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Arrival

August 3, 2022

ENGLAND: Wednesday, August 3

Disembark to find hardly anyone inside Heathrow is wearing a mask. More frustrating is the fact that half the people who are “wearing” masks have them dangling down below their noses. Fuck sake.

Harrowing (for me) tube journey in packed carriages across London. Almost no one is wearing a mask. I, of course, am. And I will be throughout my visit. The first 10 days are particularly fraught as I will be running around London, meeting people for drinks, going to galleries and the theatre. My original plan was to visit my cousin Peter and his wife Jackie this coming weekend, then I realised it’s Peter’s birthday next weekend, so a bit daft not to be there for that. They’re in their eighties now and Jackie really isn’t well at the moment. The very last thing I want is to inadvertently catch Covid and take it with me for my visit. A terrible birthday present for Peter. A potentially lethal gift for Jackie.

Eventually get to New Cross where Matt is waiting. Hurrah! Hug, then mask off, cigarette lit. (I did manage to find the outside smoking section at Terminal 5 where I sucked in one cigarette, but I’m operating on a deficit.)

Home to the house where Rowan is waiting. A delicious meal and a lovely evening of catching up.

They have two dogs. 

Gidget, a little terrier, is literally on her last legs. (She’s lost the use completely of her back legs and now her front are starting to go.) Sadly it won’t be long now. Although it must be said she’s still a feisty wee thing.

Buster, a young English bull terrier, has problems of his own: his agoraphobia is so bad he’s on anti-anxiety medication. Rowan has warned me that Buster will freak out when I arrive but will also, if I ignore him, settle down fairly quickly. I do as instructed and by the end of the evening Buster has decided he’s in love with me. 

From → UK 2022

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