Monday, August 27, 2012

Honey-Roasted Peanuts v. Hard Tack

Well, the time has come. I leave for London on Wednesday morning! I can't believe I will be flying there again, to seeing all my favorite things, and check out some new ones! This time going with friends: we are all Anglophiles! Fans of Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and of course, "Queenie" (Queen Elizabeth), as we call her.

Thinking about how easy it is, in reality, to get there. About 11 hours, not always the most comfortable, but I take a good book, have a few good flicks on the Ipad, and the time seems to pass. I ALWAYS keep my eye on the prize! London!

It was not always so easy to get there. In the 18th Century, the only way was on one of the sailing ships, subject to storms at sea, and at the mercy of lack of wind. The trip generally took around 60-80 days from the east coast of America to Portsmouth, England.

Travel at best was arduous, cramped and extremely dangerous. Always the threat of shipwreck, disease or piracy. In those years people didn't necessarily travel for fun. These voyages were reserved for official delegations, scientific exploration, emigrants, convicts, indentured servants, slaves, debtors, invalids seeking better climate. You ate what was provided, and when it was doled out. I don't believe there was even that complementary glass of cheap wine or spirits along with the endless supply of honey-roasted peanuts!

If one happened to get passage on a warship, they had to endure a possible naval action, gun or cannon fire, bloodshed, capture. It makes having a not- so-amiable passenger, or crying baby next to you seem like "child's play", compared to months of no real showers, seasickness, damp and cold, salted beef, dried peas and beans, stale barrelled water, mice, squalls, or love-starved sailors (ha ha)!

And so, I take a break from work, and normal daily life, and head out for some time across the pond. Looking forward to bringing home stories to share! Until then, adieu!

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