I’ve just returned from spending 10 days with my wife Jan, our daughter Heather and granddaughter India in Brighton, England. Jan is there to take care of them while Heather has surgery. Last week I shared my adventures from the first five days. Here is my account of the last five.
The rain is back today with a vengeance, but you don’t notice it so much because of the freezing wind … I left Jan and Dixie wrapped up in their beds and made my way to the Brighton Marina today. (That must come as a big surprise!) Only a sailor would brave the weather just to visit a chandlery 10,000 miles from home.
I had a nice lunch of cod watching the waves crashing over the sea wall. Very, very nasty out there! Visited the lifeboat station (volunteer Coast Guard) and bought some mugs to support a great cause. Then I walked along the beach. Needless to say I had the whole place to myself except for a couple of muggers hiding under the Brighton Pier.
This must be the best beach in the world! Not a grain of sand anywhere. Just piles of pebbles the size of your fist.
For dinner tonight we ordered Turkish Take-Away (shish-kabobs delivered to your door). I can’t understand why no one wants to walk down to the corner pub with me. Not for the beer (yuk) — for the hot chocolate! You could never do that in America without turning in your Man-card: “Two guys walk into a bar and order a hot chocolate…” Here: no problem.
Winston Churchill said about the Brits and the Yanks, “We are two people separated by a common language.” The biggest change I’ve discovered since I turned 60 has been the loss of my hearing. I really need to get hearing aids. Combine that with the accents over hear and I might as well be deaf. Even when I can understand the words, I often don’t understand the meaning. Sweaters are jumpers and desserts are puddings. (And you thought a pudding was a dessert — silly American.)
While Jan and Dixie are doing much better (still coughing and sneezing and staying home), I can feel the Black Death knocking at my door. I was able to forage for food (and toilet paper) this morning, but I’m staying close to home tonight. Pass the OJ and tissues!
Hooray! The sun came out today and all three of us are up and feeling better (Jan, Dixie, and I). Unfortunately, little India began vomiting in the night — projectile vomiting actually. We spent the afternoon washing clothes, drapes, carpet, bedding and body parts. I am convinced the amount of sputum is inversely proportional to the age of the spewee. The other amazing thing is how they can be sick one moment and be laughing and jumping the next. Ahh to be two again.
Tonight Jan and I enjoyed English food at the pub around the corner. After her illness, Jan needed something bland and English food certainly fits the bill. I had “bangers and mash” (sausages and mashed potatoes) and Jan had something that was listed as a cheese-burger. Hey, not all English food is bad. I really like shish-kabobs (pronounced “kababs”) oh wait! That’s Turkish. I love their Thai food … oh wait …. Okay I love Krispy Kremes, KFC, Papa John’s Pizza, McDonalds and Starbucks. All of them are available within walking distance. Oh, I refused to go into a shop that was offering “Cornish Pasties” — I’m a Christian after all — until someone explained they’re pronounced “Pah-sties” and are a meat filled pastry served in the southwestern part of England. Not bad! And then Heather made the most wonderful Irish Stew — oh wait that’s Irish… It’s all so confusing.
Okay, I couldn’t resist one last post before I fly home. The sun is shining, my coffee is hot and little India is playing here at the kitchen table.
It’s been a good visit, but not at all what we planned. I’m glad I was here to help get everyone through the flu. I just hope I don’t bring it back to the states with me in the morning!
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in church on Sunday!