It’s been a busy week, but very enjoyable.
After leaving Amaravati, my friends took me to a celebratory birthday brunch, where I enjoyed a full English breakfast. Unlike, our typically sweet American breakfast, the English breakfast is more savory. A full breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, roasted tomatoes, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms, and fried bread. And if you haven’t heard of it, black pudding is more like a sausage. Upon discovering the ingredients, one might say “yuck!”, but it’s actually very tasty. Really!
On Monday Gricel and I went to London. She had a harp lesson, and while she was thus engaged, I spent nearly an hour in Tesco’s, a grocery store, marveling at all the unique foods that are here. Afterwards we stood in two separate queues for the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel with glass “cages”, and a Thames River cruise. The time in queues (waiting in line) was probably longer than the time on the attractions, but worth doing once.
Tuesday was spent doing home projects at the house of Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, then back to Amaravati for the evening. His sister and BIL had gone on vacation, and I was able to get my dog fix by dog sitting until their appointed person could come a few days later.
Wednesday was spent walking along the canal in Berkhamstead, rewarded with giant scones and clotted cream. Unlike the triangular hockey pucks that are served at Starbucks, true scones are closer to what North Americans call “biscuits”, often with currants or other fruit. They’re best slathered with clotted cream (sort of somewhere between whipped cream and butter) and jam, but views vary widely.
On Thursday, we went out to Stratford on Avon to see Shakespeare’s home. On the way there, I enjoyed a trip down memory lane when we drove through my old stomping grounds of RAF Upper Heyford. I knew the base had been decommissioned, and would look very different, and it certainly did. The airfield is now a giant car park/storage, and many of the buildings have been torn dow and replaced by new houses. I stood in the new neighborhood where my old dormitory was and marveled at the change. There were still enough of the old buildings remaining to provide some nostalgia, and the place was nice to see. It feels like I was there in another life, as so many things have changed there and in my own life in the 30 plus years since I’ve been there.
Today Gricel and I will head out to Chithurst Buddhist monastery to contemplate impermanence (and other things). I’ll leave you with more photos to enjoy until I get back online.