...as a continuing Project, to be added to from time to time...in Comments...as may you comment...lol
April 29, 2014
I am in London and there is an Underground Transportation Strike when I arrive at London Heathrow Airport...madness everywhere...see attached link with pictures.
The would take you two stations and then you'd have to transfer by foot to a different station...up and down...
It was just like being in the Nam...carrying 70 lbs of weight up and down huge series of steps in and out of this Underground Station or that...transferring to this station or that....trying to get myself down to Tottingham Court Road or better yet, Goodge Street Station. It was a miserable hike, floods of people parting to pass me as I heft my heavy load up even ever more flights of stairs.
Michael, my brother is so on my side always, that I think this gives me the opportunity to think critically of myself, and I thank for giving me this, really. But that being said, I still think this trip is about regaining my strength, I know I'll never be strong-strong again, but I can become less of a whiny priss, and disproving my rehab doctors wrong is a significant motivator...I will get better.
Michael's argument is that I wouldn't be almost seventy lugging 70 pounds of luggage up and down an endless series of steps amid a surging throng of people unless I was already strong. Michael has a point.
The problem with the transportation strike is that you never know which stations will be open, or even which lines. So when I went out yesterday after dropping off my luggage at my mini-apartment and cooking up a 3 egg ham and cheese omelette in my kitchen...it was all serrendipity....Embankment Station was closed, so get off at Charring Cross, (so named because it was the last of 12 crosses erected by Edward after the death of his wife in 1290AD in her honor...who couldn't love London with names like this?)...wander Trafalgar Square down to St. James Park, sit down and then like in a Disney movie, a squirrel is sitting on my ankle, I'm listening to wild song birds sing in a setting sun when Michael calls my new European number...it startles me.
I tell him that with the strike on, I have no idea how I'll get back to my apartment, maybe London buses...but, he laughs when I say:
For all my troubles, life is good...how can you not be happy in London?
6:00am April 30
I had a delightful 2 hour breakfast with a London Solicitor (lawyer) turned Japanese fusion chef. His father was very disappointed in him;I do not normally do a 2 hour breakfast, but since we were in a communal kitchen with our apartments surrounding this living area atop this townhouse...it was hard to avoid this longish conversation and he seemed to need validation for this choice of his....it is like the Australian people I met yesterday at the British Supreme Court down across Parliament Square & Westminster Abby...it is your life lad and law can be a terrible profession...or a loving comfort.
I have never been to Buckingham Palace for all my time in London...I'm off to see the Queen's Gallery today, then coffee at the Tate Modern Museum, thrid floor balcony facing the Thames, if I can get there with the strike and all.
Tomorrow of course I have tickets for Shakespeare's Globe Theater on Bankside.
Last night, as with most nights, I woke up with a fire burning from within me...like a hotplate glowing; for most people, burning is experienced from the outside...for me it is from the inside out and the burning is the worst of my pain. This is my permanent nerve damage, permanent being permanent. I sit groggy on the side of my bed and reach for my brain meds, realizing that my real problem is that I have a very bad sunburn across my forehead...somewhere today I must find some SPF 50 Sun Screen and I laugh...
Hey, I'm in London
Best Wishes, Traveller