Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Friday, December 22, 2006


Jason’s recent visit to Chicago meant I'd be alone in London for a week. I knew I'd miss him, although it wasn’t long before I’d committed myself to a string of social engagements. Typically, seeing friends is a regular occurrence that is interspersed with work, family and ‘the rest of your life’. But spending just a few sporadic days or weeks in the same country as those friends, a lot of socializing tends to get crammed into the precious limited time available. Such is the nature of living abroad.
I am fortunate to have some wonderful friends in London who I treasure immensely and miss intensely. I would be devastated if they were to disappear from my life simply because I no longer live in this country, hence my temporary metamorphosis into quite the social butterfly in Jason’s absence. I had an exciting, exhausting and absolutely uplifting week spending time with old friends. Thanks to all of you for fitting me in between Christmas parties, shopping and all the other activities of the season. Here’s to all of you, including some friends who I haven’t managed to catch up with yet.

Jason admires the Henry Moore sculpture on Hampstead Heath before his departure for Chicago.

Firstly, there’s Seemi Davies and her husband Mike. Seemi and I have been close friends since high school, and when we’re together we spend hours making up for lost time over red wine, endless cups of tea and chocolate Hobnob biscuits. Seemi and Mike have generously shared their Highgate home with Jason and I on numerous occasions, offering tremendous hospitality and home cooked delights. This visit was no exception, so here’s a big thank you to our Highgate Hosts.

Here are Mike and Seemi, during a fun evening in their Highgate kitchen.

Another good high school friend is Heidi Bancroft, who now owns a fantastic pub in St. Albans with her partner Gerry. Seemi, Mike and I paid a visit on ‘live Irish music’ night, and had a great time with the landlord and landlady of ‘The Farmer’s Boy’. I highly recommend dropping in for a pint if you’re in the area. If you mention ‘Donkey Crossing’ at the bar you might even get one on the house!

Heidi and Gerry at home behind the bar of 'The Farmer's Boy'.

Heidi even offered me a part-time bar job after I impressed her with my pint-pulling skills!

It was a pleasure to see friends from the London School of Economics, namely Anna Mann, Caroline Clarke and Julian Szego. Our chosen venues ranged from the LSE Academic Dining Room to Kettners champagne bar in Soho, and I enjoyed every minute with these inspirational people from my university days.

Anna and I catching up at Kettners.

Helen Reece has been a good friend since 1996 when I worked for her in the law department at University College London. Helen has since had two gorgeous children, Hannah and Ben, with partner John Gillott, and it was great to spend a couple of hours with the family at their home in Russell Square.

Hannah and Ben take a break from playtime for a photo.

One particularly special London treat is experiencing my brother playing music. We spent a few hours recording Cole Porter songs together, and I watched him play bass at an acoustic show with his guitarist/singer friend Moody McArdle. Aside from the excellent performance the duo put on, the double treat was watching the show with my sister-in-law Eva, and Andrew’s long time friends Matt Crutchlow and Rob Sykes.

Rob, Andrew, Matt & Eva after the gig.

And then there is the wonderful Kate Jacques. Kate is my godmother, and we spent a lovely evening together dining at Konstam at the Prince Albert in Kings Cross (try it – the food and atmosphere are excellent). Donkey Crossing readers will be seeing more of Kate on the blog as we will be spending time with her and her husband Roger at their home in France in April. Thank you for a fantastic evening out in London, Kate. Looking forward to raising a glass to you in France!

Kate at our table at Konstam.

Between all the hours I spent in pubs, cafes, restaurants and homes, I did find time to walk around London and reacquaint myself with the city, falling in love with it once again. Whoever said "He who is tired of London is tired of life" was right, I reckon. With that said, I was looking forward to heading up to Yorkshire, seeing my parents and being reunited with Jason. Check back soon for tales from the North!



Post a Comment

<< Home