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.

36 comments:

  1. So delighted that you're posting and sharing your adventures with us! And you know what? I've always wondered if flying into London would feel like being on Peter Pan's Flight, so special thanks for that wonderful reassurance. Enjoy every magical moment, and say 'hello' to Paris for me....

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post was delightful. I look forward to hearing about your travels, with your own personal and magical twist. You are taking us with you through your words. You are better than the travel channel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of the reasons why I am with my boyfriend is that he called me, "Love" -he still does- and he makes me tea just the way I like it. Rule Britannia! Enjoy! I wish I were there. London is so fun, Stonehenge is amazing. I am so excited you are posting while on your trip! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ooh! Natalie - we were just across the Channel from you. We left Amsterdam this morning and are now in Milan, Italy.

    Have a lovely time, London is such a fascinating city to explore.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the way you blog. Congratulations on the Blog of Note. I have always wanted to travel. I envy you. :P

    Keep blogging! I'm now a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with the fact that you have mentioned this blog in the Blogs of Note. Really worth looking at my first visit.

    http://www.ssdtanay.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved that the Tube says "Mind the Gap". I remember I was so thrilled when we were riding the Gatwick express from the airport to London and a person came by with a trolly. He didn't ask it exactly as the woman in Harry Potter, but nonetheless I was happy about it.
    Hope you're all enjoying your trip!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just returned from my first trip to England and I, too, was enchanted! This is fun reliving it through your blog!
    The boys in the pub made me order like them one night and I had to call the barmaid "Love" and say "Cheers!" The boys were all so dreamy.
    I now harbor dreams of moving there....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice blog. Just to clarify though, it's the Irish that say "top o' the morning", not us Brits. Also, I cannot remember the last time someone flipped over my credit card to check the signature. We have Chip and PIN in the UK so no longer need to worry about antiquated issues such as signature fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Many banks now put your picture of the front of the card. If one follows the terms of your Credit Card, they can refuse it. Your card is not valid unless signed even if you have the correct ID.

    I hope you have a fun trip. I only had a problem with jet lag when I returned home from the Philippines earlier this year. It was my first flight.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Dear,
    Just fine to discover your "Chicken Blog". You are welcome to visit mine too!
    Kindest greetings,
    Nadia
    in Flanders (Belgium)

    ReplyDelete
  12. The station is called St PANCRAS. The pancreas is an organ in the digestive system.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's my first visit 2 this blog n i'm hipnotized with ur story.

    Really wish i could do something fun like u

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love your blog. Just popped over for a visit from blogs of note. Congrats! Its nice to know other people blog about their chickens too:)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congratulations on making blogs of note!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This was wonderfully blogged, and I am thrilled that you mentioned Elizabeth Bennet before exiting. Safe travels!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well,hope you've had a good time in Blighty.Hope you were able to Mind the Gap, see Peter Pan and bumped into the Domestic Goddess Supreme in Kensington or where ever she hangs out these days.Did you go to Jane Country? Visit Haworth? So much to do so little time,so many people.Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello Natalie;

    Just read your blog about your visit to London. Must be an interesting place to visit as well as England as a whole. Don't think I could handle all that flying though.
    Anyway, I'd like to invite you to read my blog www.journeyofthevoice.blogspot.com.
    My name is Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Natalie and Geoff,
    Sounds like things are off to a good start. Tell Geoff he should try English bitters. It's what got me started drinking beer nearly 30 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds like an amazing trip. I hope you see and experience many fun and exciting things on the way. I love your blog! i'm now a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congradulations on becoming a Blog of Note. That's actually how I found your blog, and I'm glad I did. Enjoy London, it's one of my favorite cities.

    Paul
    http://mithoughtsnow.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry, that post was too long.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The Oxcliffe FoxJune 22, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    Actually, it's mushy peas, not mashed! I know that doesn't make them taste any better, but what the hey...

    Enjoy the rest of your trip,

    TOF

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love London. Let us know if you see Nigella Lawson! I can't actually afford to visit London right now, so I have a fantasy blog pretending I just moved there.

    ReplyDelete
  25. By the way, are you good at geography? Neat blog! Another neat blog is www.geofactoftheday.blogspot.com! Once again, nice blog!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congratulations for being the Blog of Note. The comment about "Mind the Gap" jumped out at me. It made me remember the Cate Blanchet movie where her character sorrowfully point out the gap between who she is and where she is in live vs. where she once dreamed her life to be. Sounds like you won't have such regret. Enjoy London!

    ReplyDelete
  27. A nice read, Natalie. Good to hear about England, the place where I was when I could remember.Keep it going!

    ReplyDelete
  28. An enjoyable blog of note! Thank you for sharing...I look forward to reading more about your adventure. My last stay in London was a fabulous adventure, I hope you find the same.

    http://frostyrunner.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi,
    Your blog's nice. By the way I love London, and I want to go there, however it's cost too expensive for me, so I can't afford it. I hope I will be able go there in the future time.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi
    Very nice and very attractive blog.
    Congratulation.

    mohammad
    Malaysia

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi
    very nice and very attractive blog
    Congratulation.
    I like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
    In Malaysia KFC is very popular fast food.

    Beware of bird flue

    abang
    Malaysia

    ReplyDelete
  32. Mushy peas bland? That's because they don't know how to make them in London. You should try Lancashire mushy peas, mmmmmm.

    Have a wonderful trip.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a wonderful travelogue. I feel like I have looked out of my window and there it was - London.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi

    I clicked on the funny name from blogger welcome page.

    The photos ae beautiful, and the chicken even the cat look great !

    I knew ''why did the chicken cross the road ?'' kind of stories, wich i like a lot.
    And i also discovered "chicken soup for the soul" when i came to see my father and my american step mother On maui in 2005.

    by the way, there i aslo learned about Living food or raw food, and i am now a raw vegan organic food eater and advocate !

    I recommand "go raw now" trailer on 'you tube'

    My name is florian I am 23 years young, and i am writing from south of France, Golfe juans, Near Cannes and Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Fabulous blog - hope you're enjoying Paris! Next time in Blighty go to Great Yarmouth market, and have proper mushy peas with vinegar and/or mint sauce. An experience. (Yarmouth is coastal town in Norfolk, by the way)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will share your thoughts. Comments are most appreciated. Having trouble seeing a comment field? It happens: hit refresh, which seems to help!