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NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!--Chapter 15: London to Horsmonden!       4/4/91       DO 2796
--Storytime with Grandpa!

       1. (David: Thank You Jesus! Lord, we pray that You'll bless this time as Grandpa tells us the continuation of the "Now It Can Be Told" Story. We pray that You'll please give him the strength & anointing, Lord, & bring all things back to his remembrance. We really pray that this story will continue to be just as fun & interesting & easy to remember for Grandpa as the others have been, in Jesus' name, amen! Thank You Lord!) Amen! Praise the Lord!
       2. This is the story of our second trip to London, in April, 1972! Ho was already living in London (the first Family team of Faithy, Apollos, Dutch Ben & Miriam, etc., arrived in London in July of 1971 & were well established by now), & we had notified him in advance that we were going to be arriving in London around the middle of April. And as you recall, we arrived on April 17th, the same day we had arrived there the year before coming back from Cyprus. Only this time we were arriving from the U.S. on a transoceanic flight from Chicago non-stop all the way to London!
       3. So we landed at Heathrow Airport, hoping, of course, to be able to phone Ho & ask him to come out & pick us up. But when we called his home, dear Esther said that he was gone on some kind of a trip & wouldn't be home for a week! So we phoned up dear Mama Helen's--the rooming house we had stayed in before--& thank God she had a room for us! (Maria: The Lord didn't forsake us!) Amen! And it was a nice big room overlooking the rose garden! (Maria: That's where Grandpa was singing "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden!") (Techi: That's where the rose gardens were?) Yes, we could see them out the window!
       4. So thank God Mama Helen had a room, & we moved in & got settled. And we probably went out to dinner that night to our little Irish caf where it was so cheap, only about 45 pence for a big Irish stew or Irish roast beef, potatoes & gravy & vegetable & tea, & bread & butter. It was quite a big meal for the price, especially when the prices at better restaurants in London were running two or three times that price, or more! We priced a meal downtown at one of the best restaurants that had a band & a dance floor, kind of a club, & they wanted $10 a dinner! That was a lot! Nowadays, of course, almost any full course dinner will cost you that much, but in those days that was a lot of money for us who were used to eating cheap! We were used to eating spaghetti for less than a Dollar!
       5. But in our little Irish restaurant they served a delicious meal of meat, potatoes & gravy for only 45 pence! At that time the British Pound was worth about $2.50. So 45 pence was almost half a Pound, which would be what? (David: About one Dollar.) Yes, which wasn't at all bad. It wasn't as cheap as spaghetti, but the restaurant was nearby & handy & the food was very good. And that's my favourite kind of meal--meat, potatoes, gravy & vegetable, etc. (Techi: What type of meat & vegetable?) Usually roast beef. (Techi: Sliced roast beef?) No, it wasn't sliced fancy or anything, it was in chunks. So we probably went there that night to eat, & then came home & went to bed because we were so tired from the long trip.
       6. The next day we got settled in, you know how it is, getting yourself unpacked. Of course, when I travel I never unpack, I always leave my clothes in my suitcase. But dear Mama likes to get her clothes out & hang them up & put them in drawers.--And that makes her happy so I let her do it. Ha! But I always wonder, "Why should we get unpacked & put our stuff in drawers when we just have to pack it up again? It's just that much more work!" So I just always left my clothes right where they were in the suitcases.--Except I would carry any good coats & pants in a hang-up bag, & when we'd get to our destination I'd take them out & hang them up in the closet. But I found out I could even pack my pants in my suitcase! There are two things you can do to keep them from wrinkling--either spread them out flat, folded only once at the knee, or you can roll them up tight. You begin at the cuff & roll them up tight & you can stick them almost anywhere & they'll come out okay!
       7. In those days I was wearing a very heavy jacket which I think I bought in London on one of our trips. I can't remember on which trip to London I bought it, but it was a real heavy wool tweed coat, as they call them. They're so warm, made from real thick coarse wool. I don't think I have it any more though. I think I left it behind when we were leaving Portugal for the Tropix & I just put on my light suit. But in those days I had that coat, & I'd wear that & a pair of heavy trousers. And of course I always wore long johns (long underwear) in cold climates like London. So I was quite versatile & could wear a variety of different things. I might even have some of those pants left, I don't know.
       8. Well, anyhow, I remember I bought that one coat because it was so nice & warm. That way I could often go out even without my overcoat. And for a hat, if it wasn't too cold, I'd wear my beret.--Or if it was cold I'd wear my warm hat!

       Mama Taking Dictation on the Brother Typewriter

       9. So the next day we got settled & then we went out to dinner again. We came back & I think I might have dictated a Letter before we went to bed. We still had that little Brother typewriter that we had bought in Israel. We'd paid $100 for it there second-hand because everything was so expensive in Israel. We could have probably bought the same thing for half that in London, but it did a good job & we used it a lot every day. I would dictate while I paced the floor & waved my arms like I was talking to the whole World, which I was!--And Mama would type as I talked.
       10. (Techi: Mommy could type that fast?) Yes! (Techi: That's pretty good!) Yes, Mama could type very fast. She got tired of taking shorthand dictation by hand & found that as slow as I dictate, she could keep up with me easily by typing! So we just decided to skip the shorthand step completely, & I'd just dictate to her while she typed on the typewriter. (Techi: Like that cartoon of Mommy typing real fast with her fingers flying & her big glasses & rolls of papers!) Well, that's what she was doing!
       11. Also, by dictating to Mama on the typewriter we could tell exactly how long it would come out, what made a page. You know? (Kids: Yes!) Because we usually kept the Letters to the Colonies (Homes) to one page--top to bottom & edge to edge! We got as much on a page as we could! We always made seven carbon copies & we would keep the last one that was barely readable, & send all the rest of them, including the first original & all the other six copies, to TSC (Texas Soul Clinic). And from TSC, the leaders then distributed them to our different Colonies in the States.

       Nighttime in London!

       12. Sometimes after dinner we would go to a cinema to see a movie. We tried to find some place to go dancing, but it seemed like there weren't any dance places in the area where we were staying. The poor hard-working labourers don't go dancing much. Downtown the dancing was too expensive, so we'd usually go downtown & go to a movie.

       Pickpockets in London!

       13. One little problem in London was pickpockets! One of them got my wallet once, but there was only about a Pound in it. I think I told you that story before, about the pickpocket who got my wallet by barring my way through the door of the subway train while his two little rogues picked my pocket from the rear! They had evidently been watching me & had seen which pocket my wallet was in when I bought our tickets, so then they bought their tickets--or they had them already--& followed us down to the trains.
       14. (Techi: Did you realise what he was doing?) No, but I had a funny feeling about it. One fellow was blocking my way into the train, & I felt people pressing against me from the rear.--Which, of course, is not unusual in the London underground. But the first thing that kind of tipped me off that something was wrong, was all of a sudden I saw these two young hippies running up the platform like mad, like they were running from something. This portly gentleman in front of me blocking my way didn't look like a pickpocket at all. He had a little hat on & was sportily dressed. Mama had already gotten on the train, so I yelled something to Mama to wait for me & then the guy said, "Oh, excuse me! Excuse me, Sir! I'm sorry!" & I think he even took off his hat & sort of bowed & let me in.
       15. So I went & sat down with Mama & I said, "I thought it was funny the way those kids acted & then the way the man at the door acted." And another very suspicious thing was that he'd held the door open & blocked my way, but then he immediately jumped off the train! He wasn't getting on the train at all! See, as long as he kept that door open, the subway couldn't go. Then he finally let me by very gentlemanly & courteously, but he jumped right off the subway & went off in the same direction the kids had gone!--Ha!
       16. So I began to put all these things together: Him blocking my way & these people pressing against me from behind. (Techi: What was his excuse for blocking you? Was he saying something to you? Because you can't just stand in front of someone with no excuse.) That was suspicious too, because there was no reason for him to stand there, there was no crowd in front of him, he was just blocking the doorway. But he finally said, "Oh, excuse me!" & he jumped off the train.
       17. So I sat down by Mama & I said, "I'm afraid we've been had! I'm afraid I've had my pocket picked! I'm almost afraid to look!" I always kept my money in a certain pants pocket & under my overcoat, which was hard to get at. They must have lifted up the tail of my overcoat to get in that pocket. I'd just recently bought the wallet, mostly to help the poor guy out who was selling them. In the restaurant where we were eating, a Moroccan was going around from table to table selling kid-skin (goatskin) wallets for only 75 Pence each. So I bought one because I always feel sympathy for travelling salesmen.
       18. But I had also put in there my father's little knife that he gave me, because it had a good fingernail file that I could clean my fingernails with, also one blade & a little tiny pair of miniature scissors. It was only about as big as my thumb, not even that thick. It was about three inches long (7.5 cm.) & really flat & small with a pearl handle. So that was the worst thing to lose because it was an heirloom from my father, & something that I used all the time. So they got that too & I'm sure they didn't appreciate it like I did!
       19. I was thankful they didn't get more, because I did have 200 Pounds in there just before we left our room that evening! The Lord gave me a check, "You'd better not take that with you!" So I stuck it in my suitcase which was locked & under the bed. Otherwise I would have lost 200 Pounds! As it was, I only lost a one-Pound note, a little change & my knife! I'll bet they were furious when they found out how little money they got from me, because most tourists travel with quite a wad of money if they're going out to some fancy place to eat or a movie or the theatre.
       20. Thieves expect the tourists to have a lot of money, & we looked pretty well-dressed & like we'd have quite a bit of money. So I'm sure they were really disappointed when they found that I didn't have but a little more than one Pound! That all happened in Picadilly Circus where we were catching the underground home after the movie. And I always very wisely would bring along some more money stuck in some other pocket just in case we'd need it, but since we'd already paid our fare, I really didn't need any more money to get home.

       To Horsmonden with Ho!

       21. So dear Ho finally came home from his trip. I'd left our phone number with Esther, & he finally phoned us. He was trying to make up for things & he apologised very contritely & said, "I'm sure sorry, Dad, I didn't know you were going to be here this early, but I've got a wonderful idea, a wonderful place for you to settle in! It's kind of an old house that belongs to the Boy Scouts in a small village outside London. They've just had a group of Scouts in it, but it's empty now & we can use it." It sounded great, except for the fact that when we got there, there were no sheets or pillowcases and we had to sleep on the dirty beds and everything!
       22. Ho said, "Why don't I come out & take you down there & show it to you? It's in Horsmonden, a little village about 30 miles (50 km.) out from downtown London. If you like it, you can settle in right now, because the Boy Scouts are all gone, they just left the other day." (Techi: And it was free?) Yes, the owners said we could have the use of it free of charge, so that was pretty tempting!
       23. So since it was quite a distance away, we decided to pay off Mama Helen & take our luggage along with us, just in case we liked it. After all, it was free, so of course we'd like it!--Ha! So Ho came by for us in a practically open-air jeep, even though the weather was still cold! It was a funny old Land Rover, & it only had one long seat in the front. So we sat three in a row with Ho driving, Mama between us, & our luggage in the back. It was a real stiff & bumpy ride, but we finally got there.
       24. By that time Ho knew his way around London. Ho is the most amazing person when it comes to adapting himself to new places & cities & languages! He didn't have to learn the language there, of course, but every other place he went he'd learn the language in no time, even Arabic!
       25. So we got to Horsmonden & it was a beautiful little town, a typical little English village just as cute as a bug's ear! It had a beautiful little park square in the middle of town with just a few stores on the other side of the street from the park around the town square. Then on one side of the park it had this beautiful little inn where they served special roast lamb & roast pig, etc. on certain nights. You could have a fairly reasonable full-course dinner for a couple of Pounds. They would advertise outside the door what they were going to have on what night & you could take your choice. So you could have roast beef, roast lamb, roast pig or whatever.
       26. We didn't eat there then, but later on we did with Jeth, who was a little more extravagant with money than we were. He & Deborah invited us to eat there with them one night, so we went. Otherwise we never went there to eat because it was too expensive. (Techi: Were Jethro & Deborah with Ho?) No, they came later. Because of the bad publicity of that TV show ("Chronolog"), they decided to leave the States too. I said to them, "Well, come on over to England & we'll talk & make decisions, etc."
       27. So we settled in at Horsmonden, that's the name of the village, & it was right in the midst of a field of hops! (See fact box on page 5.) Have you ever heard of hops? (David: Is that what they use to make beer?) Yes, they put it in beer, to brew beer. And we were getting there just at the time when it was growing beautifully with blossoms. It grows on vines & they have these tall racks about as high as this ceiling for the vines to grow on. They make the racks about as high as people can reach to pick them, row after row after row. (Techi: Are they little balls?) Well, I don't really remember exactly, but I remember the blossoms were pretty. (Techi: Were they sweet like candy?) I don't think we got there in time to try any.


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