Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Splendiferous Day in the UK

I'm now home safe and sound from London and am surviving the jetlag and desperately enjoying being with my family again. A week is a long time to be away! I got home yesterday night (well, I guess it was this morning) at a little after 1 am but am feeling good and even made it to church this morning.

The kids are all in great shape - nary a scratch in my absence! And Steve survived, too, although he keeps muttering in rather desperate tones how glad he is that I'm home. Sasha won't let me out of her sight, but she doesn't seem too traumatized by my absence. It always feels good to be appreciated :)

Friday was an amazing day. We finished training in the early afternoon, in time for me to make a pilgrimage to Great Missenden, England. What - you've never heard of Great Missenden?!? Well, it was the home of my favorite author in the whole widest world, Roald Dahl, and the location of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

The museum is fabulous and the next time you're in Great Missenden you should definitely stop by. It's geared for children and has a lovely set of interactive displays, storytelling activities, and loads of information about Dahl's fascinating life. Here I am sitting in Dahl's chair, thinking up brilliant blog postings for you amusement. You can't not be inspired sitting in the chair of such a genius!

Great Missenden is a charming spot and I gladly took the "Roald Dahl walking tour of Great Missenden," which included the home that inspired Sophie's orphanage in The BFG, the filling pumps from Danny the Champion of the World (my favorite book of all time), and Matilda's library. Completing my afternoon, I had tea and a scone with cream at Cafe Twit, the museum's restaurant, and found aniseed balls just like Dahl described in Boy at the town tobacconist! Sitting at the station waiting for my train to London while sucking on aniseed balls and writing a letter to an old friend was a moment of great contentedness that I shall not soon forget.

My evening in London was also very nice, although I'll admit that the congested streets of a Friday night on the town were a bit much for this suburban gal. I managed to find a quiet nook where I enjoyed a panini, mango smoothie, and glass of red wine while reading a newly acquired Dahl volume (Going Solo, it's been ages since I read it) and after that I felt much better.

I rounded out the evening with tickets to Chicago, which was thoroughly enjoyable. And, no, the irony of traveling to London to see Chicago is not lost on me, but there were four of us and it was the only big stage production that none of us had already seen. The production was amazing - what a fantastic end to my week in the UK!


Melanie said...

Jamie! What a wonderful adventure. Dahl is one of my very favorites, too, and Damien and I have been reading some of the classics out loud - he somehow missed being exposed to Dahl as a child, so we're making up for lost time here ;-) My dad read "Danny the Champion of the World" and "James and the Giant Peach" to his classes every year. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to do more than just work on your trip!

Jennifer M said...

Oh my Jamie, that sounds lovely! Remind me that if I ever go on a trip, to give you a call and ask for suggestions.

Your descriptions were so vivid and wonderful.

Kim said...

How fun! It looks like you had a fantastic time. I hope to get there very soon! :) I love the pictures!


Lyndsie said...

I love the colorful street shot! It makes me want to put up flower boxes too!


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