Sunday, September 15, 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Trying to catch my breath while the train departs London Paddington station en route to Wales.  Cheryl kindly drove me to the Victoria Airport yesterday afternoon for my 25 minute flight to Vancouver.  Once in Vancouver I had about an hour before I boarded my flight to London Heathrow.

It was a long flight – about 9 hours, but I did manage to get almost four hours of sleep.  Would have liked more but it wasn’t to be.  So its now 3:30am Victoria time and I’ve just started my afternoon in Britain.

Been thinking about Beth a lot today.  I recall our ‘Dai-boken’ or grand adventure to Japan.  Now it’s just me on the next grand adventure.  It felt very weird to have been packed a couple of days early.  And while I still have a lot of luggage, it’s not anything like it was when travelling with Beth.  No wheelchair, no oxygen concentrator with three fully charged batteries, and no need to dedicate a whole bag to medical supplies – break packs, pills, Gatorade and the list goes on.  And the best part is that I didn’t have to watch her go into seizures, pass out and stop breathing during ascents and descents. 

The down side is that I don’t have her beside me sharing the adventure.  We had seen so many parts of the world together.  She told me a few months before she died that once she was gone I should go on a safari.  I had dragged her with me to various IMAX films about Africa and also watched several BBC documentaries together.  The last one we watched at IMAX decided it for her – too much motion for her, too much heat and far too many bugs.  It would have been impossible for her.

Even I’m having concerns about whether my body will endure the long flights and the bumpy roads while on the safari. I’m sure after a good night’s sleep I’ll feel more positive.  Feeling a little draggy at the moment.

It’s an overcast day in London – now there’s the London I remember!  I don’t expect Wales to be much different.  I’m spending three days in Britain before flying on to Nairobi.  I’m hoping to catch up with several friends in Wales while I’m here.  My friend Nicci is letting me stay at her place, which I really appreciate.

Just about bedtime for me.  Nicci picked me up from Newport’s city centre amidst the rain which was "tipping" (pouring) down.  We got to her place in time for a quick cuppa before heading into Cardiff.  We had "tea" (dinner) at a pub where I was able to have a proper Sunday dinner – roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and roasted potatoes.  It was on my list of favourite things to eat while in Britain.  After dinner we went to the church I used to go to – City URC Church for “the Gathering”.  It’s an LGBT+ group which meets weekly to sing some worship songs, have a discussion about being an LGBT+ Christian.  Got to meet up with another friend of mine which was lots of fun.

I miss going to an open and affirming church.  Think I’ll look for something similar in Victoria when I get back.  It was wonderful meeting up old and new friends.

Funny story… I had forgotten that in Britain it isn’t uncommon to leave the pub with your pint glass in hand.  I hadn’t finished my cider with my dinner before our meeting started so I was encouraged to take it with.   So there I was singing worship songs and drinking my cider.  A bit of a surreal experience.

After our meeting half of us headed back to the pub to return my glass and have another round.  Haven’t drunk this much cider since I left Wales.  I’m out of practice – but I figured it will help me have a good night’s sleep.

Talk to you tomorrow.



Christianne said...

I think of Beth and you often, Linda, and I am sure she is with you, in spirit, on your journey (and, if still blogging, would no doubt have many interesting observations about the drinking-and-praying combo!)

Anonymous said...

Read your post through tears, having first reread the June 10 entry. Have a GREAT trip, Linda! Thank you for taking us along, if you choose to do so.

I get the feeling Elizabeth wouldn't want her memory to be excess baggage on this, your very own dai-boken. But as Christianne says, I'm sure Beth is with you in spirit.

Love and zen hugs,
Using my Beloved's 'puter, so I'll be anonymous for today. :)

wendryn said...

Sounds like a good start to a grand adventure! Thank you for writing and for letting us virtually tag along.

I think of Beth a lot; every time I see Katja's name written out on her wall (her grandma did a cross stitch for her) I am reminded of her.

I'm reading a silly and amusing series of books. One of the characters goes to church "mellow", which is to say that she drinks a bit of whiskey first. Your cider at church made me laugh, remembering that character!

I hope you have a wonderful time!