... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These are from Walt's sister's  fridge

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Talk about it here.


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Edward Rutherfurd


British News


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!


16 September 2001

It's difficult to think of writing "How I'm spending my autumn vacation" when the horror continues and the country is on the brink of war.

Here in London, people are moving on. Sitting at breakfast this morning I realized that people were reading the sports pages and that the headlines about New York no longer dominated. US news is now the lead story, but followed by local stories. It's so difficult to get a sense of what it must be like living in the US right now.

The Great Northern race (a half-marathon) was held today. 40,000 entrants and prior to the start, they had a one minute silence in honor of the victims. As was our experience in Waterloo Station two days ago, it was eerie. Going from the pre-race noise to total silence as all stood, with heads bowed, for a full minute following the chaplain's prayers for the victims and for us all.

The difficult thing is that this is the first non-territorial war. We aren't trying to hold onto territory or take over territory, or help an ally defend its territory. We are fighting ideology, it's a war of retribution, of punishment...and when do you know that you've "won," whichever side you're on? We are headed into uncharted waters and it's so frightening. I have read very little -- almost nothing -- of what other journalers have been writing and I feel very detached from...just about everything. I will be very glad to be home, but have another week to go before that happens.

But we got away from it yesterday. We took the train to Brighton, where we met our friend diane, who gave all of us (the 6 Americans) a tour of "The Lanes" (narrow streets where jewelers and artisans have expensive shops), and the Royal Pavillion--that tribute to opulence.

We had lunch in the Royal Pavillion and then watched street musicians, and then walked back to the train station for the trip to diane's home town of Seaford. She took us on a driving tour around the countryside, where we saw one of the chalk horses carved into the mountains, and "The Long Man of Wilmington," the chalk figure of a man, which may date to 1000 years ago--nobody knows for sure.

We stopped for tea in the village of Alfrison (I think), an old village with a 16th century priory, with its thatched roof.

And then we ended the day at diane's for a barbecue. diane's home defies description, as it is populated by a husband, 3 bright and "challenging" daughters and then the menagerie: 4 dogs, 8 cats, 2 indoor birds, chinchillas, ducks, chickens, guinea pigs, rats, an aviary, and perhaps others that I've forgotten.

She also has the most amazing garden I've ever seen, with a self-sustaining fruit garden that has just about every kind of fruit that can be grown in that part of Britain, plus a separate vegetable garden that is just as large as the fruit garden.

We had a wonderful barbecue, done by diane's husband Andrew and the man she refers to as her "toy boy" (there with his wife), including barbecued meats and salads with ingredients and herbs from the garden.

We had a precipitous end to the evening, as time had flown and we had to be rushed back to the train station just in time to catch the train back to London.

It was a very full day, devoid of any news whatsoever, which was both disconcerting, and a relief.

When we returned to the hotel, we said our goodbyes to Ellen and Rob, who were headed to the airport at about 6 a.m., having been told to arrive at least 4 hours ahead of time. Now there are only four of us--Mary and her mother, Walt and I. We will be hanging around London for another couple of days. Mary and her mother have gone to Stratford today; Walt and I got a late start (combination of sleeping late [him], watching David Frost's take on things, going to Mass [him]. But we are going to the matinee of The Vagina Monologues, if he can get tickets, and then back to the hotel.

We are sort of at sixes and sevens about what to do with our extra time here, but will probably go to the British Museum tomorrow. Now that I'm reading so much fictionalized stuff about prehistoric times, I'd like to go back and look at some of the artifcats.

And that's the news from the roving reporter today. I feel torn most days, like I shouldn't be here enjoying myself, but not having any other choice. The flags still fly at half staff all over town and there are concerned reporters everywhere, but it's easy to be "distracted" in a town which is not directly affected by the attack.

One Year Ago:
Stuff and Nonsense

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 9/5/01 by Bev Sykes