Sorry for the gap. I was right in the middle of telling you all about my visit to London, when very suddenly, I found myself unable to download pictures to blogger. I dumbed around for a while trying to figure it out, but in the end, simply soldiered on without you.
It was a wonderful time, the perfect mix of ordinary days where we worked together and laughed together, and extraordinary days, traveling together. Since Cara and Colin had just moved into their home, we worked in their sweet back garden. We cleared brush, and bought new plants. We roamed garden stores which was fun. I bought them a rhododendron as a memory maker. They needed lawn furniture but were not happy with the selections, so we scoured antique stores until we found what they needed - a cast iron table that was painted a glossy black and set into place. We had a nice fire and sat talking into the dark.
We also went to London. I did not get to meet up with Steve Reed as I had hoped. But I saw the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham palace. We did the obligatory Jack the Ripper walk at night. We saw the British Museum, the British Library. The Golden Hind (a replica). I saw St. Martin's In the Field, had coffee in the crypt, people watched in Trafalgar square (there was a protest going on. 'No more, Putin!'). We went to an hilarious play, 'The Play Goes Wrong'. It was great fun.
After London, I knew that the rest of the visit would fly by and it did. We went to Bradgate and saw the descendents of a deer herd from medieval times. We walked the paths there, and saw the ruins of Lady Jane Grey's family childhood home. We went to Nottingham and did the castle tour and went to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. We went to a victorian pumping station. We walked through the arboretum and we had picnics every day. The weather was perfect.
I had a scotch egg. I had a pork pie. I had fish and chips. I also had curries galore (and how I do love curries!)
In the end, the trip was more than I could have ever dreamed of. After three years of not seeing my daughter, I had really begun to get quite misty eyed every time I thought of her. I desperately needed this time with her, and to get to know her husband better. They were perfect hosts and the most excellent travel guides. Since they only recently moved into the area, we were often exploring new things together. At Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem, there was a plaque that indicated that Lord Byron (the old reprobate) drank there. A quote is posted over the door: 'Man, being reasonable, must get get drunk. The best of life is but intoxication.' That quote triggered google searches and we discovered that Lord Byron was buried in Hucknall. We stopped there on the way home and walked through an old cemetery.
The end of the trip loomed up quickly. It was hard to leave, but that is the way trips go, isn't it. You arrive and you depart. You can't do it any other way.
At two o'clock in the morning, I was up and getting ready to go to the airport. I was leaving just before 5 AM, and I had to be there two hours early. The trip home was kind of sad, but I sat between a biophysicist and a fellow who had worked on the latest transistor, which was very exciting to the biophysicist. They chattered back and forth enthusiastically. The biophysicist was quite intrigued about the new technology and they talked across me for some time. They were both very amiable people, and before the transatlantic flight was over, I had beat Gerben (and six others on the flight) in trivia. He showed me where he lived in the Netherlands. I showed him where I lived in the states.
The worst part of the trip was the eight hour layover in Detroit. Quite honestly, if the itinerary had not been changed, I think that I would have been okay. I was supposed to have had a two hour layover, and then the trip across Lake Erie to Buffalo would have been over in an hour, putting me in the car on the way home by 5ish. I would have been tired, but would have fallen into bed a little early, slept soundly and woke up refreshed. Instead, I sat long enough in Detroit for the previous 24 hours to catch up with me. By the time that I boarded for Buffalo, I was exhausted. By the time that Tim and I found each other, I was nearly sick with being tired. I'd managed to land in the middle of a snowstorm, and so we wound up spending the night in a hotel before heading for home. I never sleep well in a strange place, even snuggled up against Tim, and so we were up early and heading home. Sunday was a long day punctuated by many unintended naps.
After a good nights sleep, it is now Monday. I feel like a human. I've got a house to set to rights. I'll figure out the picture situation later today, and I should be able to post pictures later this week.