life with sticks in one's head

Dispatch from the UK

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Yesterday was Hector’s and Julia’s wedding, most of which I wept through. The word beautiful fails. I felt tremendously lucky not only to have made it there despite clouds of ash, but also to be a witness to something so rare, so exquisite that even talking about it makes me weep again. I won’t go into it further — suffice it to say that I am extraordinarily happy for, hopeful for, and proud of my dearest friend Hector and the remarkable Julia, who is now his wife.

Today presented a different sort of challenge. I picked up the Metropolitan tube line to head back into London, and had to disembark to hop onto a rail replacement bus to Wembley, from which the tube would be up and running again. All of this would have been well and good, had our bus not become cut off my a serious motor accident that brought 3 ambulances and 3 fire trucks to the scene (the crash happened very near a petrol station). At first we all sat there, thinking, this can’t take that long. But we were wrong. After 45 minutes or so, the driver told us it would be hours before the bus would be moving again, and gave us tremendously vague (and in the end, incorrect) directions on how to walk up that way, take a right, take a normal bus to I forget where and pick up the replacement rail bus somewhere. So, off I went, following a couple of lads, thinking they must have more of a clue than I. I caught up with them at the bus stop the driver had directed us towards. There, an older woman was trying to explain that this bus was not going in the right direction, etc. Someone mentioned that there was another, different bus that would be going to the right place, further up the road. And so I trudged again, dragging my bags behind me and sweating through the unseasonably warm English April. At the next bus stop, I scrounged up the courage to ask the two locals there if I were in the right place. In their response lies the root of my love for Pinner, England. They told me I didn’t need to pay for a bus — all I needed to do was walk a little further onto the high street and I could pick up the free rail replacement bus there. I trudged on, and what do you know, they were right! The rest of the journey was significantly less stressful, as I didn’t even have to change tube lines to get where I was going.

And then there is my strange relation to Wembley, where we recovered the tube. I had been there not a week before, waiting for a national rail train to take me back to Paddington, where I had of course left my most important piece of luggage. In sprinting maniacally to get the train, I had somewhere/somehow abandoned the bag containing my suit, my shoes, and my meds. As I realized, I panicked and started saying, “No, no, no…” The lovely woman next to me inquired as to the source of my obvious distress, and encouraged me to go and ask the conductor to call back to the station so as to prevent the detonation of my bag. I walked up the train, knocked on the door, to have it swung open angrily with the query, “What is it?!? I’m driving the train!” I told him of my idiocy and asked him to call back to Paddington to prevent detonation. He assured me he would call, and as we pulled into Wembley, I knocked again, and he assured me that the bag had been taken aside, and all I needed to do was hop on a train back to collect it. With enormous relief, I disembarked and quite happily realized that the station was deserted and that I could smoke a much needed fag.

But it was on the way back that Wembley truly touched my heart. As we neared the rail station, we passed an LDS church. The sign on the outside read as follows:

“Visitors welcome for Public Relations Worship”

Oh what a typo/forgotten keystroke can do! I got a giggle anyway, after what had been a most difficult morning…

Off to Dublin tomorrow. I will try to post something or other…


Written by sticksinthehead

25 April 2010 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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