Sunday, April 19, 2009

Arriving Home...

... and driving to our house through downtown Los Angeles, we noted that the temperature stood at 99 degrees. Our home in the hills was slightly cooler, at 95. Having left England only a few hours earlier with temperatures in the fifties, it was something of a shock.

From home, then, a few last words about our last day in England. The morning was devoted to a bit of grocery shopping--we always bring home a good stack of tea bags, and had also decided to make sandwiches for the plane. And a good cup of coffee on the main street in Harpenden. The off to lunch with the family at another pub, The Wicked Lady, where we all posed for a picture by our waiter...

... and I for one with each of my granddaughters...



I seem to have missed the chance for one with Joe. Too bad.

A good lunch, then, and a drive into St. Albans, where Ellie and Diane had chosen to indulge in a different kind of shopping whilst Matthew and I took the children down to the lovely park below the cathedral. We fed the ducks and swans...




... and found a moorhen's nest, with mother-to-be sitting on it in the middle of the lake...


... and a grassy slope that proved to be great for rolling down...


... somewhat to Matthew's distress, since it produced results like this...


... with the children's clothes. "I'll be dead meat," I think his comment was, anticpating Diane's reaction. We managed to assuage our guilt, however, with a stop at the ice cream van...


By one of those no-coincidence coincidences, we ran into my friend Ben and his son-in-law at the park, and accepted their invitation to stop by for a cup of tea. A great opportunity for Ben and I to sit in the rather chilly sunlight behind the house and engage in further conversation about the strange directions and indirections of our lives.

Back to Harpenden for an excellent chicken dinner, family pictures on the wide-screen television, after a few technical hitches. And then bed. Up early this morning to catch the flight to Los Angeles and the return home.

3 comments:

Robin said...

what a wonderful joy..

Thanks for sharing.

Nancy Youdelman said...

Welcome home! Your trip was fabulous! Once again, thanks for sharing it. :-)

What a nice last day you both had and what a good photo of all of you at the pub. Photos like those are so important and I know that I wish I had more of them.

Too bad about the heat wave, it is very hot up here also (central calif).

Arriving home after international travel is a bit of a shock for many reasons. After a month in Japan with everyone so polite, bowing and respectful, I was blown away by a couple having a shrieking fight with a cab driver at LAX.

Gary said...

How lovely your family is with joy and big hearts brings me back to my early days with my French
grandma Mimi who used to play the piano after cooking for all 20 kids and friends. So sweet to be refreshed by your journey to your roots.

All the bright flowers fresh grass and open markets
are wonderful and the rivers full of birds...