“I’m leaving because the weather is too good,” said Groucho Marx, “I hate London when it’s not raining.” Well, Groucho would’ve loved London when we were there! From the get-go, there were gray skies, strong winds, and periodic downpours. It was cold, as well, at times very cold! Much like our eating situation — more on that in another post — the weather really cut into our time…
… if we chose to look at life that way.
Instead, we tried making the best of things, using our down time to get settled in, to plan out our days, and to catch up with some much needed sleep. Jet lag is a real thing, as we learned, and London is five-hours ahead of Michigan’s Eastern Standard Time! This also allowed Athanasius some space to get over the sickness he’d be battling for over a week; in the days leading up to our flight he had a fever, dark rings under his eyes, a persistent cough, and no interest in food. So sleep was desperately needed, and the rain made it easy… for all of us.
We also decided to watch some British TV, getting a sense for their news and popular culture. (It’s BBC everything over there!) We watched the U.K. vs. France soccer game (they call it football), caught up with the news about terror attacks in Paris, and discovered that Trinity Broadcast Network (and John “Blood Moon” Hagee) has an audience on the other side of the pond! Children’s programing isn’t nearly as loaded with adult humor and innuendo, but it’s also pretty low quality. Commercials are no different, really, still serving as a sort of parable with a problem in need of the sort of fixing only made possible with the use of this or that gimmick or gadget. No direct-to-consumer drug ads, though, which was very strange given just how inundated American TV viewers are with such Big Pharma marketing schemes. There were more American shows on British TV than British shows on American TV and the show selections were really funny; shows like Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, Xena, and Hercules were on the air but they also had classics like Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Matlock — that last one cracked me up! And apart from there being a predictable amount of programming dedicated to the royalty and elites, most stations stopped airing sometime during the night, resuming the next morning… or being committed entirely to teleshopping. This landed us listening to BBC Radio stations, dozing off to classical jazz and orchestral selections.
Not too bad — not too bad at all!
After a few days, the storm clouds began to roll away, the rain dropping only here and there, and the winds being bagged up for another blustery day during our stay. It was this second night that really set the tone for the remainder of our trip, that settled deep in our hearts a resolve that just as much (or even more!) than the sites and sounds of London, our grandest of memories would likely be those made in the meantime, in those occasions traveling from one place to another or while reflecting on our day while listening to music in bed… and it all began with a magical midnight stroll to the London Eye.
To be continued…
Drunk on a dream come true,
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