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Date: 7/21/99

        After 2 weeks and a day in London it was time to head out. Which way to go next? We didn't have the slightest idea, but now that we had a phone I thought it best to finally give Clive a call.  He's a friend of John Eales who we met in Carmel last summer who runs a school for the royal family in Oman. He was staying in the Nottingham area with family. He told me he was flying to Florida on Wednesday but if we wanted we could drive up and say good-bye. Nottingham is 163 miles north of London on the M1. Three hours later he tells us to meet at the Red Lion in Thurgaton (10 miles north of Nottingham). He introduces us to his cousin Brian Thornhill and Krysha Ford, who insist we stay at their house. That was Tuesday and now its Saturday.
        Wonderful people. We have been introduced to just about everyone in Nottinghamshire and seen just about all the sights including the castle of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood and all the lot. Wednesday night we went to dinner at the Saracen's Head which is where King Charles I slept the night before he was captured by Cromwell and the Parliamentarians during the Civil War.  Since it was a Saracen's sword that chopped Charles' head off, they changed the name of the place to Saracen's Head.
Thursday was cool and drizzly (1st we've had so far) but today was gorgeous. We went to Newstead Abbey in Linby, which was taken over by Henry VIII during the Great Dissolution of the Monasteries and given to a nobleman. His descendent who owned it was the famous poet, Lord Byron. More than a poet, he was the major factor in the country of Greece obtaining its independence from Turkish rule (he died there). The mansion and the grounds are spectacular (now owned by the city of Nottingham). We spent the whole day there and it was one of the nicest places I have been to since being in England. Beautiful place to do a run.
Tonight we met Brian and Krysha at a pub and went to a very good Indian restaurant called, of all things, Laguna.  Excellent meal.  Marcia made me drive Brian back and by now even I have gotten  used to driving on the left side (gotten is a word the English no longer use, they say got).
They have many more plans for us and I think they want us to spend the rest of our vacation here, but we have got to get moving by at least Sunday. What an example of not scheduling all the details in advance.  This was an excellent opportunity to feel what normal life is in England.
Marcia is feeling very well and I'm even running better.
Newstead Abbey, home of Lord Byron (from front). File photo (from back)
 

KJH                                                                                     Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #22 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

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Thurgaton, Nottingham, England

Sent 7-21-99

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