All of this 'goodbye-ing', and I failed to mention that when the family boards their flight, I will board the First Great Western Railway and head back to Cornwall. This is all down to the fact that the SconeLady cannot resist it, and rarely does. If you are going to spend significant dollars getting to a place, you might just as well stay there.
As we rocketed toward London, their father produced more nice things for them to chew and then said, "I would like to hear what each of you considers to be the Highlight of your trip to England, and then the funniest part and the scariest parts of the trip." There was a silence, as we all considered these things. And then one by one, everybody shared.
"I liked the Tower of London the best," said one, thinking of Crown Jewels and chopping blocks.
"The scariest thing was in St Ives when the bad seagull came and took my ice cream cone - twice!" chirped his sister.
"I liked the time when your Grandpa stood and blessed our food at Rosie's big dinner in the back yard," said Grandma, who was remembering her kind husband's prayer, and smiling.
"I thought it was funniest," said someone beautiful, "when the lurching train threw two of you over onto the mean bicycle lady!"
As the train sped along, the laughter rang out over this object lesson in meanness. Be mean, it seems to say, and you risk having someone who is holding a heavy bag above his head thrown sideways into your very surprised lap. Be sure your misdeeds will find you out.
From Kings Cross, we were picked up by two cabs and taken, in what felt like a mad race, to Paddington. When we reached Paddington and went inside, the 7-year-old saw that there was an arrow and a line, pointing somewhere, along the floor. She heard that this was the route one must take in order to reach the Heathrow Express, which was our next stop.
"Grandma," she whispered, tapping my arm, "we have to follow the arrows and the purple line." Grandma was not just exactly following the arrows or the line, but was weaving onto, and then off from, them. "We have to walk only on the arrows, to get there," she instructed. And so we all did as she bid, and made it to the Express in good and proper order.
I won't go through all of the other conveyances, because you get the gist. When Heathrow opened its arms and welcomed them in, we realized that our goodbyes must be said once more. It was not my favorite moment. They are still in the air, as I write.
It is strange knowing that they are so many miles high and so very far, from me. For a bit longer, no phone can reach them, no face time strong enough to make sharing easy.
So I will simply have to wait.
See you along the way!