Today is my last day in Europe. I have woken up late every morning since being in England. I must be catching up on hours and hours of lost sleep since France. I guess it’s not too surprising, the last few days in France I was running on about 4 hours of sleep each night. But I feel a bit sorry to have wasted a few morning hours by sleeping when I could have been breakfasting with Betherina.
My time here has been lovely. Yesterday we walked around town for a bit, then bought some lunch at Sainsbury’s and came home to eat. Jonathan called to let Beth know that the new tele was here, would we be home to help him carry it up the stairs? Well of course, she answered, Shakespearean plays can’t take more than a couple hours. So they got off the phone and we rushed to St. Augustine’s Abbey to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We sat at the top of the hill, munching on pretzels, dried fruit and fresh plump grapes. Behind the little booth stage stood the humble ruins of the old Abbey. King Henry VIII had it torn down during his “reformation.” It was sad to look at the brick arches and low crumbling walls as the players went about their performance. But climbing around the stones afterwards was also inspiring. This is where St. Augustine lived, in an Abbey built for him by one of hte first converts in England. It felt sad to see so much destruction wreaked by the King in his ridiculous desire to break from Rome. But at the same time, it was amazing to see the legacy of stones that twere laid in the 6th century and still stand as a testament to the work of many saints.
Today we are going to the seaside. I’m not sure if that means the Channel or the Atlantic. Probably the Channel since I can hear seagulls from my sofa bed in the early morning hours, and the bus we’ll take doesn’t go far. It’s lovely outside, a slight chill in the air, but the sun is warm and bright. I love being here with Beth. It feels like old times, even when Jonathan is around. Tonight we’re getting pub food so I can “feel English.” I can practically taste the fish and chips already. And then we’ll probably come home to watch more House and Black Adder. Could life get better?
*I ordered Kosher food on the Chunnel because I have been forced to eat a lot of pig products on this trip and as my mother will testify, I abhorr pig (except for very burnt bacon and occasionally sausage). I thought that Kosher was the safest way to avoid such an unfortunate meal. And it was the way to go!
*please pray for safe travel tomorrow and that I am alert. I have to catch a train to London at 645am!
*please also pray for health between now and my trip to Russia. Probably due to lack of sleep I may have a cold coming on and that wouldn’t make ministry very easy in the next few weeks.