31 August 2007

Boston to Manchester, Up Til Thursday Night

I shipped my cell phone, the charger, and the Boston guide books back to Utah and made it to the T with just enough time before my Charlie pass expired. Of course, it stopped working and the guy there had to scan me in, but I knew it would stop when I saw how sweaty it got in my pocket every day.

The flight to Shannon was interesting. I debated whether to check my biggest bag or not and finally decided that since I'd be taking the smaller planes from Ireland to England that it might not fit as well, so I checked it. It's always a weird sensation to cross so many time zones: it feels like you've had the longest day ever, but it's really been two days. I slept on and off during the flights and the transfers. I wanted to go into Dublin proper but was told that there probably wasn't enough time between flights, so I read my book instead.

I worried about looking greasy, dirty, tired, and having bad breath, which all make a bad first impression. I ended up having other worries: my suitcase didn't show up. I filled out a missing baggage report and dug through my bag until I found my baggage number. Unfortunately, I couldn't give them an address or phone number, so I told them I'd call them later.

Walking out of the airport, I knew who Marie was first thing. It was exactly as I pictured: a smiling woman with two redheads. Yay! They hugged me and we talked about crocs as we walked to the car. I definitely opened the wrong side of the car (the driver's side over here) right as Marie remarked that I'd probably go to the wrong side. Ha ha. Driving on the left wasn't so scary as much as I just kept thinking that we were either on a one-way or that she had forgotten to get over to the right. We drove through beautiful country roads and I was surprised to see how much England looks like Germany: the buildings, the trees, the signs, etc.

We dropped everything off at the Viners' lovely, pristine home. Marie and I had a lot of nice conversation. There is never a dull moment with her. She is so positive, energetic, and gospel-centred. (I spelled it that way in honor of Marie.) Marie and her four sisters and mother were taught the gospel and baptized by my dad and his companion 31 years ago. My middle name is Marie after her. Just like Anne Shirley discovered, I am discovering that there are a lot of kindred spirits in the world. Marie is a wonderful mother. She loves to scrapbook. Jonathan and James are so fun. They showed me their scrapbooks and I enjoyed talking to and playing sports with both of them.

James had football (soccer in America, although I've thought for a long time that we should fix that and go to the metric system). It was cold out there, even though the sun was shining. (Alas, my jacket is in the suitcase.) We talked to a nice man Marie calls "Granddad" about ghosts. I stole Jonathan's soccer ball a few times, which impressed him. Give him a few years and he'll realize my skills are actually quite lousy. You should have seen James's face when I told him I was a certified soccer ref. On the way back home, we stopped at an old church and looked at the graveyard. We walked inside and Marie told the vicar there that I love organs. He let me play! Cool! I was so nervous, I didn't do so well on "All Creatures of Our God and King," but "Be Still My Soul" turned out quite well.

Marie made cajun salmon for tea. Yum, yum! I taught her how to blog and use analytics and everything. Her site is theviners.blogspot.com. Si came home and we watched the Man City game. I had no trouble whatsoever falling asleep.

Thursday: I woke up at 8:30, took a shower (Marie had to come turn on the hot water for me, it's outside the bathroom according to the old code that electricity shouldn't be near the water), put on some of Marie's clothing which fit very nicely, and had some cereal. Simon had already left for work. We stopped by the mission home and saw the current mission president's wife, Sister Jacobsen. Then we went to Tatton House, an enormous estate with a farm (pigs, cows, roosters, etc.), a mansion, a garden, a restaurant, herds of deer, and a nice playground. James, Jonathan, and I played football until Marie decided to join up, girls against boys. She made an awesome goal and sacrificed her toenail for it.
We took Jonathan to his swimming class; he is a silver swimmer, meaning he is almost to the top gold classification. Every kind of education here sounds phenomenal. I couldn't believe the kind of math that 7-year-old James is doing. Division already! They start school at age 4.

We made dumpling stew in the slow-cooker for tea. Si came home and we had quite a time comparing music. He loves Coldplay and Oasis (whose hometown is Manchester). Marie and I made superman cupcakes. I accidentally dumped the frosting mix into the cupcake mix, so they were funny. After the kids were in bed, Si, Marie, and I watched a British comedy called "The Vicar of Dibley." Then we headed to bed. I think I fell asleep praying, as I went to bed around 10 and got into bed at 11:14, not remembering what I had been doing.

No word on the baggage. I've called several times. Marie has been so kind about letting me use their things.


  1. Sounds like life is peachy-keen. I tried Marie's blog link and it came up NOT FOUND - darn! love you like crazy!

  2. How lovely! What of the picture posting? Let's see some of the English countryside :).