Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mass at St. John's of Bethnal Green, Packing, Moving, Welcoming Chriselle to London

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mass at St. John's of Bethnal Green, Packing, Moving, Welcoming Chriselle to London

Last Day in my Bethnal Green Home:
     I awoke on my last day in my Bethnal Green House at about 6. 30 am and immediately began going about the things I needed to do before my departure for the last time. There were things to be removed from my fridge and I decided to have breakfast and then place all leftover food items in a bag to be taken with me and tossed away in the garbage bins outside.

Mass at St. John's of Bethnal Green:
     Since I did want to stay local, I decided that Sunday Mass would be at a local church and since I had already attended Mass at St. Dunstan's at Stepney Green, I opted to go to St. John's at Bethnal Green where Mass began at 10.00 am. Accordingly, I left the house at about 9. 35 and made my way on foot for the fifteen minutes that it took to reach the church.
     It was rather poorly attended, I thought. The pastor, Alan Green was in attendance but there were not a lot of people in the congregation. The few that were there were devout and participated actively. I found that many of the more prominent participants were from the West Indies as were the altar party. Mass and Communion was followed by a coffee service, but since I had little time and a lot to do, I did not stay for coffee and walked straight back home.

Lunch and Then Off to my Office:
       It was not long before I had lunch--made of the last few scraps that were left behind in my fridge. When I was done, I washed everything and then attended to my suitcases. I shut down my laptop and stashed it away in my computer bag and then called a mini cab company that I have used for years to take my belongings to my office where I would stash them away for the next couple of weeks.
     The cab driver called Steve Shahid Shaikh arrived on schedule and gave me a hand to stash my  suitcases and other belongings into his vehicle. He was a great narrator of stories and as we made our way to Bedford Square, he kept me entertained. Once at my office, my porter also gave me a hand and before long, my cases were stored safely in my office. I sat down to work at my office computer for the next couple of hours--until 5 pm when the porter was ready to go home. I printed out a number of tickets that we would need for our journey ahead and then I left the building.

Tea and a Browse at Waterstone's at Bloomsbury:
     I still had about two hours to kill before I was to pick up Chriselle who was arriving that evening from Scotland to Euston Station. Walking up Bloomsbury Road towards Euston, I realized that Waterstone's was open. It was the perfect venue in which to get a cup of tea and browse through the many new cookbooks that have flooded the UK market. I found myself a cuppa and a comfy corner and stayed until the book store closed at 6 pm.

Spending Time at Euston Station:
     I was easy to spend the next couple of hours at Euston Station as I awaited the arrival of Chriselle's train from Edinburgh's Waverley Station. I did a lot of reading, some people-watching and got into conversation with other strangers waiting to board trains or meet passengers.

Finally--A Loving Reunion with Chriselle:
     Finally, at 8.00 pm, Chriselle's train pulled into Euston Station. It was wonderful to see her again and after a loving and raucous reunion, we proceeded to the bus stop right outside to get a bus to Bethnal Green. In a few minutes, along came a bus and inside we hopped. We spent the entire half hour to my home talking about her travels. I was delighted to discover that she'd enjoyed every second of them--her visit to Edinburgh, her drives around the Highlands as far as Loch Ness upon which she was taken boating, and the return journey to England. She told me about her itinerary, her traveling companions on the package tour, the hotels in which they had stayed, etc.

Dinner at Efes Turkish Restaurant:
     Chriselle was not too hungry but since there was nothing to eat at home (with my fridge cleared away), we decided to get a light bite to eat when we got off the bus at my stop at Stepney Green. Since Efes Restaurant was very handily located right opposite the bus stop, we went there for mezzes. These were served with lovely hand bread and with a salad that included a couple of tasty dips. We ordered grilled halloumi  which was very tasty indeed and mixed dips such as hummus and babaganoush. As Chriselle is a pescatarian (she will eat fish and seafood but no meat), we chose carefully and ended up with a very good and very inexpensive meal indeed.
Last Night in my East End Home:
     In no time at all, we were at my doorstep and I was opening my house for the last time. Chriselle quickly made herself comfortable as we got ready for the night and it wasn't long before we set our alarms and got ourselves ready for bed.
      We knew that we had a heavy traveling day ahead of us as we left early in the morning for our travels in Eastern Europe--we were excited and very happy to be together again and with those thrilling thoughts to lull us off to sleep, we were soon in Dreamland.
     Until tomorrow, cheerio...       

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