Part 2 of 6 - England
Tuesday 16 September 1997
The first major event of our vacation
occurred the morning we
left home. The police phoned at 4:55 AM to say they had
"recovered" Alan's car, so would he please report it stolen to
keep their paperwork straight! It had been stolen right outside
our front door, while we worked through the night getting
everything ready to pack.
Alan spent the rest of the morning with
the police and at the
towing yard, inspecting his car and trying to recover his
prescription sunglasses and battery shaver for the trip (they
While Alan was dealing with the theft,
Kathy had to do all the
packing. We reached the airport in time for our flight, but too
late to get the window seat Kathy wanted. In Calgary we had
dinner and started a 45-day course of doxycycline to protect us
from malaria. Then we changed planes and flew overnight to
Wednesday 17 September 1997
Our friend Cefaye Dumbleton and her friend Ann had taken the day
off to meet us at Heathrow, and took us to the Dumbleton
residence where, after a fine lunch, we both succumbed to jet lag
and napped until dinner time. That evening we caught up on
Dumbleton family news with Cefaye and her husband Bernie and son
Tim. We have known the Dumbletons since the 1970's, and Cefaye's
family even longer. Cefaye's sister Jane, now a hospital
chaplain, was also there, an unexpected treat as we hadn't seen
her in person since her previous career in the police force!
Thursday 18 September 1997
After a good night's sleep, breakfast,
and trading more family news,
Cefaye took us to a shopping centre where we had lunch with Alan's
cousin Andy Curtis. Cefaye bought Kathy a book about the late
Princess Diana. Then Andy took us home to meet his wife Kathy and
daughter Clare, who had taken time off work and school to be with us.
While their Kathy made a wonderful chicken dinner, our Kathy had
jet-lag catch-up nap.
After dinner we visited Andy's brother David, and his wife Francoise.
Andy's brother-in-law Kerry Lewis (married to Andy's sister Jennifer)
was also visiting. David, a creative artist, builds miniature papier
mache cities, complete with lights and people. He also designs and
decorates beautiful cakes, which Francoise bakes and helps decorate.
David told us a lot about the history of Alan's family. It was quite
late when Andy and Kathy took us back to their place!
Friday 19 September 1997
Andy and Kathy took us for a drive through the countryside to an
interesting little winery and micro-brewery, where we saw the
brewing equipment and sampled the wine. On the way back we had
lunch at a Tudor-style pub.
Later, Andy and Kathy took us to
Gatwick airport. They wisely
left early, so despite getting into an awful traffic jam, we
reached Gatwick with time to spare. This was just as well, as we
had gone to the south "passenger" terminal, where a notice in the
lobby explained that our flight left from the north "cargo"
terminal. The notice helpfully said there was a free train to
the north terminal, but forgot to say where. Eventually we found
the train and checked in for our flight. After dinner at
Garfunkels, we boarded our plane just as they were closing the
This was Alan's third BA flight in the
past year, and he
believes BA stands for Broken Audio. 100% of their headsets have
had problems, either in the headset itself or in the socket on
the armrest. Otherwise, British Airways' service is very good,
with excellent food, even Kathy's diabetic meal. Alan watched
their first movie, Murder at 1600, then (having
read the MovieGuide review) slept through
Liar Liar. Kathy, not having seen the review,
watched both movies, but afterwards wished she'd slept through
Liar Liar - if Alan's snoring had allowed that!
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