Today I’m leaving England. I really don’t want to go, but at the same time, I can’t wait to be home. I miss my husband and my cat. My bed. My shower. My water aerobics class, too.
I’ll miss the people I’ve encountered here, though, like the Canadian couple I dined with two nights ago at this cozy little hotel in Horley, near Gatwick airport. They’d come to England on a teacher exchange program many years ago and come back for a visit. They once met Princess Diana’s mum in the basement at Harrod’s department store.
Then there was the elderly gentleman who regaled all the guests in the hotel’s common room last night with stories of his adventures. He’s heading to Vermont today to see his great grandchildren who he’s not seen since the start of the pandemic. I didn’t ask his age, but I’m guessing he’s in his eighties. Lovely man—the son of an American soldier who, after returning to the states, never acknowledged his English son.
And most of all, I’ll miss my friends, Shirley and Mike, and their son, George. The trio had me in stitches most of the time I was here—either from laughter or exercise, and sometimes both at the same time. They’d take me and sweet Rosie the wonder dog, on long marches through the countryside. I’d huff and puff while Rosie frolicked, running hellbent for leather hither and yon across fields and through the woods.
They introduced me to crumpets for breakfast, then fed me beautiful meals every evening to restore any weight I might’ve dropped during the long walks. I’m afraid to step on the scales when I’m back home.
Okay, I need to finish packing so I can catch a plane. But first, one final crumpet please.