Landing at Heathrow, special fast track through immigration, whiz bang, dirty looks from waiting travelers in immigration hall, probably there since last year; splendid British Rail to Scotland; trudging the moors hunting with a falcon on a glove, catching nine rabbits, juxtaposed by the 9:00 Great Western speeding toward London across the field below.
Watching exquisite dressage at the Blenheim Horse Trials; developing a discerning eye for the near invisible error; the sound of galloping hooves on an uphill turf during the cross country, the silent pause of the jump: poetry! Being appalled by riders wearing black face during a pairs competition - approved by the hyphen - audience laughing, finding black face amusing, no wonder the kid wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party.
Beautiful breakfasts in bed. Is there anything more savage than a well lit dining room in the early morning hours and eating next to strangers? English porridge is predictably delicious. To paraphrase the lyrics: Nobody does it better. Pasta at Carluccio's; anything, but anything at Bakers and Spice; pub food bangers and grub, steak and ale pie, fish and chips, softy ice cream cones, flake not necessary; lattes, lattes, lattes.
Tony Blair struggling in a balancing act to remain on his tight rope; he's going today; going tomorrow; gone in May. "I am not." Next year? "Maybe." More specificity? Like announcing a withdrawal from Iraq, timetables are only good for the 9:00 o'clock Great Western. Same day eight resign. Easy come, easy go. Eileen Atkins replaces Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary and goes to Iraq for a visit. Couldn't Blair have tapped Judi Dench? What kind of competition will Ms. Atkins be for Condoleezza Rice and her thigh high boots?
Having forgotten all about American politics, switching on BBC news just in time to hear George Bush confuse the word infidels with infidelity, speeding on, chewing up the language, racing toward the next language train wreck, the 9:00 Great Western lingering near.
Without Bush or Iraq, Blair might actually have been safely rooted at Number 10 forever.
Time to leave England for home, traffic to Heathrow, police with machine guns near entrance, lipstick confiscated by security, we're fighting them in Iraq so we don't have to fight them at home, but lipstick could be a weapon. Buy a Bobby Brown lip pencil at Duty Free. Second security check by serious faced professionals; smooth 777 take off by United, gin and tonic, double serving of those warm roasted nuts.
Two weeks in England? Priceless.
Those serious faced security people at Heathrow? Triple priceless.