Monday, May 31, 2010

Spring Bank Holiday

Today is the Spring Bank Holiday in England. The U.S. is celeberating Memorial Day.

I think it is an International weather pattern that Mother Nature must remind us that Summer is not yet upon us, even though we wish to pretend it is. is reporting 8 C / 46 F and the skies are thickly grey. Rain is not falling at the moment, but appears to have done so recently and the wind has the England Football (soccer) flags gaily flying.

While I would have guessed that having three days on my own could have either been constructed of  fantastical adventures about London or achingly filled with solitude being confined to a hotel room lacking in furniture or appliances, I've used it for something I've frequently longed for: a three day weekend without a list or agenda.

I did have things to be done. Expenses, sorting my luggage for my upcoming business/holiday trip, spending uninterrupted time with my new work application, etc. I've allowed time for reading books and newspapers, watching movies, going to the cinema, sleeping late, napping and tub soaking.

I've often wished I could devote a full three-day weekend to relaxing as so many other people do. My work responsibilities for many years have tapped into at least one day of them for so many years. I'm appreciative of the time and ability to experience them now.

And Mother Nature, I think, for me, you've helped that along considerably this weekend. A perfect rainy and cold incentive to hunker down and turn inward. Thanking you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Annointing of the Sick

Today at Mass, during the priests homily, a man became ill. The deacon quietly left his post and checked on the man (several others were too). The priest noted the problem and asked the congregation if he should continue or if we wanted him to stop. The group indicated it was OK to carry on. After a few minutes the Decon returned to his position to assist the Priest. The Priest indicated he should go back and he carried on on his own. The priest let us know help had been called.

I noticed the ill man was still sitting up, but not moving. Not responding to anyone. The Deacon again quietly slipped away to the cabinet where the holy oils are kept...for what was formerly called Last Rites, now Annointing of the Sick. He carried the oil up to the Priest, whispered a few words, and the Priest went to the man and annointed him.

I prayed hard as I'm sure the Cathedral full of parishioners did.

Help arrived. Very quietly, without fanfare (I've seen that several times here - nice). The gentleman finally started moving and they took him out, just in a wheel chair.

The gentleman was 90-something and his three daughters were there with him.

After it was over, the lady sitting beside me introduced herself. I'm so bad with names, I've forgotten it, but I will look her up again.

I love the parish/Cathedral here and have felt very much at home with it.

Blessings abound.

Monday, May 17, 2010

As Teri's World Turns

Here's my itinerary for today

6:00am snooze, snooze, snooze. I'm in a new hotel room because of a leaky window and massive rain last night. I'm on the east side of the building. The sun is blazing in this morning.

6:30am Check my flight scheduled for today: Destination closed, departure open. Will update at noon. That's when I wanted to leave for the airport. Co-worker's U.S flight was turned mid-Atlantic. Options: he can leave Tuesday at the soonest, unless maybe they add more flights Monday. His words: Situation fluid.

7:00am I think about options. I need three hours of train connections to get to the airport and was planning to give it four or five (rush hour). I wanted to leave the office at 11:00 to check out, eat lunch, etc. I need to check out of hotel by noon. I won't know until noon if I need to recheck in. I need Internet connection to do anything so I'll need to be at the office now until noon.

I have two flights a day from here to there: 7am or 7pm. The former requires a hotel stay near the airport or I would be riding trains all night. I chose the 7pm departure so I could stay "home" (my local hotel) and ride trains during the day. If I had chosen the 7am flight for today, I would have found myself at the airport and my flight cancelled.

I think tonight, I'll just stay at the hotel and get out as soon as I can. Worst case scenario I read lots of books in the next two days. It is weird to be so close to the city/Airports and yet so far.

Maybe I'll just take a train the whole way. Wouldn't that be fun?

Stay tuned for the next episode.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cream Tea

I apologise for lack of details here. I've seen so much, that sometimes the places blur. But...I can still, in my mind,  see the lovely restaurant that was recommended to me, where I was advised to have Cream Tea.

I have been spoilt.

Now I wander the streets of London on the weekends in search of this lovely, lovely, delicacy.

This past weekend was a failure. The clerk at the Palace gift shop recommended a place, which I knew of, but was quite a bit away. I thought, sighting a doorman to a five start hotel, that he surely could direct me. His fancy coat was just that, he did  not even know what I was talking out (where is he from anyway?!?).

Did I mention I skipped breakfast AND lunch in anticipation?  (I was rewarded with a great Paella though  - but only because I discovered Borough Market is closed on Sunday).

Even signs for tea houses disappointed me this weekend past.

Do I have to buy my own ingredients to indulge?

Perhaps a trip back to Herrods will quell the desire?

Must locate Cream Tea.

Abundance of Light

Summer Days in the UK is a strange phenomenon. Given it is pre-Summer and here, and still bloody cold (gloves), I hear Summer isn't defined as hot (nor is it in Utah I hear), but the days start early and go on forever.

I set my alarm for 5:30. Why, oh why? when I don't have to be to work until 9:00. It feels,  at 5:30,  like I'm missing out on the day. It's fully bright and usually cloudless. At 9:30 at night it is still a little dusky. And we have five more weeks to add on to this.

I get up and walk and walk and walk. And then I come back, clean up, get ready for work and do something else for awhile. And then walk (3 minutes) to work. After work it is still light. I usually do some more. I'm really racing through the audio books!

I have a 9th story view of the area and a really great map. Between the view and the map, I'm finding all the nooks and crannies of the town. I know the cut throughs and cut offs. It's really lovely having town and country at my feet.

I know my winters will be exactly the opposite. I'm  making hay while the sunshines.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

This So Describes Me

PostSecret hit it again.

(a beautiful shot of Edinburgh)

Rainy Day

Today is very soggy. I've heard this happens in England, but have yet to have experienced it. I thought about hopping the train to London and doing a museum. I've saved them for days such as this, but there's something else begging to be done.


Yes, a nothing day.

I'm still in my pyjamas, sipping tea, getting caught up on friends and lists and the like that sometimes I don't have time to properly do. I'm looking at maps, making plans, revisiting places in my mind through the pictures I've taken. I'm contented. I'm resting.

I have only one small wish....that I had a kitty to share it with.

11.31 update. I'm bored.

Friday, May 07, 2010

How To Pee In Liverpool Street or Victoria Stations

This post is not meant to offend. I repeat. This post is not meant to offend. It is to be an aid for those who must and therefore shall and wish to commence with their "duty" without swearing like a sailor.

How To Pee In Liverpool Street or Victoria Stations
A Definitive Guide to Preparation and Poise

1) Be prepared to carry your luggage down the stairs. If prepared, one won't be witnessed grunting or swearing. If carried with grace, gentlemen are more likely to offer to assist.

2) Have thirty pence at your disposal. Either in 20/10p  or 10 p increments. (Not 5p nor 2p nor penny.)
2a) If you are a kind soul, have additional coins available, as others may not. Whilst the potty dance is amusing when it isn't you, it COULD be you.

3) If carrying luggage, use the luggage gate to enter. If one attempts to use the conventional turnstile with luggage, the luggage may get caught and the potty dance may be required. The attendant is not always available to disengange you.

4)  Once inside the potty area, if with luggage, do not attempt to locate a larger handicapped stall in which to take your things. Remember the stairs? There is not one. I repeat. There is not a larger stall for you to locate.

5) Enter your stall, check the seat for dampness, hoist your suitcase onto the toilet, lean in, shut and lock the door. Remove case from toilet, place against door. Proceed with business.

6) Flush.

7) Check toilet for dampness, hoist your suitcase onto the toilet, lean in, unlock and open the door. Remove suitcase from toilet.

8) Proceed with hygiene procedures. Don't forget to watch as the Dyson hand dryer makes your skin wiggle. For added amusement give bets on if your jewellery will be sucked into the abyss too.

9) Use luggage turnstile to exit. If one attempts to use the conventional turnstile with luggage, the luggage may get caught and those on the other site may commence with potty dance replete with daggers.

10) At Liverpool Street Station proceed to escalator. At Victoria Station haul luggage up the stairs. If one gunts and goes very, very slowly, ALL the people behind will offer to carry luggage to the top.

11) Proceed to the Cronwall Pasty (pronounced "past E") shop and order either a lamb and mint pasty or a haggis, neeps and tatties pasty and proceed to board your next scheduled (pronounced "shed-uled") train.