Daughter of Les & Joan Allan and sister to Chris, Katie originated from Belfast and settled in Fradley, Staffordshire with husband, Stuart, and two children, Sam and Sophie.

Katie wrote this blog to share her story, improve awareness and spread inspiration & positivity amongst families, friends and others 'battling cancer - one day at a time'

Katie Scarbrough
04 March 1981 - 02 May 2013

London Baby!!

We only decided to go to London, after Stuart stemmed a question to me, ‘What do you want to do for your birthday?’ So I said go to London to sightsee and maybe see a show. I got on the laptop and started looking at 5* hotels for the two of us. About an hour later he said, ‘Why don’t we all go, as Sam has been on at us for ages to see Big Ben?’ So the hotel became a 4* and we got a great deal, half price instead of booking it directly and it had a swimming pool. To top it off we got upgraded from a Guest room to an Executive Room…happy days!!

I couldn’t wait to tell the kids when they got home from school and the first thing Sam said was, ‘What about my birthday Party?’ OH OH we had forgotten that we had rearranged his Party from his actual birthday week until the Friday we were going down to London. The plan HAD been to take them out of school on the Friday and drive down to have longer. Stuart said to him about rearranging it again and he just burst into tears. So we had a think and decided that they would go to school, have his party and then drive down in the evening at around 6pm. Now he was happy…and excited to be going to London Baby!!! 🙂

I got to work on sorting out what we were going to do. As I am a ‘sort of’ lady of leisure these days I had the time…lol Jeremy Kyle could wait. A few weeks ago I had been playing Mecca Bingo online ..as you do and don’t laugh. Anyway I won £50 of leisure vouchers, and we could use these at Planet Hollywood. So I booked a table on line, along with the Hop On Hop Off Bus and sorted kids tickets for the London Eye, as we had very kindly been given two adult complimentary tickets already. That was us prepared!!

After Sams Party, which he had an amazing time at and was very spoilt by his friends, with the presents he received. We drove down to London and headed for the Hotel, which was in the Kings Cross/Bloomsbury area. The Sat Nav in the car took us straight through the centre of London We saw it in the dark, we went past Harrods, which was all lit up, The Ritz, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. The kids were very excited by this time but tired too after their long day. At the hotel we got our PJ’s on and climbed into bed with drinks, pringles and watched WWE on TV. The kids were soon fast asleep.

Breakfast in the hotel was lovely, we had soo much to choose from. The kids loved it as they could go and help themselves, that made them look so grown up because they didn’t want my help. Sophie is a grazer when it comes to eating, but she could have little bits of everything, she was in her element. Sam just stuck to sausage and hash browns with ketchup.

We then headed for the double decker bus to take us to pick up our sightseeing bus. We got off near St Pauls Cathedral and on the road down to it we came across the Church Of Scientology…I wondered if Tom Cruise was inside…lol. The sightseeing bus was great, we drove over Tower Bridge and got off at the Tower Of London. It was very busy. We headed to the Boat Trip that came with the bus, which took us to the London Eye. But before hand we had to make a stop at the souvenir shop, for the kids to get some stuff. They got a snap I love London Wristband each.

The boat trip was really good, we could sit down again and enjoy being on the Thames. That is were Sam saw Big Ben for the first time, so he was pleased. We saw loads of things on the Thames, HMS Belfast, The Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge again… We got off at the London Eye and walked along the Southbank. What an amazing place!! All the people and entertainers, carousel, popcorn and candy floss. The kids loved the little cat in the basket as she kept singing Gangnam Style and purring at Sophie. Sophie was giggling her head off. Sam was a little shy with them but he liked Darth Vadar and the Viking. The kids and I got on the horses and every time we went past Stuart we would shout something different at him or sing a song..it was funny!! Then it was Candy Floss time…it’s horrible stuff, makes me feel like my teeth are rotting, so Stuart and the kids ate it.

As it was late afternoon we decide to take a chance that the Rain Forest Cafe wasn’t busy and headed back to Leicester Square. We were very lucky as it technically wasn’t Lunch or Dinner and only waited 30 mins for a Table. What an another brilliant place, especially for the kids I would highly recommend it and the food, maybe a little pricey but worth it. I loved the animal bum chairs at the bar area. The staff member even asked if we had a special day to celebrate so we told him it had been Sams birthday the week before and he said that’s great we will celebrate it today too. We really had a great time!! We headed back to the hotel, and Stuart took the kids swimming for an hour while I had a cup of tea and put my feet up.

Before bed we ordered room service, which is the first time I’ve ordered room service before, it was wicked!! Room service with PJ’s on, watching Mama Mia on TV, singing with the kids…bliss!! Soon after that they were out for the count.

On Sunday morning, it was the first time since we arrived in London, that I had thought of having Cancer. Sam and I were watching TV while getting dressed and the new Macmillan Ad came on. The one with the people falling over and how many people get diagnosed each day. Sam was glued to it and after I asked him what it made him think of watching it. He said, ‘You, with Cancer in a grave’. Wow, my heart jumped into my mouth, as I didn’t expect that. I tried to hold it together and gave him a huge hug. I had to go into the bathroom to tell Stuart, cry a little and compose myself. That was a hard thing to hear. When I came out he was happily playing with his DS and Sophie.

After breakfast, it was back to the bus and a journey around London Baby!! The plan was to head to Buckingham Place and we had lovely blue skies but it was chilly upstairs on the bus. Sophie was obviously tired and fell asleep on Stuarts knee. By the time we got to Buckingham Palace I was freezing, but warmed up a little in the sun. We simply did the picture thing and had a look around the shop. The first thing I said to the kids was,’ Don’t touch anything’!! All the plates and breakable things in there, got me on edge…lol

We got back on the bus and went through Park Lane and Knightsbridge. On the way past The Dorchester Hotel we saw famous model Agnes Dean coming out with other models as it was London Fashion Week when we were there. Park Lane with all the expensive hotels is like a completely different time. I would have felt out of place walking in to one of them. It’s a bit like in Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts goes into the shop in Beverley Hills and they wouldn’t serve her even though she has the money.

We were booked for the London Eye for 4pm so, we headed back in that direction to get some lunch and headed into a Subway. I had a little check on my phone and noticed a tweet from someone in London who was a cab driver, he had so kindly offered to take us around. There really are some lovely people and I just wanted to say on here, thank you John for that amazing offer xx

After lunch, it was off to the London Eye. But first we watched the 4D experience. It was really good, the seagulls came out of the screen and it was like you could touch them, Sam and Sophie kept ducking. There was flower petals falling, like you could almost touch them and then fake snow was sprayed on us. We really enjoyed it. I did though however, felt like I had been on LSD or something when I came out. (Not like I have ever been on LSD, but I imagine that is what it would be like) Can you tell that was first 3D or 4D thing I had seen? We didn’t have to queue to get on the Eye, it took about 30 mins to go around the whole thing. The pictures were taken mainly by the kids, we just let them snap away. I am glad to say we have been on it.

As we were still on the Southbank, after getting off the Eye, I decided to go in search of the This Morning studios, much to Stuarts dismay. I kept saying yeah, it must be just be down around here. To be fair we were freezing. After one final corner, we found the 3 big windows, which are silver painted so no one can look in. I got on the railing to point up at them while Stuart took a picture of me. My fascination of  This Morning has come from all the day time TV I now watch, having been off work since May last year..lol 🙂 Walking back towards the bus we got some hot chocolate to warm up. Stuart and I got one with Cream on top to share, but he ended spilling it on him all down his jeans…I found it absolutely hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing, I wish I had taken a picture of him.

By now it was dinner time and Planet Hollywood!! It was great to warm up and the place is so buzzing and has a great atmosphere. First thing was first and drinks…it had to be the Apple and Pear Martini, how nice was that, so nice I ended up having two. Stuart had a Dark Knight cocktail (a manly one with Jack Daniels, Amaretto, sours and coke). The food was excellent, the kids portions were big, which is great for Sam as he eats like a horse, but a little off putting for Sophie. But she tried her best and ate all the ice cream. My Salmon fillet was the biggest I had seen and it was #Amazeballs. Stuart had his usual of Chicken and Beef Fajitas. I really love Planet Hollywood, just while were sitting there a song from Twilight came on and some clips of Blades of Glory were played on the TV.

It was back to the hotel as it had been a long two days and we were all shattered. Again, the kids were out for the count in no time. We had planned to go home straight from the hotel on the Monday, but because we hadn’t been to M&M World,  we decided to go there instead of going home. M&M World was great, I’ve never seen so much merchandise with M&M’s on it. The place is that colourful it’s very difficult to come out with out buying anything. Needless to say we bought quite a bit, so we have a stack of mementos from London!! I wanted to buy the brown M&M cushions with the faces on them for my sofa, I think it would have been funny seeing peoples faces when they walked into my living room. But, they were a little too expensive…maybe next time.

All in all we did have an #AMAZEBALLS time in London. The kids were well behaved and seemed so grown up being away from home. They had constant smiles on their faces and Stuart and I had a fab time too. We have added to our family memories and we have come back on a high!!




  • Emma Hadley Says

    Just loved reading this – sooooooooo glad you all had an #amazeballs time xxx got a lump in my throat over what Sam said – kids can be brutal with their honesty but you always know its never meant with malice xxxx

  • Emma Griffiths Says

    Hi Katie,
    I have been following your blog for a little while now as some of our mutual friends are sharing your link on Facebook. I have got to comment today though as I am totally impressed by the amount of places you actually got to visit and see whilst down London!!!!!! You are an absolute trooper and an inspiration to us all! I have health issues too and I want you to know that your drive, determination and outlook has give me the necessary kick to start making the most of what I can still do rather than dwelling on what I can’t! Thank you 🙂 Emma

  • susan gilmour Says

    katie–just read your blog–your best one yet!Sounds like London Baby was #amazeballs! You are definitely living life to the max—please think about setting up a charity—you have so many followers and friends that can make it happen–xxxxxx

  • Natalie Says

    Katie, Thank you for sharing such a detailed account of your weekend in London with us. It sounds as though you had a much deserved #amazeballs time, and have motivated me to arrange our own family trip for next year, so Thank you for that too.

    I must admit the statement from Sam regarding his feelings when watching the Macmillan advert brought a tear to my eye. Bless him, and you. You are doing the right thing in talking to him about his feelings, it’s never good to lock your feelings away and by sharing your feelings with each other you are creating the same admirable characters in your children that you have within yourself.

    Love to you Katie and I hope you enjoy a well deserved few days rest before your next big adventure x x x

  • Natalie Says

    PS. Love the picture above x x

  • Janice Taylor (nats mom) Says

    It was lovely to read about your time going around London. Have to agree the Southbank is great, I love the theatres there.xx

  • Mervyn Says

    Hi Katie,
    next time you are in London, try and visit Harrods, it is also #AMAZEBALLS.


  • claire cassie Says

    Hi Katie, would just like to say what an amazing lady you are, I have read your blog and your courage, determination and sense of humour all through your journey has been incredible. You are a true inspiration to all xx

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