Jim Haynes newsletters
|Newsletter No. 731|
|A Quick trip to London
27 & 28 February 2015
Friday, 27th: Barbara Engrand, my wonderful nurse,
comes at 7, tests my blood sugar level, gives me an insulin injection
and tells me to be good in London. And that she will see me on Sunday
morning. Get up. Have my usual coffee and cereal. Shave, shower, shampoo.
Quickly dress and lightly pack. Chat briefly with Masha Mombelli and tell
her I will be back Saturday afternoon. Out the door and walk to Alesia.
Catch the 38 bus and am soon at the Gare du Nord. Have a hot chocolate
and am soon called for my 12.40 Eurostar train to London St. Pancras.
Outside, Ernie, Natalia and Lindsey search for a taxi.
Soon we are zooming to Westbourne Grove and Durbar, a tandoori restaurant
in Hereford Road. None of us are really hungry, but we have a feast nevertheless.
Very happy, very stuffed we head for Ernie's (and Lindsey for her home).
I test my blood sugar level and it is three times higher than it should
be. I report this to Ernie and Natalia. They are more alarmed than I am.
Ernie calls an NHS info number and there we are told that I must go to
the Emergency Ward of St. Mary's Hospital right away. A lovely doctor,
Angharad Langdon, looks after me. Discover that we both spent three years
of our early life studying in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. She orders
more tests and then says that she wants me to stay the night. It is a
night without sleep as the tests and injections continue. When I am wheeled
to the ward by Manuel from Barcelona I am the only one in a room with
six beds. During the night three more beds are filled.
We head for the Eurostar departure. I ask for wheelchair assistance. The fellow in charge is from Brazil and is a delightful and very helpful person. He tells me his name and it is Paulo I think. I ask him if Michael Jones is still a part of his team and he says that he is, but today is his day off. I ask that my best wishes be passed to him. More hugs and goodbyes to Ernie, Joan and Natalia. I am wheeled into the First Class lounge where a young fellow named Tom and I talk. He has a part time job in the Lounge and he is an aspiring actor. His mother is English and his father is Dutch. We have a good talk about acting and theater and I invite him to dine when he is next in Paris. Soon it is time to depart and I am wheeled to carriage 11. There I am welcomed by a super sweet attendant. Later I ask his name. He writes it on a piece of paper, but when I am home I cannot find it. He is from the island of Mauritius. The woman attendant is also very wonderful. Her name was also on the scrap of paper. They walk with me to the taxi queue and we say goodbye. I tell them they are welcome to come to dinner any Sunday.
Jim and Natalia in St. Pancras,
photo by Ernie Eban
Taxi home. Michaela Daub welcomes me. She is my new room mate and has
moved into the basement flat where Kristi used to live. She carries my
small bag up to my room. I attempt to answer a few email messages, but
I am so tired that am soon in Sleepy Land. On the 9th of March I will
go to Milano and to a castle South of Rome for five days.
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