Friday, June 5, 2009

Four-leaf clovers, guardian angels, and their ilk

So far my overseas trip has been going extraordinarily well.

When I consider that I left the planning very late and that I shortened the UK portion of my trip by two days in order to squeeze in The Wall prior to my departure, it feels almost miraculous that it has been going as smoothly as it has.

If I am to see everyone I hope to see here, my UK itinerary contains no room for error. I have been incredibly fortunate that everything has lined up in my favour. In fact things have not merely worked out as well as could have been expected. So far they have exceeded my hopes.

My British rellies and friends have been amused by my assertion that I have horseshoes up my ass. But, if you had witnessed how obstacle after obstacle had evaported, I believe you would agree.

Although I had been reluctant to leave Nanaimo at a critical time in the life of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community, I am very much enjoying my reunions with family members and friends in the UK. For the first time, I've also seen something of the UK beyond London. I've been to Wales and Devon.

I am enjoying the UK's gorgeous and charming old buildings but, in contrast to my previous visits to Europe, seeing all this history has not left me with a sense of deprivation. I do not feel as if Canada is deficient because it lacks this kind of architecture. I just feel as if Canada is different from Europe. Different. Neither inferior nor superior.

On the train between Wales and Devon, a woman asked me where I came from. I said I lived on Vancouver Island in Canada. She asked me what it was like there. I said I loved it. She said she was psychic, and she could tell that I was very happy. She said it was a burden being psychic. She said that, in light of the amount of unhappiness she detected on any given day, it was a pleasure to meet someone who was as happy as I was.

The woman may or may not have been psychic. I won't bother speculating about that. But, as my niece subsequently said, you didn't need to be psychic to know how I felt when I talked about Vancouver Island.


HappyKayaker said...

judy, i'm so glad that you enjoy your trip.

what actually struck me in this post was the "it is not inferior nor superior - it is just different"... for the past three and a half years i've been insisting on that very sentence whenever people tried to get some sort of verification how superior the according country is... but you know, i'm not sure how many people really realise, what i mean. it seems to me that it has a lot to do with that feeling of belonging here, being fortunate enough to live in my little paradise called vancouver island... - dare i say: being closer to my true self?
so, reading your thoughts was a bit like looking into a mirror. thanks for that.

all the best for your voyage.


Jayne said...

Where did you visit in Wales?

Anonymous said...

So pleased to know that you are having a great time and having a few good realisations on the way too!

ms toast burner said...

Judy said 'ass'... heehee. ;-)

Great to hear that you're having a lovely time!

Judy Roberts said...

Hi Jayne,

I went to Llantwit Major in Wales. I didn't go there for touristy reasons. I was visiting ex-Swaziland friends who lived there. It was great to catch up with them.

The following afternoon, I continued to Newton Abbot on the coast of Devon. Again I was visiting ex-Swaziland friends.

On the day after my arrival in Devon, my friends took me for a walk on the coast path at Dawlish. We then walked up the high street, looked at the shops, and had lunch in a cute restaurant.

Dawlish was the one place in the UK in which I really got to be a tourist.

The rest of my time in the UK is being devoted to family members and friends. I'm very much enjoying seeing them again.

Bev said...

Hi Judy, it really has been good reading some of your blogs (must admit I havent read them all) but the last two I have particularly enjoyed. I think you have been very brave to have done what you have and I sit here sometimes thinking I wish I had the courage to do something like that. It is not the right time for me though, but maybe one day. In the meantime all best wishes and I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. I am going to the UK 26th June for a two week visit, my first back there since we arrived here in Canada and I am only really going to celebrate our eldest daughters achievement at being award a first class honors degree in Chemistry which is pay back for all the hard work she put into it. Best wishes Bev Woodman