We don't do God
I remembered this incident the other evening as I watched our last Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, leave office. He made a short speech, but was careful not to mention God in any way.
He said he was thankful that, although he was losing this part of his life, he still had his most important areas: that of being a husband and father.
No mention of thanking God for this.
He ended by saying: 'Thank you, and.....
(Surely he'll say 'God bless you')
Yep. It seems to be true: We don't do God in the UK anymore.
Queen Victoria once said that, 'England's Greatness was to be attributed to the Bible. When she loses the Bible, 'Great' Britain, will no longer be Great.
I guess that says it all.
Probably THE moment of our holiday to Canada and the US was the moment - at almost 3 o'clock in the morning on our second full day - I opened the door to the house we'd been given in New Jersey.
The Statue of Liberty.
We couldn't but think of the thousands that fled persecution in Europe to come to the USA. What this sight must have meant to them.
This was the New York skyline. It was very misty the day we were there, but this weather has its own beauty.
This photo shows the gap where the Twin Towers used to be. I am not going to attempt any words. There are none.
The Atlantic - New Jersey style.
Some of the gorgeous Pennsylvanian countryside.
(taken from the inside of the car, so please excuse the reflection!)
I have more photos of beautiful countryside in PA, in OH, in MI and in Ontario. Not to mention in Scotland. I'll post them later.
They really show how over-populated our earth really is. I think not.
We had booked tickets to hear Cleveland Orchestra perform at the Severance Hall, Cleveland. We all dressed up in our finery, and were set for a wonderful evening of culture.
The music began. Calum was sitting next to me, and two minutes after the music began, he whispered:
Calum: 'This is beautiful'
Me: (smiling smugly at the thought of how cultured the children we'd bred were) 'It is, darling'
5 mins later
Calum: 'I'm bored'
Me: (horrified) 'But you just told me you thought the music was beautiful'
Calum: (rolling of the eyes) 'I said the BUILDING was beautiful. The music is boring.'
Oh well, you can't win 'em all.
Well, you asked! In the past week, we've been on a roller-coaster.
Our holiday plans looked precarious to say the least last week.
An Ash Cloud. Whoever had heard of such a thing?
Well, we'd all heard of it by last week. Not only had we heard of it, we'd followed every movement of it. Willed it to stay. Willed it to move more quickly. Willed it to do anything it wanted if it would just clear a path from our home to Glasgow, and from Glasgow to Toronto.
The first request went unheeded. We heard at the VERY last minute that our flight to the mainland was not going to happen. We heard at 2.45pm last Wednesday. The last ferry before our Glasgow-Toronto flight was leaving the island on Wednesday at............2.45pm. No kidding. We phoned the ferry company; asked them if the ferry had sailed; told them we had a flight to catch in Glasgow the following day; got in the car and flew.... sorry, I mean, we drove carefully and within the speed limit......cough..... to Stornoway. The ferry company held the ferry back 15 mins for us. Thank you guys. I will never again complain at the feeling of sea-sickness I get just looking at the ferry. I will never again wish I'd flown to the mainland rather than put up with the smell of diesel on the ferry. I will never again.....oh, I don't think I can make any of these promises, but for the time being, a big THANK YOU to Caledonian MacBrayne. For the time being, we love you.
Here is the ferry arriving in Ullapool
And thanks to the passengers, none of whom complained - at least to our faces - that their journey was delayed by almost 20 minutes.
We had to take the bus from Ullapool to Glasgow, and because the ferry had been delayed, we were going to miss the connection from Inverness. En route, I phoned the Inverness Bus Station and - you're getting the picture here - they delayed the bus for us!
Thank you National Express. I shall never again complain about buses.
I'm making too many promises here. Think I'll stop.
Suffice to say our flight left the following day. It was actually delayed 9 hours. Nine hours in an airport.
Problem? Not at all. A good book, comfy reclining chairs, the odd cuppa. I was made! How often do mums get to do that? It was great!
Costa del....airport! We took over the 'comfy chairs' section, and enjoyed the rest!
The flight did, eventually, take off, and this is a photo of the screen on the plane showing where we are.
As you can see here, we are still in UK airspace, heading Northwest out of Glasgow.
As I write this, we are on the I-80 (I think!) heading towards Michigan.
Since landing on this side of the Atlantic, we have visited an elderly relative in Ontario.
We have driven to Ocean City, NJ.
We have climbed the Statue of Liberty.
It was wet and misty the day we were here, but I always feel
this weather has its own beauty
We have driven through the most incredible and frightening thunder and lightening we have ever seen.
We have visited dear friends in Washington DC; we have been to a baseball game; and to a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra.
And all being well, very soon, we will be meeting up with dear friends in Michigan.
This is just a quick overview. More information on most of the above will follow!