It’s Saturday night at the internet salon and I’m squeezing in a quick update on our day today. We went to church at the Central London SDA Church today. Despite the hassles of locating and getting to a church while travelling it’s something we always try to do, for two reasons. First (and this is probably something only my fellow SDA readers will appreciate) it’s hard to give Sabbath a “Sabbath” feel when you’re travelling, what with staying in a hotel and buying food and everything, so going to church underlines for both us and the kids that it is still Sabbath. Second, attending church takes you away from tourist traps and into the places where real people live, and you get to meet some of those real people. So for both those reasons, we found a church to attend today.
It was an excellent choice. Central London SDA is a medium-sized, multicultural SDA church with a contemporary worship style and a friendly congregation. The speaker was a visiting speaker from Australia who was both learned and lively — a rare and enjoyable combination (although unfortunately he was also the third L — longwinded! But I actually enjoyed listening to him for 50 minutes!)
Our only complaint with the church was that their website advertised a hospitality meal after the service and that was actually not on, so we had to scramble a bit to forage for food as well as taking shelter from a rain shower — for the first time since our arrival in London the weather today was under 30C. Only JUST under, but the rain made it feel cooler. Everything dried up nicely in time for us to spend the afternoon in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We admired the ducks, dangled our feet in Princess Di’s Memorial Fountain, where Chris took the above snap of Jason and me, and made another stop on our Playgrounds of Great Britain tour (I must say they have GREAT playgrounds in this country!)
The high point of this was my pilgrimage to the original Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. One of these statues (there are seven worldwide) stands in Bowring Park in St. John’s and both I and my children grew up playing around it (and being photographed near it), so I really wanted to get a picture of them at the original one. Ironically, just as we approached the statue after a whole afternoon of walking, I dropped the digital camera and we couldn’t get it working again. I was, of course, devastated about the loss both of our precious camera and of this particular photo op.
It was worth the price of admission to linger at the base of Peter Pan and listen to Chris and Emma trying to comfort me: “Don’t be so sad, Mom, it’s only a camera … it can be fixed … it’s not like you lost a child! At least you still have your family!!” (The last two comments from Emma, more of a drama queen even than her mother).
Fortunately, at about that time Jason managed to get the camera working again and we got the long-awaited picture, so all’s well that ends well.