HOME SWEET HOME FOR NOW…OFF TO LONDON & SALISBURY ENGLAND FOR UK TOUR

         Well I’ve been back a month and am having an anxiety attack.  HELP.  Sick of filling out forms, surveys, why uninstalling, why buying this, how was you service, thank you for your service, please take time to answer this, …W T F you know everything already.  The horse is out of the barn.  You can’t take it back.  West Virginia…here I come.  No forwarding address.  Just an empty house…keeping Oaxaca apartment to keep me grounded.  Thinking of …Japan or Sedona?  Any suggestions.  International Living has a thousand.
      Give me this Chantilly Lace  keep the crap.
      I attended my second week of services at the Unitarian Universalists Church to hear a sermon/lecture by a man that teaches tolerance and getting together…beyond the polite.  Problem was my tinnitus.  I couldn’t tell if he was speaking in a mike or not.  The first speakers I didn’t understand at all.

       Tried to get my Arizona Travel Pass at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  I have a passport, global entry pass, a passport card, a health card all with photos, etc…now my Social Security card is not proof that I have Social Security and not having worked for anyone in 40 years I don’t have a W-2 or a pay stub so had to rifle through my taxes from last year to produce my SSA-1090 to show them in addition to my discharge papers from the Army, my passport card, a statement from SSN to me at my address, drivers license, and something else….I go back in line today and try again!@#$%

        I injured my leg doing “chair exercises” so wore a knee brace and stopped exercising until it gets better.  The Shingles shot in my shoulder muscle now matches the pain I have from tendinitis in my other shoulder.

       A driver in the car in front of me in the Costco gas line, backed right into me. We got out to inspect the damage.  He was quite shaken and apologetic but not noticing any real damage I told him not to worry.  When it was my turn, he pulled ahead, got out of his car and put his credit card in my pump and paid for my fill up.  He said the world needs more kind people, then thanked me again and walked off.
   Well I’ve booked June in London with a tour of UK and a week in Glasgow before the first 3 weeks of July in Amsterdam.  Marjorie dropped me at the airport for my flight to Dublin with a stop in Chicago…with a half hour to connect my international flight at a gate over a mile away.  I did and just in time for the midnight express to Dublin.

  We arrived on time, collected my bag, went through customs and then checked my bag on Air Lingis for London at noon.

I arrived in London but my bag didn’t so after filing out a claim it was 2:30 by the time I caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington station to discover the Tube line to Tower of London was closed on Sunday for ????

I was directed to Embankment where I had to transfer to another line that dropped me at the Tower and after a short walk I was in the ultra modern Hub Premier Hotel with a pretty fancy closet of a room with excellent location I soon found out.

I was an Assistant Housekeeper of a 500 room Holiday Inn in my younger days.  Had 50 Maids and 25 Housemen.  Each of 15 floors had 30 rooms…if they were this size it would have been 90 rooms for each floor. A nice touch is that the elevator greets you by your name then posts a message on the mirror when you enter…Hello David Taylor…then message…I hope you enjoy exploring London?

Try walking to the Walkie-Talkie building…or in the morning ..

I DID

Try our delious Grilled Cheddar Sandwich for breakfast…you get the point but each time you step in it says…Welcome David Taylor…new world…I liked the elevator man that would greet you with Good Morning Mr Taylor I trust you had a good nights rest? My last day the elevator posted a message on the mirror…leave your key at the desk when you check out today.
      I had to nap and was hoping I could sleep through till morn but around 10:30 I awoke so decided a drink was in order but the lobby was closed and Hamin
explained all of London on Sunday in that area was closed…no food no drink.  The good news was my bag arrived so I took it and a free herbal tea to my room and ate the last peanut butter sandwich while I unpacked.

ANOTHER TSA SEARCH BUT TRASHED MY NEATLY PACKED SUITCASE!!

 I watched a bit of BBC before finally falling asleep around 2:30 am thinking I would wake around 10 am and go for an exploratory walk of my neighborhood for breakfast.  Bill Clinton was being interviewed and like all media the lady pointed out that 20 years ago Bill apoligized to Monica publicly but failed to apoligized personally.  Bill said that he is glad the Presidency is only for 2 four year terms because unless the American Public voted him out, the only way he would have left the White House was in a Pine Box.

   I finally got up at 4 pm!  Breakfast was not available so I had the lunch $5 (pounds) special of juice and sandwich which ended at 2 pm but she was gracious and made me a bacon toastie with a glass of juice.

Add caption
CHARGE SMART PHONE WHILE HAVING BREAKFAST
WHILE WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY IN ALL DIRECTIONS

My English pounds I had saved from my last trip were no good.  Had to take them to the bank the next day to have them exchanged as they were too old…like me.
        I walked a bit until I found a Market open down the street to buy some toothpaste then returned after buying a sandwich and cookie take away that the nice lady at the hotel informed me was not allowed as they have food and drink in the deli if I want.  NO FOOD OR DRINK IN THE CLOSET.  I told her it was a bag of sweets I bought as a gift.  I returned to find Happy Hour at The Walrus and the Carpenter.  I had a club sandwich and a Guiness then strolled around the neighborhood until I realized it was almost 8:30 and there was NO ONE around. 

Even the bars were closing at 9!  I stopped into the Ale and Pie

and had an IPA Pint before returning to the room with 2 small bottles of wine to make me happy while I watched somemore BBC which seemed to be mostly news stations.  I decided to watch a movie and hopefully fall asleep before midnight in hopes of rising by 8 am. I couldn’t find a movie with subtitles and couldn’t hear so tried to find ANYTHING of interest on TV but no such luck.  They send all the good stuff to our PBS.

          I retired around Midnight but again awoke at 4 am. There are no windows so no sun to wake you and you lose all track of time.  I refused to get out of bed without more sleep so I tossed and turned until 7 am , showered and had a Grilled Cheese and Fruit Salad with Coffee for Breakfast….NO EGGS ON THE MENU…Just as well as they only know how to boil them.  Now I’m off to the bank to return my old money for new and take the Tube to Covent Gardens to see the National Portrait Gallery…then?  Lost one day already and only have three left before I leave to join the group in Salisbury.

SHAVE?

      The weather report was warm, no rain, so I left for the bank and realized 50% is NOT warm and there was a slight rain.  The bank was closed…CLOSED for good and the building was To Let.  For Rent…I thought it was ToiLet without the i.  I went to a travel agency next door and took a ticket for the “Travel Money” booth.  When my number came up they explained I should have went to an English Bank not the Sandander Bank from Spain which closed anyway.  She exchanged my money after I apoligized for my fois pas.  My fiber pills were starting to work so I returned to the room and asked the maid to wait another 10 minutes until I was ready to start my day.

       I put on a sweater, grabbed my coat and hat and set out again to start my day at the nearby Tube.  I do know this block well after two days of walking around in circles.  Still grey and cloudy. I haven’t seen so many “Suits” since I left Boston in ’76. Everyone looks like Penguins with black suits, white shirts and a power tie.

   

The National Portrait Gallery was a delight and free, except for a $5 pound donation and 1 pound fee to check my coat.  When I got out I noticed the World’s Greatest Department Store was a short walk, so decided to have a go of it.  It was a mile and I had been on my feet all day so I was cramping and sat on a stoop for a
bit and finally arrived after stopping to buy another transformer for 10 pounds.  Wanted to be safe when I plugged into 220 volt English electric.  Later I discovered I could have got it for 3 pounds next to my hotel and it was NOT a transformer but an adapter of which I now have 4!  Turns out the phone and computer have their own switch over for electric now as almost ALL electronics do.  It is the Millenium.

     Well I arrived and wandered every floor and imagined what it was like back in 1910.  The BBC series “Selfridge’s” was great story about the beginning of Department stores and life in England at that time.  I had to eat at the top floor restaurant so had some Chicken Thai Stir Fry that was delicious then returned home. I stopped at the Dirty Martini for ….a Dirty Martini…best deal around for a Tanquray Gin Martini at 5 pounds. One was enough.

      Last night I thought I would sleep through and was done with “jetlag” but around 3:30 I awoke sweating under the Comforter.  A lot of hotels in Europe don’t use sheets and blankets…just one comforter and it gets hot…then I kick it off and the A/C chills me…so I got up for a short bit to see what was on the Telie…nada…back to sleep till 5:30 but after another hour I had to lay back down…Noon I was back up and my On/Off bus tour was off for another day.  I only have tomorrow then leave London. I was told for every time change traveling East, it takes a day to recover.  I went through 6 so maybe I’ll be fine for the tour…IF I don’t get sick.
       I shot out the door to get some food at the Prix, a fast food organic popular establishment that has sandwiches, soups,  salads, etc…but all fresh prepared in the back every 10 minutes and BUSY.  I had a very nice fruit salad and yogurt with granola while sipping my not so great Cappacino out of a cardboard cup.
      When I returned to plan what was left of the day, I was feeling feverish and switched to Hot Herbal Ginger Tea and decided to relax since most of the day was shot.  I tried to make reservations at the popular Sky Pod Bar and Restaurant in the Walkie Takie building on the top floor overlooking London.  A popular place to watch the sunset.  They had ONE available but when I signed up for it they rejected my reservation because my mobile phone number was American…not Proper.

      I went anyway and got in but wasn’t going to pay $12 for a Pinot Grigio so left after taking some photos then went to Dirty Martini for a couple and headed to Blackjocks for a real meal.  My waiter wanted to know my secret with the ladies…they were fighting over who should take my order.  I told him…I just give them what they want.  Nice meal.

     Today was the British Library and the Capt Cook exhibit of his trips around the world.

PERSPECTIVE PAINTING VIEWED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AND BACK

      Departed for Salisbury on the train after transfering to Southern Rail Terminal. Arrived , checked into the hotel and tried to get on track with jet lag but woke at 4 am again then after an hour went back to sleep.

8:30 am I was up and out for breakfast. I stopped at our tour hotel and saw our fearless leader to report in. He was with a fellow traveler that looked adroginous. Oriental person with shorts and a tee shirt and white sun block on face and arms.
         They went on a side trip today while I visited the Market and the Salisbury Cathedral…built in 1220.  Wonderful town. They were doing a Memorial for the 70th anniverary of the Battle of the Somme.

I stopped into the Salisbury Museum for a quick look around

I THINK THIS WAS THE PARK WHERE THEY FOUND THE RUSSIAN SPY AND HIS DAUGHTER NEAR DEAD

When the tour group returned from Portsmouth I met Kenny.  We became friends when we went to North Korea with this group in 2012.  We had dinner and caught up on life then retired.  His hotel was better than where I am.
      Today we start our journey and I was up at 6 with 6 hours sleep. Off for breakfast…and to meet with the bus.

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