Daily Archives: October 14, 2012

Westminster Abbey bells

After arriving four hours later than planned, I was still able today to attend Evensong at the Abbey.  I’ll have a full report in the morning, as I’m already starting to fade today and it’s only 5 p.m.

[Random fact:  I love the UK tuna and cucumber sandwiches.  And paprika chips.  So that was my lunch.  At 2 p.m.]

Here is the sound and sight from outside the Abbey after the service:

Brussels, unexpectedly

One never knows what adventures one will find when traveling the world.

I expected to be in London some time ago.  And instead . . . I’m on a 757 on the ground in Brussels!

(Thanks to the miracle of wi-fi, and a Boingo roaming account, I am updating from seat 10A on this flight.)

Our flight from Dulles left an hour late.  Then, at least according to the Captain, clouds socked in London and we were put on a 45-minute hold over the Midlands of England.  With not enough fuel to hold that long and have the right safety margin, we diverted to Brussels.  I saw some lovely landscape as we approached the airport.

So we are on the ground.  Fuel is streaming into the jet’s holds.  A United rep is on the way to the jet to talk through connections for those who are now clearly missing their London outbounds.

As for me, I had only three church services planned for today, all at Westminster Abbey. I shall be fine.  As AJ once said to me, “You’re in London.  You’ll have a hard time being grumpy.”

How right he was.  I’m in Europe, in a manner of speaking, and I’ll be walking the sidewalks of London soon enough.  All is well.


Now, having said that, a couple of quibbles.  United has cut back on the food they provide weary travelers.  We used to get a piece of cheese and a couple of water crackers with our dinner.  And free wine or spirits.  That has gone away.  And we used to get yogurt with breakfast.  That too is now a memory.

I’m also reminded of how much I dislike 757s.  They’re just a bit  uncomfortabler that wide-bodies on these international flights.


A brief update, now at 3.09 a.m. body time (10.09 a.m. local time): we are expected to depart from here in about 2.5 hours.  We are not amused.  And the flight attendant just told me that once we reach two hours on the ground, we are handed granola bars.  We are even less amused.

My friend D wrote an impassioned letter last week to an airline’s customer service department.  I, like him, am surprised at times at how a company can squander the good will we have toward that company.

We are not the only flight that has been bumped over to the Continent.  But . . . . grrrr…..