Monday 5 May
Drove down to Ealing to spend the day with Mark Melluish and family. A great day. We discussed bird watching, investigated the church, ate lunch, then headed down to Kew Gardens for a wander. Wonderful.
Hurried back to Finchley very slowly. Would have been fine if we had been on the right motorway, but we weren’t. The A40 and the north circular go in very different directions. Finally managed to navigate our way from page 74 to page 30 of the map and had dinner with the Dore’s – another fantastic night. Such a priviledge and wonder to meet so many fantastic people.
Tuesday 6 May
The day of departure. We didn’t need to be at the church until 11.30am so had a slow start to the morning. Filled up the trusty Citoren and headed to the church. We didn’t get lost.
I’m sure you can tell a lot about people by their bathrooms. Upon arrival in Finchley I was initially nervous. Both our hosts are in the medical profession, trained doctors. Tina is a GP and George a clinical nutritionist. Nutritionists make me nervous. The house was smart. Baby grand in the front room, expensive tv, expensive furniture, expensive cat. (They had a bidet in their bathroom. What the heck is a bidet? What am I supposed to do with it? I’m gonna assume that ignorance is bliss.)
But their bathrooms quickly revealed something else… something different… something quirky. The downstairs toilet is wallpapered in newspaper clippings, many of which are carefully chosen for their suggestive headlines, their coded messages. Where else would they place a medical fellowship plaque. The upstairs bathroom had Far Side collections for reading material. I had a great time at the Grimbles.
The flight home was fine. The check in staff at Heathrow were actually helpful! Fortunately the first leg was pretty empty and I ended up in a row by myself. I managed some reasonable sleep. Even the LA immigration officials seemed less angry than usual. I finished reading David Pytches’ autobiography and bailed on most in-flight movie options.
It’s good to be home.
Thanks so much New Wine for this incredible opportunity. I’ll write up a better report soon.