I apologize for the gap in posts. I was in England last week for a business meeting.
For the most part, it was quite pleasant. Although I spent the better part of the first 48 hours wondering about the fate of my luggage. I was regaled with daily updates of how my luggage “might well be on the next flight from Newark” — if not, “it will surely be on one of the three morning flights tomorrow.” For about the first 36 hours, the Continental Airlines representative at Heathrow and I labored under the assumption that someone in Newark might care enough to actually place my suitcase on an outbound aircraft (preferably to Heathrow). We were sadly delusional.
It was fortunate that my associate and I went to England a couple of days early to attend a vocal performance by a fellow team member. Supplemented by carry-on underwear and socks, as well as a shirt loaned by my travel companion, I was able to get through that critical sleep-deprived first day, attended the very successful performance and after-party, and crashed about 1:00 AM to the sounds of party-goers returning to the hotel from wedding receptions, etc., at all hours of the night.
The next day, after a leisurely breakfast, we went to Oxford for some tourism opportunities. Having given up on ever seeing my luggage again, our hosts were kind enough to take me to a department store and outfit me with the essential attire to get through the next few days of client meetings in the event that my suitcase was an eternal sacrifice to the gods of air travel. Relieved by the knowledge that I was no longer dependent on the goodwill of the Continental baggage handlers, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with my companions exploring the beautiful University of Oxford including the College of Christ Church.
Later that day, as luck would have it, I received a call from the airline informing me that my luggage would be delivered that evening to the hotel in Surrey. My suitcase and I celebrated our fortuitous reunion later that evening (disclaimer: I celebrated our reunion. Whether suitcases are capable of celebration or not is a subject still under investigation).
I spent the rest of the week with my associates in a hotel called Runnymede-on-Thames, near Surrey. The meeting was a success and the premises were truly enjoyable. I took a couple of walks on the scenic path along the Thames and enjoyed seeing the swans and personal river barges of the local homeowners. These were not new boats, but character-weathered vessels that shared the personal touches of their owners.
After the meeting, we had an afternoon to wander about Windsor just chatting and laughing with our kindred companions and associates from Hong Kong, Brazil, and Argentina. Photos were taken, food consumed, and we returned early evening to catch return flights or pack for morning departures as per each individual’s itineraries.
Keep an eye out for more photos of the trip in future posts. I need to let them sit on the hard-drive and ferment for a bit; but I’ll post them as the muse strikes.
My best to you all,