Station to Station

Backing up to a week ago: After our weekend visit to Cardiff, Karen and Colin went back to teaching and I caught the coach (conveniently located across Gloucester Green from our cottage in Oxford) down to London. The trip takes about two hours, but the buses are big and comfy and even have wi-fi, plus you get to see the English countryside and suburbia along the way.

I somehow managed to get my friends Louise, Ian and Carrie all in one place at the same time on Monday afternoon – the main hall at Victoria Station. Louise arrived early, so we went upstairs for a bite to eat at Garfunkel's, a chain restaurant in England that serves a little bit of everything, and to catch up. I first met Lou five years ago at the launch party for Kate Bush's Aerial album and we've remained close ever since. Ian is another Kate fan I met in 2007 at a gathering of Kate fans and I've known Carrie for nearly 20 years. She lived in Atlanta for a bit, then married a lovely Brit name Roger and they now live in Kent and have two beautiful babies.

Ian suggested we walk over to the posh Grosvenor Hotel adjacent to the station and have a bottle of wine in their lounge, so we did. It was lovely to catch up with them. That's Lou and Ian in the lounge at the Grosvenor above. I caught the 8 p.m. coach back to Oxford and it was an absolutely beautiful night. I don't know if I mentioned it earlier, but in the summer the sun comes up around 5 a.m. and it stays light until nearly 10:30 p.m. There were so many people out in Hyde Park and walking along eating ice cream. I just love London and wish I could live there full-time. Where is that sugardaddy of mine?

On the coach, I sat across from an Indian woman, who got on the bus at Marble Arch and promptly cranked up her iPod. I could hear traditional Indian music leaking from her earbuds. We were sitting in traffic across from Victoria Gate when the woman started to cry. She cried all the way to Oxford. I was making up scenarios in my head, but the music must have brought back powerful memories of home or someone she was missing or had lost. I felt badly for her, but she seemed to not want to be bothered, so I left her alone. I've already written a poem about it.

For the next blog, I'll talk about my visit with Peter and Krys at their home in Kent and our beautiful night on the English Channel.


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