was WAY higher than the last top-level match I saw - Auckland's rubbish Football Kingz playing in 2000.
That night we had a lovely evening chilling out at Lucy's and Amar's house - and, um, watching The X Factor. True music lovers will be fascinated to know that ethnic minority boy band JLX, much to my surprise, weren't completely crap this week. But if Alexandra doesn't win, there's no justice in this world.
It was chilling of another kind on Sunday, when we visited Regent's Park. It - and the surrounding Georgian villas - are gorgeous, but boy, once the sun started dipping over the buildings (3pm) was it cold.
Still, despite having to walk around wearing almost every piece of clothing we own, it was one of those weekends that recharged our liking for London. Though I must say that a trip to a New Zealand beach sounds pretty good right now!