It was a typical British bank Holiday , a promise of great weather, which turned out to be quiet different.
Vanessa, my daughter, has moved down to the southern coastal city of Southampton in England, a place she has found to be full of interesting things to do, full of history, a place of surrounding beautiful countryside, near enough to many facilities and for her, work.
Knowing the traffic problems as people drive to the seaside and places of interest on Bank Holidays, I decided to let the train take the strain, and although an early start, the journey, with only one change at Clapham Junction, would only take two hours, much the same as driving, but at least I would be able to read the Sunday newspapers, and the fare would cost less than the petrol my car would use.
As the train pulled in at Clapham Junction, I spied an empty carriage, and I quickly found myself a window seat, and sat back to read the newspaper, only to be joined by a group of about 15 foreign people, I would presume to be Mexican as they were speaking Spanish but looked South American, and it was party-time for them.
They were shouting jokes from one end of the carriage to the other. most frustrating as I could not understand what they were saying. they were playing music, the songs again being in Spanish, and passing food around. I could feel myself becoming angry for disturbing my peace, invading my space, and had to change my state to remove them from my world.
I had been advised by my cousin, Glynis who lives in the area, to wear my shorts, as it would be good weather, but I decided to wear my slacks and take a jacket, and I was glad I did.
On arriving at the Southampton Airport railway station where Vanessa would pick me up in her little yellow car, it was drizzling. Where was the sunny weather Glynis?
What were we going to do?
I remember way back when Vanessa was a young girl, and I was allowed to see her on one of my trips back from working in Saudi Arabia, and i did what most divorced dad’s do when they have to entertain their children on the very rare access visits, I took her to London Zoo.
Oh how the tables have turned.
When I said, “what shall we do?” Vanessa replied, “We could go to the zoo.“
I suddenly had the image of me being the senile old man, that now the children have to take care of.
But no, it was time to catch up, to talk over lunch at Nando’s, to pass-on family history over cups of coffee, to visit a small museum of the port of Southampton which included a display of the history of the RMS Titanic which left Southampton on its’ ill fated voyage to America.
It was a time to give what I would call useless information, which I am full of, to Vanessa, like that the bronze statue of the Titanic’s captain, Captain Edward John Smith, which is in Beacon Park, a public park in Lichfield, Staffordshire. The story goes that Captain Smith’s home town of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, had the statue made, but refused to have it when he managed to sink the Titanic, and Lichfield was the only city to take it.
It was after the museum, we walked the short distance to the old docks where the Titanic would have sailed from, and it was alive with ships and ferries still using the facilities.
We watched as four massive cruise ships left for I hope warmer climates, because I was frozen, and this was an August holiday.
Typical British weather.
Cunard Queen Victoria leaving Southampton
P&O Cruise Ship Aurora leaving Southampton
P&O Cruise Ship Ventura leaving Southampton