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No Reversing Without Rear End Supervision

I am getting ahead of myself here. Yes, I do know I am home from my amazing, fabulous, delightful, and years contemplated trip to the UK, but I am nowhere near being ready to offer my hindsight of philosophical renderings of my evaluation of the trip and lessons learned.

Let me start closer to the front and the logistics of zipping the small suitcase closed (21 pounds) and heading out to the airport to arrive 3 hours earlier than my flight. My trusted driver assured me I was just too excited and I had no need to be there so early. Apparently, my sense of timing was working on my side. There were 75 Norwegian students in line for check in ahead of me. They had been on a Canadian Wilderness Adventure Tour, which included several days in my State and a few lovely days in Seattle.

By the time they were all through the line and out to the satellite gates, I and the Indian delegation were just getting checked and sent out to join the students.

They had started boarding and I arrived at the gate 20 minutes before takeoff. I had an assigned seat which was good and I marched off the train and right onto the plane. A 15 year old Norwegian slept on my shoulder for 7 of the 8.5 hours in the air and truly enjoyed the extras from my dinner and breakfast trays. Three infants and 1 toddler screamed and cried for the full 8 hours – one with a high pitched scream that sent the other mature woman in my row to be moved to an empty seat in business class.

The lady in the blue jacket did not meet me getting off the plane. I walked the entire arrival terminal at Heathrow twice and 18 gates of the parking garage twice before I found someone who could get me onto the shuttle. It is now raining – pouring and I do not know what a brolly is and why I will need one right away.

I arrive at the IBIS in Earl’s Court. Wait in line; wait again in line for someone who can speak better English as my French and pantomime has not made the right impression. I escape to the 9th flour with all my bags and books in tow; into the room, the sunshine breaks through I rush to the window and there before my eyes is the Mary Poppin’s Extreme Viewpoint of row upon row of row houses with at least 6 chimney pots on top of the stack. I can see for miles and miles and some new buildings intrude, but there are miles and miles of rows upon rows – I am here.

chimney pots


There is no soap, no washcloth, and no shampoo in my tiny den and I have been told not to go to sleep until a normal bedtime. I ask the excursion assistant in the lobby about stores and head out to round up supplies. I find a grocery and pharmacy and make my purchases along with a snack, apples, bottled water, and return to the hotel.

I will head out in the morning to the Tower of London. I finally get a map – one for the subway – my confidence bolstered and I know to go early. I decide to eat supper in the restaurant in the IBIS and have a lovely lamb roast dinner with great vegetables and a piece of spice cake.

Need to stay awake a bit longer and end up watching on the BBC a discussion about how so many students from the USA in the UK University system are lowering the academic standards in such a way that there is now an overflow of students wanting to attend the Universities. (The US students pay full price and the Universities need the funds, but do not have enough funds for all the students wishing to attend from the UK)

I rest my head upon the pillow in guilt and drift off.

I truly do not know why I am being allowed this adventure in my life. It is a dream come true and I will just take it one day at a time.

My title is a sign which I discovered in the massive London bus terminal as I was leaving for a tour of the city. I am offering the supervision part up to you as I work my way through this experience in the next posts. Maybe I can figure it out and understand this dream and what I am to do next.

no reversing

Look forward to your comments.

Here are some previous posts that you might also enjoy reading:
How we Make Decisions and Changes
The Place I want to Get Back To

23 Responses to “No Reversing Without Rear End Supervision”

  1. J.D. Meier Says:

    I’m glad there’s memories. So many great things in our life come and go, but memories stick. Sometimes, it’s all we’ve got.

  2. Patricia Says:

    There are good memories…I am noticing the moments of great beauty and laughter are the quickest to recall.

  3. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – Great motto! PassingThru is currently reversing as well – back to the point where I screwed up a very mundane task and wiped out all files. My rear end supervision is John Hoff – who is literally saving my a$$ at this moment. LOL

    I am so excited to hear about your trip and your Mary Poppins chimney pot view is fabulous!

  4. Patricia Says:

    Oh No Betsy,
    Aren’t those tasks painful, which wipe out files…aargh…I feel your frustration.

    My kiddo took some very great shots – now I just need to make sense of the experience and the outcomes….

    Hope John is helpful – I did come home to a non-working computer and then no sound for several days…if it is not one thing then two others?

  5. Evita Says:

    Hi Patricia!

    How wonderful to hear about your trip to the UK! Those types of trips are always dreams come true as they make us realize I think more than anything, that we create our experiences and like you found, make us appreciate what we do end up creating.

    As an aside to the hotel, when we spent a vacation in Paris last summer, we too stayed at an IBIS, but it was a really nice experience. It actually made me hopeful that there is a safe “chain” of hotels to stay at in Europe, but I guess they are not all the same obviously.

    And interesting sign and title indeed!

  6. Patricia Says:

    The IBIS we stayed at would have been great if they had called it a travel hostel – the breakfast was so bad it should not have been served everyday to anyone.

    Evita it is so fun to have adventures and see things with your new eyes.

    I just loved this sign and how polite so many road signs were and I think I will feel bolder about creating my own experience the next time I head out. This was not the trip we planned which was 10 days of walking in Scotland – that trip folded and we had the days arranged so we went on their offering of what was available – it was good, but did not meet the designed planning or expectations.

  7. BunnygotBlog Says:

    I am so happy you had this experience. You deserved it, momma!

  8. Eliza Says:

    Ah yes, the joys of plane travel. I start to panic at the 4 hour mark. Will really need to psyche myself up for a trip to Australia :-)

    I LOVE the sign. No reversing without rear end supervision. This just evokes so many images. A person could have a ball with it. But you could get quite metaphorical with it as well. I might have to run with this idea and see where it leads me *chuckle*

    I look forward to hearing more about your trip.

  9. Vered - Blogger for Hire Says:

    Patricia, you write so beautifully. Your writing is lively and descriptive and makes me feel as if I’m there with you, in the plane, in the hotel room.

    Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I am looking forward to the next posts.

  10. Patricia Says:

    I am enjoying Eleanor Roosevelt too – I will write there soon. I don’t know why I got this trip gift, but it is touching me on many levels.

    Oh run with it girl – I am anxious to read what this sign excites…more trip coming up.
    The Australian’s on the bus, and they were the majority were having a 36 hour flight – they were all going to Paris, and Ireland too while they were in the neighborhood. 9 hours was do able with my Kindle and good attitude.
    Australia might have found me hunting for first class tickets.

    Always wonderful to find you here and many thanks for your gracious words. I am still sorting this out and that will take time, when I touched down in Glasgow I really wanted to explore but we only slept there…Scotland is calling me back – already.

  11. Davina Says:

    Ah, the sweet anticipation of adventure Patricia. And… m-m-m-m, lovely roast lamb dinner with great vegetables and a piece of spice cake. Sounds spectacular.

    “…miles and miles of rows upon rows…” you could have easily broken into a poetic verse here :-)

  12. Dot Says:

    Sorry you didn’t get the trip you wanted. So far it’s exciting hearing about the different stages of getting there. I don’t quite get the part about French — I guess you meant your English wasn’t getting through to the English. They do have such odd words for things, don’t they? (Of course, they’d say we’re the ones who changed everything.)

  13. Jannie Funster Says:

    As Vered, I was right there with you because of your beautiful writing.

    Trips often veer off course. And funny ’bout the accents there. Took me weeks to get used to my friend’s way of speaking.

    xoxo from Canada.

  14. Jannie Funster Says:

    Ahh, there’s my eye!


  15. patricia Says:

    I am hoping to attempt a poem for one post, but not yet. I am still having problems with tired and working on getting blood pressure back to norm – I think they are related
    It was a yummy dinner and one I had not had in many years since my mum stopped cooking and my family will not eat lamb.

    The people who arrived at the hotel on a bus ahead of my solo entry spoke French. The desk clerk on duty did not speak English – rather French and German and Japanese. I could only get my name across so she had to call for help from another clerk in the back room.
    Brolly = umbrella, which I needed everyday but three…and I like the name so many stick with it!

    Yep there is your eye! I had a harder time with the Scottish store and restaurant clerks and their accents, I seemed to do fine with the Australians and the English. I loved all the new words and phrases so I did not wish to miss anything. My mum spoke English with an English – Canadian accent and my Father spoke with a Scottish – Canadian Accent.
    Hope you are having a great vacation/holiday. Hard to believe school is starting so soon.

  16. Sara Says:

    Patricia — Welcome home. I’m glad you’re back. I found this post a hoot, mainly because I’ve walked in your shoes. When my daughter moved to London, I was sad, but I thought at least she picked a country where I could speak the language.

    Now I come from the South, which is important to know in this story. One of my favorite memories is trying to order a pecan muffin at a bakery. I said “I’d like that pa-can muffin, as I was taught. She shook her head, obviously not understanding. We did this for a few minutes and then I pointed to the muffin. She smiled at me and said, “Oh, you mean you want the pee-can muffin!”

    It also took me forever to figure what zebra crossings were and I laughed out loud at the car park with the sign PAY and DISPLAY! But, in the end, I’ve grown to love and appreciate London. I love that everybody walks down the steps on the left and up the steps on the right:~)

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventure!!!

  17. Patricia Says:

    Great to find you here – thank you for your pee chan licious comments! London was something else to experience in this life time!
    I have been working on my food post all afternoon…it should be fun too – though maybe not a hoot….(see title you will understand)

    I must got back to Scotland it was just not enough time there –
    I did not do well on the steps and I had knee trouble and stairs were difficult – I was always going the wrong way – always!
    People were gracious – I am grateful.

  18. Kay Lilland Says:

    Patricia, your travel tales bring me memories of my mother and I traveling in Germany. At the time, my only thought was that she enjoy the experience…it was a labor of love, but labor nevertheless.
    Twenty years later, I can give some thought to my own reactions. The public restrooms were not so clean as literature had led me to believe. Vegetarian fare was always available without a grimace. The tour company was meticulous in providing what was needed.
    Then came the third week when these two American women rented a car to find Great Great grandpa’s
    ancestral home, armed only with Mom’s kitchen German not spoken since 1920 and my map-reading skills. Showing up at the village church Sunday am, we were adopted by non-relatives who included us in a birthday party that day for the family’s matriarch. Exchanges of letters took place for years after that until my mother’s death.

    Waiting now for further stories about YOUR trip.

  19. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for coming by even after I talked so much about my trip over tea…you are a dear.
    Labor of Love, I hope Whitney will not feel that I was a burden on the trip, but I could not have gone without her assistance – I am sure I could not drive on the other side of the road :)

    I hope our adventure will stir up some emails between bus mates, That would be fun.

    Will you go back and explore some more on your own?

    Next story up tomorrow.

  20. Talon Says:

    I look forward to reading all about your trip. My Mom’s British and I have tons of relatives in England and Scotland, so I’m used to the accents and the different names for things. When I was little cousins would be visiting and we’d spend hours telling each other to say different words to laugh at each other’s accents.

    I didn’t envy you the crying babies on the flight over! They can’t help themselves, poor things, but it does make for a less-than-relaxing journey (except for tired Norwegian students – lol).

    The photos are wonderful. I’m humming “Chim-chiminy-chim-chiminy” under my breath now :)

  21. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for coming by, the pictures were taken by my daughter and so they are pretty good to look at!

    I hope you will enjoy the posts about the adventure, it is helping me put some things in my life into perspective.

    My mum was English via Canada and my Father’s parents came from Scotland via Canada…I had never been there, my Father particularly did not wish to return after WWII.

    I know the babies were having trouble – but the babies on the way home – same mix only female kids were well taken care of they were delightful, had tough moments but were not making Mom’s life miserable and controlling on the flight. It was an interesting mini sociological and cultural study.

    Some teens can sleep through anything! Such a gift on a plane!

  22. Jannie Funster Says:

    I could use a little rear-end supervsion myself — get those glutes back up where God meant them to be.

    What is the IBIS in this case?? A hotel?

  23. Patricia Says:

    Me too!
    I have not walked in my great shoes all week this week.
    IBIS is a hotel – I would call it in Earl’s Court a Travel Hostel?