December 26, 1961 – England

Washington Hotel, London, England – Clear, very cold

     I slept well last night but when we got up this morning I dressed quickly because our little heaters still left our room with a slight chill.  Edith and I ordered room service for breakfast again.  I decided to have hot oatmeal with butter, brown sugar and raisins on top while Edith went for eggs and bacon.  I’d decided not to make an issue over the taxi fare yesterday but Edith and I didn’t do a lot of idol chatting while we ate our meal.

     Today we went to visit a friend of Edith’s named Marguerite who lived in Guildford, Surrey.  They had known each other for a long time but hadn’t seen each other for several years.  The front desk told us that the electric train service was cut to a minimum today since it was Boxer day.  Today was as big a holiday as Christmas in England so all work was curtailed as much as possible.  There were no daily papers delivered, no flying, no mail, and no busses.  Only a few taxis were out.  Despite the warning though we prepared to go to the train station to travel to Guildford and meet Edith’s friend.  We felt grateful when the door man was able to get a taxi for us.

Regent Street

     As we traveled to the train depot the taxi driver told us that London was experiencing the coldest weather it had had for this time of year since 1892.  The temperature wasn’t expected to go above freezing all day and I wasn’t surprised to find that out.  Once we reached Guildford, we were grateful to see Edith’s friend Marguerite waiting for us at the depot with her car running.   Edith was very excited to see her friend.  Marguerite took us to a nice little restaurant she knew.  We spent the next few hours eating and visiting before she took us back to the train station at 4pm to catch the train back to London.  Edith’s friend had been nice to talk to and the afternoon had been very pleasant.  Once we reached London again we were fortunate to find a taxi nearby so we could get back to the hotel but traffic issues created problems so it took longer than expected to get there. 

     When the taxi pulled at the Washington Hotel I thought about walking off like Edith had the day before but decided not to play her game.  I pulled out my wallet and offered up half of the fare the driver quoted us plus a tip. 

     After we reached our room we decided to skip dinner because we weren’t hungry.  The maid had turned off our heaters so our room was extremely cold.  I called the front desk to see if we could have at least one more little electric heater and I thanked the nice young man who brought two up.  Once the heaters were going our room got very comfortable.

     I took a bath once our room was nice and warm and so did Edith.  Neither of us wanted to stay up late because we were too tired.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Dec 26, 2010 @ 21:23:09

    It’s interesting to note that, by sheer coincidence, Sandy is currently in England which is experiencing its worst winter in years.


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