... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These are from Walt's sister's  fridge

AN-giraf2.jpg (7991 bytes)

another giraffe

* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


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Edward Rutherfurd


Life with Judy Garlad: Me and My Shadows


Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page

Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.

Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.

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That's it for today!


15 September

This is not where I want to be today, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Who knew when we made our plans so many months ago that the world would have changed so drastically by now?

We have changed hotels and our new (more "utilitarian") hotel has no CNN, so we are left with only British coverage of what's going on. Last night attention started shifting to how this country has been affected by the attack. Losses are expected to be in the "middle hundreds" and their faces are starting to be on the covers of periodicals.

I woke up at my usual pre-dawn time this morning, but with no 24 hr cybercafe in walking distance, I had nothing to do but sit there in the dark and wait until 7 a.m., at which time I figured it was late enough it wouldn't be so bad if the TV woke Walt, so I started watching coverage again.

The queen ordered a special changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and they played "The Star Spangled Banner," which moved me (and the people gathered at the palace) to tears. Flowers are piling up under the statue of FDR at the American Embassy and expressions of sympathy are everywhere.

All the flags all over London (presumably all over the country) are flying at half staff and today was also declared a day of mourning here.

There was a multidenominational prayer service at St. Paul's this afternoon, which the Queen attended, but they started queueing up to get in at 7 a.m. and we knew it would be impossible, though we all really wanted to be there.

We decided to go ahead with the plans we made months ago, which was to go to Hampton Court. It was good to get out and away from TV coverage.

We took the tube to Waterloo Station and arrived at 5 minutes to 11, when they were announcing over the loudspeaker that at 11 a.m., everyone would observe 3 minutes of silence in memory of those who had died.

We had just reached the station itself when 11 arrived and it was so eerie. Not a soul moved. The trains shut down. And there was total silence, except for the flapping of the wings of the pigeons flying into the station. People wiped tears away (I was among them).

After 3 minutes it was like someone had clicked a button and life picked up where it left off and the noise and the motion continued.

We continued on down to Hampton Court, the residence of Henry VIII. A lovely residence on the Thames (which reminded us of our boat trip in May, as we passed over the river from the train station to the palace).

We spent the day touring Hampton Court, scones and clotted cream in the tea room in the gardens, a tour of the maze (diane knows how to get around a maze without getting lost). Walt and Rob had such a good time they did it twice, while Ellen, diane and I sat on a bench and waited for them.

The necessary stop at the ubiquitous gift shop and then back to the train. Everyone was reading papers with headlines about the national day of mourning. We passed one headline--The Times, I think with blaring headlines: BUSH SAYS THIS IS WAR. I still want to know who we are going to war with. Walt pointed out that Bush had to say it was war or he wouldn't be able to use Social Security funds. (Walt is a cynic).

We got back to the hotel in time to meet up with Mary and her mother, who had taken a bus tour of London, and we all walked about 20 minutes to an Italian restaurant. I think all that walking I've been doing lately has paid off. I'm tired and sore, but by comparison to our last trip, I'm keeping up fairly well. I'm lagging behind everyone, but I'm not feeling like I'm about to die this time. This is an improvement. I also think I may have lost a smidgen of an inch in the derriere because I fit in the tube seats that have arms on them, which I didn't before. This is nothing striking, but I take it as encouraging.

Tomorrow is our day in Brighton (Hove, actually), seeing the Royal Pavillion and ending the afternoon at diane's, meeting her family, the menagerie, which includes a husband, a toy boy, 3 kids and lots of animals of varying types.

Ellen and Rob are scheduled to fly home on Sunday, but still aren't sure whether they can get out or not. We are staying around until the 19th and then flying to Orkney, and we figure we're probaby safe, since it's not likely someone is going to hijack a 40 seat plane from Edinburgh to Orkney. But things are so crazy right now, who knows?

I'm feeling detached from things right now and it doesn't feel right. I shouldn't be here. I should be with the other people I love. But I can't. All I can do is send all the love I have and hang on to email to know that we are all still safe.

I love you... May we all be safe.

One Year Ago:
Jelly Belly World

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 9/5/01 by Bev Sykes