.. that was ten days ago, actually, after a warm and friendly and very well-fed stay in London. I would have blogged about it while I was still there except for the shadow that fell over my clan-family: one of my elder cousins died, very suddenly, in his sleep, in his home in Budapest. He was just 54, so it was a dreadful shock for everyone, especially his two sisters, wife and two grown children. My uncle in London was as always wonderfully resilient and despite his own sense of deep bereavment(the cousin was my uncle's elder brother's son), organized the funeral. I wasn't there for it, having left the day before, but everyone says it was very moving and very fitting (I'm not mentioning names in order to keep this blog from popping up in the public tributes to my cousin who was a very well-regarded international banker and has been greatly mourned in banking circles).
So it was against this background that I had, despite it all, a very pleasant stay with my cousins, uncles and aunts in London. This visit was my first at the new home of K & S, the cousins with whom I always stay when I'm in -- why doesn't London have a pet-name, like New York? Something like the Big Apple? -- Old Londinium and it was absolutely fabulous. It's a renovated Georgian home, and S has out-done herself. She is an outstanding home-maker -- I should know, having stayed at FOUR of their houses -- and this one tops the lot. It's positively EDIBLE: I would say it has the flavour of heavy cream and raspberries; champagne and orchids; moussaka and hot french bread. Totally YUM.
The return to Delhirium was quite pleasant, all considered. Our flight got in at the very decent hour of just before 12 pm. The immigration queue was one hour long but really, aside from that, re-entry was wholly painless. Our outstanding domestic maitre d' was waiting for us with tea and toast and lunch -- and the house was clean and dusted. Later the same night, our friend Maude from Providence arrived (flying in from France, where she had spent a week or two), so it was all very convivial again. The speed of international really shrinks the globe, huh? It's hard to be aware of the vastness of the distance travelled when it takes a mere night to wake up on the other side of the world. Oh and -- Virgin Atlantic continues to get top marks from me. This time, instead of watching movies, I played their in-flight quiz games practically all the way from the UK. Very cool. But the flight was NOT packed, which is a bit worrying. I want the airline to do WELL! So that I don't have to choose the competition, the next time I fly.