Wednesday 3rd November
I have just passed through security at Heathrow. I couldn't understand how I had set off the alarm! So I had to undergo a body search. You would think by now that I would know what I am doing – but security is always intimidating and having taken my laptop out of it's bag, taken off my belt and coat, and emptied my pockets of coins etc. I thought I had done enough. Having removed my sandals and put my essential flight documents in another tray, I realised I still had my mobile in another pocket – so after as few more checks I was allowed to gather my bits and put myself back together again!
We had an uneventful trip from Cheltenham and stopped for a few minutes at a service station to kill a little time. We bumped into Lucy – a friend from church - having a coffee and greeted her before continuing to Heathrow.
In the UK we all know about post office queues! The bag drop here at Heathrow is very efficient – USUALLY! There was only one couple in front of us but for some reason they were stuck. After a few minutes we changed queues for the one where 4 people had already passed since we arrived. Unfortunately this was a bad move, because the couple in front again got stuck. I moved back to my original spot where there was no longer a queue, but the couple returned! After 15 minutes I was dealt with and I spent 30 seconds dropping off my bags! I think they knew that, without a delay, Dilys would have saved £3 in parking charges and the authorities at Heathrow were determined to get their money! I said goodbye to Dilys and she rushed to take the car off to my daughter Helen, in Hampstead, where Dilys is doing a little child-minding tomorrow.
For this trip I started packing early – this allowed me to nip down to London on Monday to play with the grandchildren. However, having done most of the packing by the weekend I spent yesterday a bit confused as to what I should be doing and today I couldn't think whether I had packed everything – or even what I should have packed. In the end I decided that since I had two bags weighing 20 kg each I probably had enough!
Yesterday evening I was on the Internet at 6.30 pm waiting to check in. I had considered waiting till my son Andy and his two children Charlie and George arrived, but decided to go ahead. When I thought about it, having a 4 year old and a 7 year old trying to decide where I sat in the plane and how much luggage I should take, might not have been the best idea! So I enjoyed the game myself, checked in a couple of bags and moved myself to a seat towards the back, that isn't over the wing so that I can get a good view during my night flight .
So the adventure is about to begin. I spoke to Justine today and he will meet me at the airport. He has booked me a room at Chisamba Guest House so I will have a chance to meet up with some old friends such as Citride, the waitress who earlier in the year had to wade through deep water to get to work, and no doubt Sondash will be around to introduce meet to the visitors – by now of course I am regarded as a regular!
Best sent me a message via facebook yesterday to ask if I would call around to his college in Lusaka tomorrow when I arrive. I haven't heard from Jennipher recently, but she was planning to come to Lusaka to meet me. I hope Justine hasn't any work to do tomorrow!
I will finish my pint of Polish beer before trying to post this blog here in the departure lounge.
I am sure that as usual it will be an interesting visit – your prayers are much needed and always welcome.