Wednesday, November 9, 2016
It was with the greatest sadness that I woke up on my last day in my Ealing flat. I had felt so completely comfortable in the space and in the area that everything I did today seemed super poignant--my last breakfast in front of the TV, my last shower in the giant round bath tub with the generous rain shower head, my last blog post hammered out as I lay propped up in my bed...
Somehow the morning passed as I was a ball of tension. I had so many things to fit into my two suitcases that it seemed as if I would never get everything in. Needless to say, I had a bunch of other smaller bags as the spillover from my cases found a place in them.
At 11.00 am, my friend Cecil arrived for a chat and to say goodbye. He is my physician-friend whose son had rented the flat to me. Cecil will always be a good friend and I felt extremely grateful to him that he offered me his son Stuart's flat at a time when I felt the great need to move to some place in which I would feel more at home. We chatted for about 45 minutes and then he left me with a hug and a hand shake.
I ate the last of the items I had kept out on the kitchen counter--a very strange lunch indeed with odds and ends. I then called a cab and the mini cab company responded by sending a lovely guy to me in about 20 minutes. He turned out to be a Sri Lankan who was extremely helpful. He very kindly helped me get all my stuff into his cab and off we drove to Bloomsbury to my office at NYU where I would be stashing my cases and leaving for Italy with only a backpack.
Back in my office, I made sure I had everything in place. The, with about two hours on my hands before I left for my friend Roz's place in Battersea where I would be spending the night, I hotfooted it to the British Museum--which rather handily, is just next door to my office.
In the British Museum:
I had the best time savoring those Greek and Roman bits and bobs that I dearly love. I looked carefully at the Rosetta Stone. I went to say Hello again to the Caryatid who once stood with five of her sisters holding up the roof of the Erecthion on the Acropolis in Greece. I always feel a bit sorry for her--I am sure she must miss her sisters! There were so many new items I saw that I had never noticed before in those few galleries.
And finally, I did get to the Elgin Marbles--I always forget how dirty they are. I expect to see pristine white marble--but, of course, they could never look clean after so many centuries. I took my time, I perused them carefully, especially the horse's head that I so love. And on my way out, I paused to see the lion hunts on the Assyrian bas-reliefs that are so realistic.
When the museum closed, I left and went back to my office to pick up my backpack and make my way to Roz's home. I got hopelessly stuck at Victoria waiting for the 44 bus for almost an hour on an evening that was dreadfully cold. But eventually, the bus did come and Roz suggested I get off at Battersea Public Library from where she picked me up in her car and drove me to Clapham Junction so that I could get a ticket for the train that I would take early the next morning. With our errand accomplished, we then drove off for dinner.
Dinner at L'Antipasto:
We met our friend Antonio who is well-known to Roz as the proprietor of L'Antipasto. It was my treat to Roz who is always so generous about sharing her home with me. She had lasagna and I had the chicken breast with a lemon and mushroom sauce which was just delicious. We really did gab throughout our meal and all the time I tried to suppress feelings of nervousness about launching on a trip all by myself to Sicily--Mafia Country.
Still, when I fell into bed that night, I felt a lot more relaxed. I kept my alarm for 4.00 am as I had called a cab for 4. 30 am to take me to Clapham Junction from where I'd be taking the train to Gatwick airport for my 8. 30 am flight to Catania in Sicily.
Wish me luck...it is a daunting trip and I am nervous....
Until I am able to blog again, cheerio...