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New Year

England

Kent

On the spur of the moment Julia and I decided to embark on the long trek to the land of the Anglo-Saxons, and all of Julia's relatives: lovingly known as old blighty, that's England not Julia's relatives.

Once we crossed the vast continent of North America, and the immense Atlantic Ocean, we touched down to be greeted by two of my favorite people: Mary and David. They had braved the ever increasing English traffic to pluck us from the island of Heathrow to drive us to their fifteenth century home in Kent. We were glad of this as we had dared to travel, at that crazy time of year when all go mad celebrating imaginary saviors by chopping down trees, wasting electricity, and over indulging in consumerism. This odd behavior manifests itself, in England, by the complete shutdown of all public and commercial transport from London's swampy airport. So many thanks to Mary and David as we would be still stuck at Heathrow without their endurance and kindness.

Once entrenched in Canterbury we began the process of over eating and drinking. The mass of the imaginary Christ brings out the gluttony in us all it seems. Imagine a world where at the end of each year instead of chopping down trees, we planted them. Rather than installing extra lights, we turned lights off. As a substitute for giving senseless gifts, imagine if we instead, gave our time to each other. In this imaginary world we'd sure put a lot less carbon into the atmosphere. Alas, this is not our world.

Julia and I spent New Year's Eve with John and Jean, who had turned out a fine spread. Julia's brother Charles and his wife Edwina shared with us the indulgent food and drink and we all greeted the New Year together. We did not forget our old acquaintances, but rather strengthened new ones.

We journeyed from Kent, across the sprawling massive London to Wiltshire were I met, for the first time, Julia's uncle: Lawrence. He welcomed us and began at once to ply us with food and drink. I could feel my waistline expanding with every morsel. It was great to share in interesting conversations and to begin a new friendship.

Not far from Lawrence's village home are those famous and ancient pile of rocks known as Stonehenge. The last time I had visited them was in 1983. They had built a new visitors center and a paved road to the site, but the rocks themselves were as I remember them. Perhaps covered with a little more moss, but then again so was I.

We visited with old friends of Julia in London. One who lives there and one who lives in Miami and just happened to be in London when we were. It was great to spend time with them both.

The company in Canterbury was great, as always. The food and drink were superb. And the hospitality shown by all was wonderful. Thank you all for looking after Julia and I so well.



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