Sunday, October 19, 2008

The England Diary

Wednesday, Oct 15

Arrived at Heathrow after getting a bare 4 hours' sleep, sponsored by Prince Valium. Broke my fast on a scary airline croissant that was the only alternative to chewing the seat cover. Napped for one hour before touring Woking, the place where HG Wells wrote "The War of the Worlds."

Thursday, Oct 16

Visited Blenheim Castle, birthplace of Winston Spencer Churchill and current home of the Duke of Marlborough. Gorgeous estate, although I'm told that since the aristocracy is short on cash, it's supported by the fees paid by visitors. A pennant flying above the place indicated the Duke was in residence but he didn't invite me for tea. Bastard.

Stopped in Oxford on the way back. All college towns are the same.

Friday, Oct 17

Trolled about London, people-watching and marveling at how at home I always feel there. Visited the London Zoo, where I saw I spur-thighed tortoise (ouch!) and a reticulated python. I'd like to be a reticulated something. Had dinner in Covent Garden, where there was a tasty tomato vegetable soup and an incredible dessert of a gingerbread pudding (in American terms, a cupcake), sitting in a pool of toffee with a spoon of clotted cream. Mama.

Saturday, Oct 18

Visited Windsor Castle, country home of the monarch and her family. Tremendous place with ten million drawing rooms and one space known as "Queen's Presence Chamber." Not sure what happens in that room. The queen was in residence that day, and, again, I was not invited for tea. Pretty cheeky behavior, if you think about it, from a monarch whose son got divorced and whose grandson isn't really hers. (That's right, I said it!)

Sunday, Oct 19

Got to Heathrow in plenty of time for a noon flight. Watched "Sex and the City" movie on the way back and wondered how anyone can really sympathize with the travails of a bunch of thin, rich, successful women. Also wondered just when Sarah Jessica Parker turned into the hag that tried to eat Tom Cruise in "Legend."

***

With this trip behind me, scratch item #4 of the Great October Dash. Now for the Halloween party!

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