Friday, August 28, 2009

We're Back.

We have just returned from 3 weeks in Europe - most spent in the UK. A couple of things to report - we usually fly British Airways and this time was no exception. Julia and I have been flying for 45 years, ever since our first flight to Yugoslavia in 1964, on our honeymoon. In all of that time I estimate that we have made more than 400 flights. For the first time ever, in all of those flights we were given an upgrade! Not much of one its true, but an upgrade never-the-less. British Airways has four classes - first there is "Cattle Class", which they call "World Traveller", then there is "World Traveller Plus", then "Business Class" and finally "First Class". We were upgraded to "World Traveller Plus". The one we usually frequent, World Traveller, is 7 seats across on this plane, the World Traveller Plus is 6 seats across, giving a slightly wider seat, plus they are further apart which gives more legroom too. All very welcome, especially as we had to sit on the runway for an hour before we took off. Getting off in Baltimore was nice too because we were one of the first off and we were very early in line for Customs. Of course having got to the luggage early and then picking up the first 3 of our 4 bags we then had to wait until almost all of the bags were delivered before we got our last bag! But, glad to be back, and to have Sarah pick us up, and to get back to our lovely new home on The Lake, which we had missed. In all of the years that we have been travelling, neither of us can remember missing our home, until now. We both missed home this time, which just goes to show you how much we love this place.
Second thing, it has been almost two years since we were last in the UK, the longest period in some time between trips due to our house building, Julia's new knee and all the problems with the builder etc. Anyway, one of the things that I noticed about the UK this trip was - all the fat people! I guess it has been happening slowly over the years but it seemed to be more noticeable this time, partly because of the longer break since we've been there I'm sure, but also partly because they ARE fatter! Especially the women. We hear about the number of obese people in the US, but I really think there are more in the UK now! This brings me to my theory about their added weight. During our stay we visited two or three supermarkets near my parents house and I was reminded of the choices available in the British supermarkets. Hard as it may be to believe, the variety of choices there are three or four times as many as in a supermarket here. I don't know how they get through their shopping - there are SO many choices. For example, I happen to like marmalade, my supermarket here has maybe 6 different ones to choose from, there, I could probably choose from 30 or 40 different ones! All the supermarkets that we went into baked their own bread, there simply wasn't enough time in the day to look at all the different breads available. Same with cookies, there had to be a hundred different, at least, and I am not lying! It was the same with everything, a hundred different cheeses? Every fruit or vegetable you can think of from every part of the world. Chocolate, I must have spent a half hour looking at them all, in the end I couldn't decide which one to buy, so I bought a half dozen! There is no way most people have the time to look at all the choices, if you need to buy 10 items you have hundreds to look at and decide amongst. So, my theory is that a lot of people can't decide, so they do what I did and buy several! Then they eat them all! The thin people are probably either very busy or have no imagination and buy the same thing every week without looking at anything else.
Just a thought.
We are happy to be back and looking forward to getting together with our friends and neighbors.