Dear Friends and Family,
I will start with the bummer, as the rest is all good news!! We learned via our renters last month that there was a leak in our house in Santa Barbara that was coming from our bedroom/bathroom upstairs and made it’s way down through the floor to the garage. Long story short we have had to call in help from our dear son Nathaniel and QuikResponse to deal with the damage and get insurance involved as the damage is extensive due to the leak not being spotted soon enough. So we are dishing out lots of money and trusting that the work is being done properly and efficiently all while being thousands of miles away. Enough said about that!
The time is fast approaching when we will be packing our things here in beloved Chichester and flying back to the States. At this time it is hard to call Santa Barbara home as we have so loved and appreciated our sojourn here that home feels here for the present. I know we will make the transition back to feeling at home in Santa Barbara, but it will take TIME! The very reason we came here, for Mostyn to study clocks, which he has done and excelled at, I might add. Mostyn did share in last blog post about graduation and his awards, so suffice it say I am one proud wifey!:) We will likely return next July when his Master’s degree will be awarded.
It has been fun to receive some visitors recently. Friends we’ve known for over 30 years, Kurt and Debi Winrich, came down for the day from a business trip in London. We so appreciated their effort to see how we are living life here and making a memory together for future remembrance. Mostyn’s brother Norm, wife Donna, and youngest, Anna came to stay for a few days after holiday making in Wales with sister Nancy and brother in law Peter. We toured the usual haunts here, which included Evensong at Chichester Cathedral, a day at the Weald and Downland Museum, in addition to charity shop shopping, of which there are tons here!
This past week we have had our dear friends Tim and Debi Harold visiting from Newport Beach, and yes they are also Heather’s in laws. We both feel so blessed that over the last 15 years of our kids relationship we have become very close friends, so it was a real treat that they made the trip to visit us here. We filled their time with all our favorite places to see and eat and then spent three fun packed busy days in London before transporting them to a lovely equestrian resort in Hampshire, where they will conclude their trip.
During the recent visit to London I was reminded again of how accustomed we have become to negotiating what they call ‘town’. There was a tube strike so we had to find alternative modes of transport. We had secured a lovely holiday let in Putney on the Thames, but a significant distance from central London. So trains, taxis, tour buses and feet were used, with ease. The train and tube the following day however were the busiest and most crowded we had ever seen. One must wear plenty of deodorant on those days for the good of all!! What most impressed me this trip however was Mostyn’s driving. We wanted to visit Abbey Road for Tim, a huge Beatle’s fan, which required driving right through the city. You would have thought he was a London cabbie. Well done Mostyn.
Three things that I most enjoyed as tourists in ‘town’ this trip were the changing of the Queen’s Horse Guard at Whitehall, the Sky Garden on the top floor (35th) of the Walkie-Talkie building (nicknamed for shape) with a 360 degree view of London, and the tour guides information while touring the Tower of London. I was very touched emotionally by the Crown Jewels, not for the jewels themselves, though incredibly beautiful, but for their religious significance. What I had missed on a previous visit was how much the royalty of present and past, are well aware of the role God plays in assisting their ruling of the country. The church has always been an integral part in all significant events regarding the royals. I can’t explain well in words, but when moved to my core by something like those priceless jewels and the meaning behind the use of each piece, I cry. Certainly not the typical tourist response to the Crown Jewels, but likely just another indication that I have bonded with this nation and will greatly miss all we have learned to love here. FYI for any wanting to visit the Tower the best advise we received was to go directly to the Jewels first thing in the morning, arriving at opening time. Tim and Debi went back 4 times to view them, it was so not crowded at that time! Later in the day a very different story with queues like Disneyland.
So for the next 51 days we will be enjoying all things English and preparing our hearts to leave a place we have come to love dearly.
Love and best wishes to all,
P.S. Mostyn apologizes for not doing more blogging about his clock stuff but he has been too busy — 4,000 words down, 6,000 more to go.