big ben

I have to admit that watching the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration over the past couple of days has made me a bit nostalgic…

It seems like a hundred years ago, now; our life in London.  It was 1986 when the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to these two young, 20-something newlyweds.  The next two years play out in my mind  like a slideshow of beautiful memories, unforgettable friends and extraordinary experiences.  Here we were, two young kids from the midwest.  We were suddenly living in the heart of London, in a small flat (apartment), with a refrigerator that was not much bigger than a small “bar” refrigerator and a washer/dryer “combo”.  (Yep. One contraption takes care of both.  Go figure.) Two of the modes of transportation were a huge underground subway system (“the tube”), or a car (our little white Jetta) with the steering wheel on the right side of the car, that you were, somehow, expected to drive on the left side of the street!  We learned that a “boot” is the trunk of your car, if you need an elevator, you ask for the “lift” and for goodness gracious, if you have to go potty, you need to find the “loo”!!   We fell in love with Indian food, the theatre and the English countryside.  I fell “head-over-heels in love” with “afternoon tea”… the finest tradition on earth, in my ever so humble opinion. I did not, however, fall in love with “pub food”.  Just saying.  We learned that drizzly rain is just that… drizzly rain; and it doesn’t stop anything. When the sun did make an appearance – it was a gift and a glorious celebration.  We learned that no one there cares if it is Thanksgiving back home and that the holidays are a time that you really do miss your family…  We made lots of friends, however.  Good friends; with people from all over the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  Those friends, along with our many, many experiences, have proven to be truly unforgettable.  There is so much more to share in future posts – but suffice it to say that our time in London was absolutely, positively “splendid”!!  Cheers!

“From the top of the bus she could see the vast bowl of London spreading out to the horizon: splendid shops with mannequins in the window, interesting people and already a much bigger world.”   – Julia Gregson

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