Okay, you know that part in my earlier blog today where I said I would not be having Thanksgiving dinner or pumpkin pie…well I was wrong! I was surprised by my British family with a complete Thanksgiving dinner. I walked through the door to the sound of the National Anthem, into a kitchen decorated with American flags, Red, White and Blues candles and a fantastic spread of traditional Thanksgiving delights. There was even a bowl full of my favourite American sweets like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Kisses and even Tootsie Rolls. I was completely blown away. A huge thank you to Sarah,Matt, Ellie and Pam. This was one of the most special Thanksgiving Days ever.
This is a strange holiday for me since moving to the UK. Here, it is just another work day towards the end do a normal work week. I always try to take time out to remember what the day is all about for all Americans. A time for reflection and giving thanks for everything important in our lives. It also has it’s other side, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the football games and the food! I can now get most of the football games on TV but the Thanksgiving dinner is another matter. I did try to take the day off in those early years but it is just got too hard to do that huge meal with work the following day. So, here I am taking a few minutes away from work to stop and think about all of the Thanksgivings past and to think about what I am thankful for this year. Top of the list are my mom and dad. My dad has had a very rough year this year medically. In fact he just got out of a rehabilitation centre yesterday, after recovering from his latest surgery. Just knowing he is home with my mom today means so much. I have so much to be thankful for I could not possibly list everything and hopefully those close to me already know how thankful I am to have them in my life. There may not be any turkey or pumpkin pie today but it is still Thanksgiving in my heart.
Well, this morning we started with a 35 minute delay out of Swindon owing to “train problems earlier, on the line”. Once we were actually on the train and we got to Bristol Parkway (my first change of the day), I made it to my connecting train with seconds to spare. Deep breath we are back on schedule. Now whizzing our way to Birmingham, 30 minutes in we stop and we wait…eventually the train manager announces that there are cows crossing the track so we will wait for them to cross. The waiting continues and then we hear that we are being diverted because said cows are enjoying the grass alongside the track! We change direction (driver running from one end to the other) so we can follow the diversion. We get to the diversion point and lo and behold we are advised the cows have now sought greener pastures and we can return the way we came. Poor driver hoofs it down the track once again to change direction. Finally back on the correct track, literally, we are now delayed by 35 minutes putting us in Birmingham precisely 10 minutes after my connecting train leaves the station. Upon arriving at Birmingham I now get to sit and wait for an hour until the next train which will get me to my destination exactly 35 minutes before my meeting starts in a nearby town 30 minutes away! Yep, my colleague who is picking me up in Preston will have to put his foot down and hope the roadways do not experience any of the same problems that the railways suffered today.
You know when people ask you what the most embarrassing thing is that has happened to you. Well, I usually have to think pretty hard because I’m quite a cautious person in the first place I don’t do risky things. This morning I am on the train on my way to the Northeast of England again and on the first leg of the journey (at around 7:30 A.M.) I fell asleep. I only realised this when I heard the loudest snort come snore I have ever heard. I jerked my eyes open and realised that horrible sound had come from me!! My face burned with embarrassment as every eyeball in that carriage was starting straight at me. Even worse I think I may have been sleeping with my mouth open because when I jerked up my mouth slammed shut! I could not make eye contact with anyone again and was so relieved when everyone got off within about 2 stops. Not a good way to start your Monday or your journey on a day of taking various trains across the country to get to my afternoon meeting. I can only hope that my mega embarrassing moment this morning will be the last for the rest of the day.
Enjoy your Monday and if you slip up today just think of me and you won’t feel quite so bad.