I am starting the first leg of my trip overseas today. Today I fly to New Your City. I will be there visiting my 83 year old Auntie who is the remaining matriarch of our family. She wants to correct the information I have on ancestry.com, so I figured it would be wonderful to go and hear the first person stories. :h5)
Irish history is very oral, so I need to capture what I do not know. Friday I will take the train into the city to do some work things. I was reflecting on the first time I went into NYC for *business* and I thought I would pass out because I didn’t know the *rules*. Fifteen years later :h3) I do. I went and replaced my BLACK shoes that David’s dog had chewed. I know how to walk from Penn Station to 43rd without blinking an eye and the shoes are comfortable enough for that :h2) :h2)
Then back to Long Island. My Auntie’s house is the place that has been *home* and unchanging for 50 years. It smells the same, its energy is the same. She has Persian carpets on the floor that look like they did when she bought them. No dogs helps that one, LOL. Her kitchen counter is stainless steel, a novel thing when the house was built, but it is not like what we would be getting now. It has a 50 year patina and whenever I am there and cooking, I think about all the history of so many Thanksgivings in that house. My grandmother’s Irish crystal is there, and her china. Still in the cabinet and still taken out for special occasions. The last time I visited, my Auntie was getting ready for a colonoscopy. She drank her horrible stuff from a Waterford crystal wine glass. It was so her. I always wanted to be like her when I was little, and in fact she has shaped me deeply.
We will go from Newark on Tuesday on the overnight red eye to London. We have learned to pay the money for business class and feel tolerably well when we arrive. A program dinner will be packed for carryon, and I have my turquoise blue blanket and pillow. And thankfully, I remembered to take my passport and money to switch at the airport.
We will be great by the man who has been driving us for several years. He is Australian and we have gotten to know his life in those rides..we thought that he might not be able to drive this year because he was going to have surgery on his back. But he bounced back and will be there at the gate on the other side of customs with a sign and a smile and an *executive car* that usually takes dignitaries and rock stars, :h11). The visit will make the cheery morning tolerable because our brains will be saying 3 AM and not 8 AM.
Then to the hotel, built in the 1200s to house the stone masons working on the cathedral in Salisbury. Google that cathedral if you want to see something mind boggling. No cranes, no lasers, no concrete. It is all cut and carved stone. The hotel has a vine that is 800 years old. It sings with joy when we return the way the dogs do when I come home.
I think they have replaced the pillows from the 50s that lay on the bed like sodden lamb fur. I have my adaptors for the computer and ipad. There is WIFI in the lobby which is really a cozy lounge with a fireplace and a medieval crimping machine used to crimp the collars of the choirboys at the cathedral. Tea is served on round trays with a teapot of dark, hot English tea and china cups. The sandwiches are served without the crust or in a crusty French roll. If the weather is nice, we will sit outside in the courtyard with the vine climbing the walls around us. Actually even if the weather isn’t nice, we will sit there, :h12). It is part of the ritual, that sitting with the smokers in the courtyard.
The radiant energy fills the place. It is not a big hotel and we pretty much take a lot of the rooms. So you can imagine a bright lot. Brits, folks from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, and even someone from Australia this year. I am excited about what I will present, although most of the preparation talk has been about the food and the stationery store, :h6) no surprise on that.
I will keep you posted.