Having a quiet time of it riding out hurricane Dorian here in Florida. One entire channel devoted to watching the slow track of the storm – breakfast this morning, dinner in restaurant last night, tv screens keep up the momentum in case you forget.
Best thing: my room is the most spacious I’ve been in, the plane seemed fairly empty and I have NEVER gone through customs so fast, not even in NZ. I think I was 7th through, they took one look at passport, smiled and asked where I was going, wished me well and I was out of there – huh!!??
It has given me a day to linger in a time warp between where I need to be (Canada) and where I was (UK). And to consider the vast cultural differences most obvious – (and I love the UK!). My bed is one of two vast kingsize beds with soft mattress toppers and four pillows each. There is a fridge, microwave, coffee machine and pods, spacious bathroom. Restaurants within walking distance (not usual to have sidewalks). I’ve just left the Gatwick hotel which – to be fair – was not as good as the one in the terminal I stayed at last time. This time at Gatwick my bed was so narrow the pillow slid off a couple times, I had to crawl over toilet to squeeze into shower, but there was a kettle and tea bags.
I feel like just stepping out on American soil I can flex my limbs and stand up straight. There must still be bruises on my head from the low lintels and ceiling rafters that I didn’t see coming in UK. I’ve climbed up more narrow steep staircases than I can count, often with my bags, and crossed my fingers as I’ve sat on tiny toilets in awkward spaces. BUT – and it’s a big but – (yes! My butt too – don’t go there!) – we LOVE Britain because it has kept our history alive. My history – only the last few generations of my family were in the southern hemisphere – and the history of many Aussies, Americans and Kiwis is tied up in the UK, and I can return to that land and picture exactly how much of it looked for hundreds of years, give or take a house or two. The museums!! The literature! The castles and churches! I could go on and on. The little inconvenience of a lost pillow or having to constantly give way on tiny one-lane roads is nothing compared to the abounding joy of experiencing a land so steeped in wonders.
Now I am enjoying the lavish excesses of a generous and immense country, and grateful for them, and forgoing my love of a good cup of tea, but I am still fondly remembering the marvellous trip along the country lanes of England and Scotland. So many warm, funny and lovely people have welcomed me in my travels. Thank you so much!
I am spread lavishly on my bed gnawing at a bagel and with one eye watching the news and with the other the view from my 6th floor window. It’s a bit like the waiting room between worlds. I’m coming back here in 10 days to ‘do’ the adventure parks and go up to Jacksonville. God bless America!