From Bath to London

It was with sadness and a heavy heart that I packed my bag and left Bath, heading again for London. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful my stay in Bath was! I was not only blessed by staying with the lovely Colin (at Grosvenor Lodge), who went out of his way to look after me, even offering to do a load of washing for me........(not sure if this was because he noticed I had begun to recycle my jeans or whether he is just exceptionally kind?), but my warm welcome at Bath University also made me feel well at home! It was great to catch up with Allan Kellehear but I was also very lucky to meet and spend time with the rest of the Centre for Death and Society people and the Interdisciplinary Arts folks who were generous in their sharing of information and insights. I must say, the most wonderful thing was meeting up and sharing time with Glennys Howarth, who I felt like I've known for years........a friend who was happy to share my interest in all things Arthurian and mythical, we truly had a grand time together!

I've got to say, packing my bag was a mission, I'd broken out in such a sweat by the time I finally got the zip done up that I had to sit down on the bed and 'gather my thoughts'! I caught the train back to London (this time with no detour via Castle Cary), and got off at Paddington Station to catch another train to Heathrow, where I was staying for the night (in a hotel, not on a bench at the airport!). I won't go into detail about the millions of stairs I had to carry my suitcase, bags and backpacks up and down before finally getting to the hotel, suffice to say, I was ready for a stiff drink and a 'good lie down' by the time I arrived! I had a quiet night and hopped into bed early ready for a call early in the morning from my friend Michael who was flying in from home.

Michael and I caught the the train back into London the next morning, deposited our bags at the station and headed off to have another crack at Westminster Abbey (my previous visit having not been very memorable). This time round I paid the 15 pounds entry fee and was glad that I did as I got to see all of the memorials and statues that I'd missed on my last visit. Even though you're not allowed to take photos inside the Abbey, one of the guides who graciously pointed out Winston's grave to me, generously allowed me to have a photo (as I'd told him I was on a Churchill Fellowship), much to the chagrin of other visitors who were told in no uncertain terms by the same man to "put away your cameras, this lady had won a special award so she has my expressed permission for a photograph,"!

It was great to see "Poet's Corner" where memorials (and for some, tombs) to James Joyce, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Lawrence Olivier, Jonathan Swift and Byron (among others)are located. I was also in awe of the huge memorials to both Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton, which were both spectacular.........of course the Newton memorial was made famous by the infamous Dan Brown novel, which gave a fair bit of ammunition to the conspiracy theorists.

Michael and I headed off in the afternoon, back to the airport to fly to Paris for the weekend. So it's farewell England, Bon soir Paris!

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