And a short flight from Charles de Gaulle airport brought us back to London (this time, we landed at the designated airport !).
Then back to the friend in Reading, briefly; from whence we took the train down to Bath. We had a dual purpose; both to see the place and to try to find a distributor of opera on CD about whom we'd read.
We went first to stay with a friend in Reading, who was the perfect host(ess) and took us *everywhere*. One of our favourite places was Oxford, where we saw many of the famous and historic colleges. Our friend's 'family seat' is at Sonning, which is on the Thames, and beautiful in an unmistakeably Englsh way. To see the lock at Sonning is to see English literature in microcosm -- well, if your reading during upbringing was anything like mine, anyway ... (It's possible *some* people don't think of most of the English stories they've read, whenever a lock like Sonning's presents itself ...)
Because we got on at Reading and were travelling back to London on the return leg, we foolishly bought tickets each way. Thus we paid, at the very beginning of 1990, £52. Difficult to convey in today's currency, this was a frighteningly large amount of money, and has remained ever since one of our strongest memories of England.
But Bath was very much worth seeing, although the CD shop's stock was totally removed from anything we'd been led to expect. (Such duplicity in advertising can't happen any more, not now that the WWW holds such sway ...)
We took the train up to London to spend some days with old and close friends from home. We all did touristy things like going to Trafalgar Square; and we visited the British Museum, where we bought a poster of our cat (well, it looked like him, anyway !) to take home to him. And there are some very touristy images from those activities. But what these don't show are the super places that our friends took us to at night; musically and theatrically, our London visit was rendered wonderful !
Philosophical note: at that stage, Bath had resisted the temptation to serve devonshire tea more often than about every 4th block -- perfectly reasonable. However, whether it has managed to stay that way is unknown. Bath considers itself to be the acme of Englishness; and portraying this takes many and varied forms -- some are wonderful, but not *all* ...
And after all that, it was time to go home ...