London Journal – Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We arrived at Heathrow Airport (the new Terminal No. 5) about 6:15 AM, after an uneventful flight. Dinner on the plane the evening before was a tasty salmon meal.

In this new terminal a large mural displays a quote of Samuel Johnson, English poet and writer (1709-1784):
“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.”
Dr. Johnson, if only you could see London now!

This time no one was available to meet us in an automobile, so we dragged our luggage (three peices plus a very fat and heavy briefcase) to the Underground, onto the train, up and down stairs at an Underground transfer, and then, on land, the seven blocks to our hotel, two long blocks being a steep up grade! Our friend Val came to meet us on the street and lugged one of our bags for us. Fortunately, these days luggage has wheels; otherwise I don’t see how we would have managed. I could, of course, have called a taxi, but I was far too cheap – I mean, frugal – for that.

Because of several considerations, which I will not go into here, we are staying at the same small, clean Hollingbury Hotel here in Harlesden where stayed in June. The two male desk attendants on duty, whom we know well and count as our friends, welcomed us warmly.

Here is the Hollingbury.

We spent time with Val reviewing the work ahead of us.
Took naps.
Took bus 18 to downtown London to look for the Green Man pub we recalled from our June visit. Found it with the kind assistance of a cheerful pair of Brits sitting opposite us on the bus. For you who know or love London detail, this pub is just across the street from the Great Portland Street Underground station, not far from the south entrance to Regent’s Park.

For those who care about English fare, you might want to know that JoLene ordered fish and chips, and I, recalling our positive experience here last June, ordered again the Sunday roast lamb with Yorkshire pudding, a pastry with a soggy base from sitting in gravy, which I described in a June blog.

JoLene went to bed early and slept about 14 hours.

I called my brother Del and learned that our mother will be discharged from rehab to go to her own home on Friday (thanks be to God!), with no further physical therapy needed. Mother will need limited assistance for some time.

After staying up late to do ministry work, I went to bed filled with happy anticipation for what lies ahead.

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