Sunday, October 07, 2001

A Day of Rest

A Day of Rest
We leave London tomorrow. We have not decided where we are going yet, but yesterday we sent out a number of e-mails checking out accommodations. Ron wanted to go to Westminster Abbey for services at 11:00 am, so that meant we needed to get through our happy meal fast and get on the buses and tubes hoping they are running.
Westminster Abbey is a Church of England (Episcopal) place of worship. Its biggest importance is that it is where the royalty had its coronation. Elizabeth II being the last to process up the aisle to receive her crown and take the vows of monarch to hold the Church of England in the highest regard and accepting no other. A guard stands outside and only lets those in who are coming for the service. We looked pious enough to be allowed through the gates. Actually, I had to hide under Ron’s most pious coattail to get by. The church is lovely inside, but no pictures are allowed. What we would call the church with the altar in front, they called the Nave. Through the Nave and on both sides are choir stands on both sides. The stands or seats are done in rich blue velvet and golden wood that has been beautifully carved. Beyond the choir area there is yet another altar. On either side of the altar are chairs for the congregates. Each of us was given a handout on the order of the service, which included when to stand and when to sit.
The sermon was quite interesting. The priest started out with the story of Snow White. He said that when she was baptized, three fairy godmothers were invited to bestow blessings on her, but the fourth was shunned either accidentally or purposefully. She feeling snubbed placed a curse on Snow White. He went on to make the analogy that we grow up thinking that only good exists, but there is also evil in the world. He said we had to be the godparent to ourselves and not wait for life to be good to us. Of course, he delved into this theme to a greater depth than I have here, but that is the focus.
From the sanctity of the church service, I ran over the Internet café while Ron went to the train station to check schedules. As I was typing away, a porno sight popped up. I immediately closed it and another one popped up elsewhere on the screen. I rapidly closed that one to no avail as another smaller window then appeared with four letter words on it. All of my attempts to close them were fruitless, so I just switched back to Yahoo and kept typing. When Ron arrived, he was sitting next to me and one of the sights jumped to the forefront. He was startled and dumbfounded at the same time. He asked how long that had been happening and I explained since I got there. I did not tell the attendant since she was this young woman and I did not want to be standing there while she viewed the scenes that were plastered on the desktop. When we finished out session, I did close as many as I could and then I did tell her. I did not want someone else to have to deal with this. She came over and of course then they were all gone. No matter how many of the X boxes I clicked on they continued to come from nowhere, but now there was no evidence left to justify my concerns.
One of our sub-hobbies of traveling is collecting Hard Rock Café pins from the restaurants in the cities we visit. London is the mother of all Hard Rock Cafes. This is where it all began, so getting a pin from here was a real coup. From the Internet café we had to take the tube to get close to the Hard Rock. It was raining heavily and again the gusts were beyond normal. The announcer came on the overhead in the tube station declaring an emergency with the tube. It had broken down and would not be arriving for quite awhile. We were strapped for time as Bruce was going to drive over at 6:00 pm to collect us with our luggage to bring to their home for safekeeping. We decided we would have to take a bus and found the correct one, eventually.
The Hard Rock is small. Being the birthplace of a multi-continent business, one would think that it would be huge. It was not disappointing though. We saw memorabilia from the bands we grew up with and of course there was a good amount of Beatle’s things to gawk at. In the dining room, there are screens everywhere with music videos playing. Some were stars and songs we had never heard of, but others were songs we knew and loved from years past. Then one started that we really could have done without. The theme song and video to the Sopranos was the next in queue. Ron had successfully forgotten about the show he loved to watch. This refreshed his memory and his eyes were glued to the screen. His next comment was that he hoped he would be able to find the videos in a video store to keep up with the series and I just silently groaned, hoping this too would pass.
One of the public bathrooms we went into had a sign on the wall “1996/97 Loo of the Year Award”. Somehow we missed the latter year presentations on our television satellite dish system, but the award ceremony must be a real treasure. …And the winner for the most sparkling bowls that are consistently supplied with sufficient paper goes to…. I got to thinking that if they did not win the award since 1997, shouldn’t the sign come down by now? Maybe it is time to rethink bowl cleaner or retire the bowl brush if there is ever going to be a chance of picking up the award again.
The same thing goes for the B & B we are staying in. They have the Pink Paper Award for Outstanding B & B for 1995 and 1996. Did the paper fold after that or did some other more deserving B&B displace them? If the paper folded, they should have yet another sign that says “We may have continued winning, but the paper folded in 1997 and our attitudes soured the same year.” For heaven sakes, if you have not won anything since 1996 and it is now 2001, get over it and take the signs down. Your day of glory has faded and all who stay with you now are certainly not going to vote for you in any positive categories.
We made it back home by 6:00 pm, but we still needed to rearrange our things to leave with Anne and Bruce and then decide what we would need to take with us. More decisions! Bruce came for us at 7:00 and we carted the luggage to their second floor, a chore that reminded us how grateful we were for their generous offer so that we did not have to lug them with us for another few weeks. Bruce was gracious enough to drive us home again. We finally had an early evening in London with me on the computer and Ron reading. It was wonderful to relax. We had covered miles and miles of London on the tubes and buses, but also a huge amount of miles by foot also. We had climbed thousands of steps since not all of the tube stations have escalators and those that do also have steps that need to be climbed. Every sight we went to had steps that needed climbing. Steps were everywhere we went that needed ascending or descending. It was time to put the feet up. I had been doing very well about staying in the moment and not anticipating what was coming next. This is not easy to do. I have always had to make plans and then reassess the plans and make adjustments as things went on. Now, I was just enjoying the moment and not planning the next hour, let alone the next day, week, or month. But we were leaving London tomorrow and we had to make some decisions.
If you want to know where we went, keep reading.
Keep going…
A little farther…
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