Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2003  


Day 14

Today is a funny feeling day. BD and I walk into town for tickets. We must leave at 5:15 a.m. to catch a 5:45 train to Heathrow. I want to get gifts, so we part at the train station. BD has my watch to aid in returning in time to take all out to dinner.

I wander about, checking out prices in shops. Altogether, England costs more than the US, but not terribly much. I try on hats in Debinams, which is like a Hechts and sniff perfume in Marks & Spencer, which is like a Sears with a grocery attached. In a collectibles shop I can buy 2” resin bears for L20!! $36! or in a card shop I can get little ones for L3. I feel cheap, but don’t buy pricey knickknacks. I do get Lizzie a little English bulldog and Emma some bangle bracelets. We live in such a global society, there is very little I can buy in England that I couldn’t also buy in the US, but the one unique thing is their publishing industry - so everyone gets an English magazine - gardening, travel or fancy houses. Inexpensive but glossy and beautiful and able to suit the recipient’s taste without burdening her with something to either wear or eat. Then, I am heading home, a little hungry and getting hungrier. I keep rejecting restaurants - everything looks hip and upscale and I find I definitely prefer the quaint type where the proprietors, soft middle aged ladies, serve. So I walk on home.

A is out cold, asleep in the living room. A thunderclap has me out taking in the wash before I even eat. Lunch is tea, and bread and cheese and tomatoes and pickled onions. I’m hot and change into cotton and by then A is awake. We are chatting over more tea when her brother J walks in. He looks just like her, same size and height, same eyebrows. And very nice, with just a hint of reserve. They’re to go to Chelsea Flower show tomorrow. Both chatter about flowers and we watch a TV show about Chelsea.

I go up to pack around 3:30. It’s a little daunting. We have bags enough, but they are so heavy! So many books & magazines. Here’s what I wish I hadn’t brought with me:

· hairdryer
· beard trimmer
· adapter
· extra shoes
· skirt & hose
· synthetic (wrinkle free) pants (hot hot hot)
· knitting
· book
· colored pencils
· so much underwear for us both
· dress-up trousers for BD

It all added up to about 20 pounds we have to lug from train to tube to train to plane in 2 locations! Ah well, at least there was nothing I wished I’d had and didn’t bring.

BD is back by 5 and we go to a wonderful pub for dinner. It was more of a restaurant than most pubs. I have cider. This is the first time I’ve been served any rink in a large glass. I realize just how much we super-size things at home. I have watercress soup and apple cider sausage with cheesy mash!

We stuff while 2 rain storms wash the green countryside. As we leave, a gorgeous double rainbow bids us farewell.

The evening is a little short. I am sleepy from the cider and a little anxious about waking up on time tomorrow. I’ll be happy to be home and I have a wonderful week of vacation left, but it all seems so far away. And I am soooo comfortable in England, so at home.

I’m in bed by 10, asleep by 10:30 and have only a toothbrush to pack in the morning.

posted by Bess | 6:02 AM