Hot, hot day, leaving one friend -going to another

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

As I took my farewells of Julia and family, I reflected on what a lovely time this has been in Devon and Cornwall. Not only have I met some good new friends, I have managed to touch base with some pieces of my families history I have been looking for for some time. I am 'way far behind on my journal; however, I hope to have some time to catch up soon.

I left early to return the car and this turned out to be a good thing as this turned out to be about the hottest day on record and I ran into horrendous traffic jams getting in to the car hire place. Apparently there were road works right outside their place. They were not answering their phone so I could not get directions in. I ran into people who directed me around the street works. Fortunately it was the same area which I'd walked up from the town to get to the car hire place in the first place. Another small miracle. When I finally got to where I was supposed to go 'round a round about and turn into the Octagon, it was totally blocked with street work. I was not fazed in the least and drove the car up and over the sidewalk which took me to a car length outside the place. Was terribly late but they managed to find someone to drive me to the bus station and I was just in time for the bus from Plymouth to Victoria station. Again it was horribly hot and the bus drivers kept stopping about every 50 miles to let the bus cool down and let us get out to buy more water. I think I went through about 2 liters of water that day.

On arrival in London, we drove around Earls Court, down Bromham road, up Royal Hospital Road, where I noticed the Chelsea physic Garden and then on to Victoria Station. It was unbearably hot and I was so exhausted, when I went to pick up my laptop bag I stood on one of the straps and strained the fingers on my right hand so that I could not pick things up in it. OWWWWIE. Managed to get the tube and a train to Chorleywood. Stood all the way to just after Marylebone station where, the train being 1/2 hour late, my legs pretty much collapsed out from under me and I spent a bit of the time on the floor. Some of the passengers were somewhat concerns; however, I recovered and was able to continue standing between the doors (there were no seats) for the rest of the way.

Gillian, my online friend, very kindly met me at the station and drove me to her home. I was completely wrung out. I was able to immediately have a shower and change, whereupon I collapsed and chatted with Gillian as diner was prepared. Another wonderful custom I remembered from previous trip - Pimms No 1, lemonade and fruits on a hot afternoon. It was absolute ambrosia. We had a cold plate dinner and her husband, Greg dragged himself in, in much the same shape as I was earlier. Their daughter, Alison (another online friend) is now home from studying classics at Oxford and their son, Richard who is into computers, joined us for dinner as well.
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