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Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine: Chapter 75 - Off To England

...We soon found ourselves travelling much smaller roads and lanes, which in mid summer were alive with flowers on the sides of the roads and in the villages we past, we noticed hanging baskets aglow with colour. I was delighted and amazed to see the very greenness of England...

Gayle Woodward pays her first visit to the Old Country.

Woody was being recognised within his company as having management potential. He was invited to England to visit Thorn factories and to France and Italy to do the same. To my great surprise, I was invited to attend along with him. We would be away for two weeks and I worried about leaving Mark and Karyn home. They assured me that they could cook and clean and as they both had studies to attend to, they would not miss us.

I was nervously excited as I boarded the plane for the 24 hour trip to London via Los Angeles. It was a cramped- p trip through the night to LA, arriving there with swollen ankles and a migraine headache looming. We broke the trip to spend a day and night there, visiting Disneyland with a New Zealand friend who worked there as an electrical technician for the Special Effects department. The mixture of sights, sounds, strange tasting food and amazement at the attractions of Disneyland astonished me. I felt stunned and numb but I was eager for the next part of the adventure. The trip to London, another 12 hours away, was over more quickly as tiredness caught up with me and I could sleep the hours away.

Soon we were disgorged into Heathrow Airport. I was quite frightened at the size and noisiness of it. Another New Zealander, Paul, living in London and working for Thorn Lighting there, met us and sped us away to his West Hampstead garden flat. There we were given travelling instructions which would allow us to wend our way through countryside alive with flowers in the hedgerows until we reached Spennymooor and the factory there. I still felt stunned with the strangeness of it all. It seemed to me to be surreal.

Getting out of London was the only difficult part as we were following behind Paul’s car and misunderstood his waving hands. He was pointing to an exit sign and we thought he was pointing to a sign which directed us straight ahead. We did that and found ourselves on a Ring Road filled with trucks and thousands of other drivers who knew exactly where they were going. Paul was nowhere to be seen! Finally, we found the correct exit by matching the motorway exit number with the number in our instructions.

We soon found ourselves travelling much smaller roads and lanes, which in mid summer were alive with flowers on the sides of the roads and in the villages we past, we noticed hanging baskets aglow with colour. I was delighted and amazed to see the very greenness of England. I knew of her ancient green and rolling hills, of course, but thought only my own country could be this beautiful.

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