Saturday, August 23, 2008

Going West at Last

I hardly dare to tell you this.

Because you've all done it far more than I have, I guarantee it.

Travelling, I mean.

I've always wanted to travel but, after my first baby died in 1984 aged three weeks, I had a deep-vein thrombosis in my leg, and it wasn't diagnosed for ages, until it travelled to my lung, and by then it had done a lot of damage to my leg.

Now, that little story was not a bid for sympathy: it was an explanation. My bad leg was so damned painful for a long time afterwards that I couldn't really have contemplated a long plane journey - or even, for a while, a short one.

But over the years, it's got better. Not completely better, but a lot better. I do quite a lot of walking, and some swimming, and those have helped.

Then I started this blog. And, a year ago, through blogging, I met Silverback, and we have become good friends. And he lives in Florida for half the year.

Now, all my life I've known I was never going to visit America. It was dinned into me from a very early age. Because, as you may have realised, the Communist is - well, a Communist. He believes, very strongly, that the Capitalist system is unfair (true) and he believes - I think - that if the planet's wealth was evenly distributed we would all be happier (and I would argue that this is a naive way of looking at things - but I don't do party politics so that's enough of that).

So of course, in those days, he could never go to America, because in those days in order to get in you had to answer a big fat NO to the question "Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?"

Yes, the very idea of crossing the Atlantic, to our family, was something impossible, along with a package tour to the Moon, or the Communist closing a car door gently (he always thought that they needed to be slammed with the full force of his strength, which was considerable, since he had been a miner during the Second World War).

And now, in late November, Stephen and I will be going to Florida for two weeks. Yes, it's in the United States of America! We plan to visit Silverback, and to meet his friends Debby and Dennis and other friends too.

I can't believe it. Mention has been made that, on arrival, duct tape will be needed to close my open mouth. Perhaps I'll calm down in a week or two. But at the moment I'll be doing the ironing, and I think "OH WOW I'M GOING TO AMERICA!" and I'm having lunch and I think "OH WOW I'M GOING TO AMERICA!" and I'm drifting off to sleep and wake up suddenly thinking "OH WOW I'M GOING TO AMERICA!" You get the picture.

I told the Communist. He seemed to think it's a pretty good idea. Perhaps he's mellowing in his old age.


Blogger Silverback said...

And I'm doing the dishes thinking "I'M GOING ON A 2 WEEK CRUISE IN NOVEMBER. I CAN'T WAIT !!!!"

5:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After seeing yours and Silverback's pictures from the canal trip I did wonder if you might head out to Florida at some point to visit him when he does his annual migration.

I have a feeling you'll have the holiday of a lifetime, especially as you've never been there before and I guess more so as you never thought you actually would - but now you are!

5:56 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

November is a wonderful time to visit Florida because (a) the heat and humidity of summer is gone (well, the humidity, anyway), (b) the school-age children have all returned to school so the whole-family tourists are at their lowest, and (c) the Portuguese man-o'-war (a type of jellyfish) have not made their annual mid-winter pilgrimage to Florida's beaches. That last point is one the Florida Visitors' Bureau does its best to keep well-hidden from the tourists. But it should not worry you in the least since you will be there in November.

By the way, Silverback lives well inland, in the center of the state, midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. You need to see a full moon rising in the Atlantic and a sunset in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bon voyage, three months early!

6:45 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Great news! I am sure that the American experience will thrill you more than if you'd travelled over there at twenty-one. Maybe like me you'll become an Americophile...!

7:29 pm  
Blogger Jennytc said...

Lucky you, Daphne! Enjoy!!

8:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blimey! you are turning into a real gadabout! We might have to review your low carbon footprint status at this rate. How exciting though - Florida! WOW!!!!!

You'll notice a definite tint of green when you see me next week.

8:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and whilst I'm at it... I might have travelled a tiny bit more than you (but not much) and I've certainly had a lot less holidays. Oh dear, that green tint is becoming completely verdant.

8:33 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm delighted for you! You'll have a super time, and Silverback will be in heaven with you all together for once.

11:19 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

I wake up in the morning thinking 'Ohhhhh Daphne's coming to America!' At work today, in the cooler I was thinking, 'ohhhhh Daphne's coming to america! I was filling up the salad bar thinking' ohhhhh we'll get to meet Stephen too!' We're ever so excited about it in case you can't tell.

Never fear rhymeswithplague, we'll make sure she sees the best Florida has to offer.

Is it November yet???

1:50 am  

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