Monday, June 22, 2009
Top of The Morning
Does anyone actually say "top of the morning" or have I been watching too much Mary Poppins? They do say "Love," like the man that sold me tickets for our ride to King's Cross: "Love, when someone steals that purse of yours they are going to take this credit card and shop." He wanted me to sign the back of my credit card. Back home I leave it unsigned so they ask for ID, but now it says "See ID." At the next station the man selling Tube tickets said, "Love, here are your tickets for tonight and these are for tomorrow," but he did not check for my signature on my card.
"Mind the gap." On the Picadilly line from Heathrow to St. Pancras Station, we heard "Mind the gap" at every stop, and we learned there is a lot to mind when negotiating the busy London streets and metro.
So, we are here and the jet lag is real, which is easier to cope with than the first time I faced the confusion, and disoriented loopiness of flying from So Cal to Europe. It helps a lot to believe that it will pass. I think Geoff is coping best, but he did not get to be at Stonehenge for the Soltice... as much as he wanted to. We'll make it up to him somehow. Max and Alex are asleep... probably they will be bright and perky about the time Geoff and I hit the wall.
Can you guess what we had for dinner? Is it supper or dinner? It was after nine, still light out, slightly chilly and we were upstairs in a quaint and snug corner of the Wellington Pub. Have you guessed? Fish and chips! And mashed peas. The mashed peas fit the classic descriptions I've heard about British food all my life... they were bland. We had a variety of fish, and Geoff had a Guiness (AKA meal in a can.) William and Max only had garlic toast, but William did eat English breakfast, minus meat. Beans for breakfast... I like it. Not accustomed to sweet beans, but they were tasty. And the fish was tasty. Maria is subsisting on grapes and cherries. She tried three different jams on toast and found them each equally unpalatable. But then, she is four, and she is a supertaster. I am sure Max will be quite hungry.
Today we are going to the British Museum. Geoff just came from St. Pancreas Station where he bought our Chunnel tickets. So, Tuesday it's Paris! That means it must be Monday. Monday morning. 9:30. Alex and Max are still sleeping. Geoff and I have been awake since 3:00 AM. Maria just found the breakfast muffin from the flight, so she is eating! Yay.
Do you want to hear about our rooms? Did you ever see "European Vacation," the Griswalds in England? I only saw the movie once, but the hotel scene came right to mind when we walked into the first room... lol. Mind you, I am not complaining. I am only saying that the rooms are remarkably small, which is why we had to take two. Maria and I are upstairs and the men folk are downstairs and only inches from the sidewalk and a stones throw from the train station. I actually confused the bathroom for a closet. It's behind a sliding closet door. I think our RV bathroom is more accommodating. The sink would fit in a cereal bowl, with the cereal. But everyone has a bed and a pillow and last night I did not need much more.
Back to Mary Poppins and Peter Pan... I keep thinking of those movies, especially last night when we walked around this neighborhood and we could see the roof tops of London and I kept expecting to see Bert and Mary pop out of a chimney, or Peter Pan slip into a bedroom window. Even when our flight broke through the clouds we had our first London view, over the Thames and it was postcard like, or like the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland! We could see all the classic images and structures of a city I know only from books and movies, and the song "You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!" played merrily in my head. It was quite magical. It's fortunate that I am here in person. I do not need to go through the rest of my life believing that any time spent in London will produce Peter Pan sightings, but I do continue to wish I might see Elzabeth Bennet or run into Nigella Lawson.