I had weepy moments yesterday, thinking that my trip to England was almost over. There is something so bittersweet about having things you really want to do, and then checking off those boxes, you know? And then looking at the mental list for my trip and realizing that indeed, almost all the boxes are checked.
So I told Jane that we needed to think of another adventure really fast or I was going to sob the whole way home on the plane across the Atlantic, and that would be sort of embarrassing.
The taxi comes to get us in 15 minutes , so in short order, here was my last full day in England:
Pack the knitting…. I am past the heel on the sock sisters sock number two, and making some progress on my hap shawl center, bringing the book in case we came across a yarn shop selling Jamieson’s Shetland so I could choose the rest of my colors.
Breakfast at the hotel – sausages, baked beans, broiled tomatoes….
But they did have regular American starches too 🙂
We LOVED all the London Christmas displays. Amazingly festive and creative, bright everywhere, very happy. This shop window made me laugh.
We did lots more walking than cabs so to be able to see everything better…..
Do you see what this polar bear is made from???
BIG box on my list of wishes – Liberty of London.
The plan was to buy Liberty Tana Lawn in sufficient quantity to make a beautiful shirt with one huge arm that fits over my bandages and one visually matching other arm, with buttons up the front so I can wear it to chemo days, to make me happy. AND I was going to buy another maybe 6 yards to make a long full nightgown, because I think it would be impossible to be sweaty and itchy in a Liberty Tana Lawn nightgown. But I didn’t. I decided to buy one perfect very very special scarf in a similar pattern that I can wear over my bald head right away, no sewing or work involved at all. I would show it to you but the shop lady wrapped it up so nicely in the prettiest box with ribbon and then into a matching bag, that i wanted to bring it home in that, so you’ll have to wait. I can order Tana Lawn in the US any old time, but the scarf experience will let me wear my wish trip every day if I want to.
And then we went to Westminster Abbey, another box on my list, which, like everything else, exceeded my expectations. Because of the wheelchair, I got in free and one other person was free, so that was nice. They have selfguided audio tours now, so I learned lots, but next time I want to make some sort of arrangements ahead of time with the person who is the keeper of the crypts, who can tell all the behind the scenes stories of the people buried there. Many of the inscriptions are fascinating, for any number of reasons… amazing lifetime accomplishments, or some were funny, some quite gruesome…. and it’s amazing who all is buried there. I wish it were allowed to take photos, I bought postcards of some things that I considered scanning so that I could tell you the stories, but it just didn’t happen because….
We went to our second fancy London afternoon tea, this time at the Langham. Very different, more modern decor, but the concept and the ritual were much the same. Wonderful, wonderful way to spend a leisurely two hours with two ladies you love more than words can express.
The sweets course was art. No other word fits.
Then we went back to the hotel, having finished the list (other than the shetland) and put our feet up for a bit, and decided that in addition to my list, we needed to do my dad’s list, which only had one thing on it. The Food Hall at Harrods. So the guy downstairs at the hotel got us a cab and off we went. But in Harrods, on the way to the food hall, we ran into the place where you could buy the ultimate personalized Christmas gift… a 3D model of yourself, made with a MakerBot3D printer, just like Brian made this summer. Look at the photo above, where it says YOU, and go up to in front of that guy’s face and see an example of what they make.
The key part of the technology, though, is the photo booth, see the lighted thing above? You stand in there and they close it around you and take the photos that the computer changes into the printing file. Way fun. I wish Brian and Sam could have seen this and talked to the guys working there.
I also decided I went into the wrong business. Above is a doggie sweater. Jane and Sara LOVED the pet department at Harrods. So did I because I am going to start making these. Doggie sweaters. Look at how it’s constructed, very straighforward, all hand linked (though the flat bits could certainly be done by machine) …very nice merino wool, dry clean only.
Not tough knitting at all… I think I could do this. Heck, I know some six year olds who could do this. But mine will be out of cashmere, sold on ebay or etsy, because just a plain merino one sells for THIS!!!
Oh my. With the exchange rate it’s 140 dollars. I picked the wrong profession, but it’s not too late to change.
And for Danny, a real live Hovercraft, in Harrods. It is absolutely amazing, all the things you can buy in Harrods. and no , Danny, I did not buy you a hovercraft.
And finally, Papa. The Food Hall at Harrods at Christmas. You were right, it was pretty amazing. And they were clearing out for the evening, so lots of treats were half off, so we chose some good salad and salmon and sandwiches and things to take back to the hotel.
Finally, back to the hotel, ate and chatted and taught Jane how to play Candy Crush (she was not impressed) and skyped the boys and skyped Emily… then talked too late, until my last full day of my wonderful trip was done. Sigh. And I am finishing blogging and posting from the lounge at the airport, where we are safely checked in, we’ve had lunch, and we’re ready to go home. Thanks for making this trip real, my friends. I am so lucky, so blessed. But it’s still going to be really, really hard not to cry on the airplane, the transition between fancy first class holiday where I am spoiled every second, back to the reality of chemotherapy and this awful stage four triple negative cancer is just tough. But thanks to all the rest and goodness of my trip, I AM TOUGHER. SO THERE. Love, esd.