Friday, June 6, 2008

Tuesday in Harpenden

(Written en route to Cambridge, aboard British Railways)

A quiet, for the most part rainy day in Harpenden yesterday, at least for the first part. The grandchildren went off to school in the morning, and we spent the morning catching up with the blog and the laundry. I managed to get pictures posted for the last of my Moscow entries, and upload everything online. For lunch, we took a very pleasant walk to the center of Harpenden, and found a deli that served a cheese and chutney sandwich and a couple of side salads. Still hungry after our customary share, we indulged in pastries for dessert. Then on to the supermarket for a bit of price comparison and shopping.

The cost of everything seems high, here in England, compared to the US. We bought a package of granola, a tiny bottle of one percent milk, modest salad makings and not much else for 18 pounds sterling, and you roughly have to double the figure to arrive at dollars these days. On to WHSmith, where we checked out the books but were not tempted to buy. Outside, we were picked up by our grandchildren’s part-time nanny and drove to their school

to pick them up for an expedition to the toy store for an annual grandparental spoiling. Wouldn’t you know it : the Luton branch of Toys R Us?

The kids each found a treat for us to buy—something that’s always difficult for us from that transatlantic distance, so we were happy to fork out for something each of them really wanted.

Then back through the drizzle—and between nice English hedgerows and fields—to Harpenden, where it was soon time for the children’s dinner and a quick change of clothes for their karate class. A kick to watch our little six-year old grandtwins scrambling around the gym floor with some much bigger kids, and learning some of the basics of the martial art.

Time, afterwards, for dinner and another early bed, too early to check out any election results from the US. We are both travel weary…

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