Tuesday, November 8, 2011

London 2012 Olympics Minus One

My daughter and her new British husband live in an apartment overlooking the construction of the Olympic Park.  They were married back in May of this year in suburban Philadelphia.   Only a few friends and family members flew over from England to attend the ceremonies.  Now, we traveled to UK for a wedding celebration in the hometown of the parents of my son-in-law.

My wife and son departed on Wednesday night with me to follow the next Sunday.  I dropped them at PHL four hours before their flight.  
British Airways
They flew for six hours landing at LHR.  My daughter arranged for a car and driver to collect them from the airport and unload them at the apartment on the east side of London.

Heathrow International Arrivals just outside Customs
There was a mix-up with the car.  My wife and son arrived at the apartment five hours after border control and customs, fifteen hours after arriving at PHL and twenty-five hours after awakening that morning.  

The London residents and the tired Americans went to dinner and then home for some long awaited sleep.

The Londoners were off to work in the morning as my wife and son planned their attack on London sights and then they were off.

The apartment is at the far end of the complex.  There are about 100 yds between the apt building door and the street.  Once out of the complex, the Overground is another 200 yds away with a driveway, a street and some urban gardening, involving holes in the ground for future tree planting to spruce up the area for the Olympics, along the way.

Once on the sidewalk the next driveway is probably only 100 ft towards the train station.  This driveway is used by trucks serving a construction supply business and although I didn't see many large heavy trucks entering and exiting over that driveway there was a small deformation in the macadam probably created by one of those heavy trucks.  It looked as if the road surface got hot from the sun and a heavy weight made a depression that created a wave to one side.  If you could see a cross section of the road at that deformation it would resemble a sine wave.

[Do you see the impending train wreck?
Speaking of trains.  

London has the most amazing system of trains and subways or as they call them, Overground and Underground.  Travel in and around London is wonderful and on time, mostly.  But I am going off on a tangent here.]

So here is how the trip to London started out.  My wife didn't notice the raised pavement, tripped and fell, striking one of her total knee replacements on the way to being sprawled out on the ground.  She was looking up into a foreign, though English speaking, sky and thinking she might be in need of healthcare.  Healthcare that was most likely to take a big bite out of our sightseeing and food budgets.  So she gets back to her feet, with help from our son, and limps to the Hackney Wick Overground station.  They were finally on their way to the Original London Sightseeing Tour in open top double decker buses that includes a boat trip on the Thames.

The Original London Tour

[In order to have some material for later blogs, I will get to the meat of the story.]

She didn't get medical attention for a week.  We traveled three hours in a car to my son's-in-law hometown where my wife was talked into seeking medical attention.  After dinner we set out for Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Waltham. 

After a two hour wait in the ER and some colorful chatting with an inebriated local young man who was there seeking medical attention for his ankle, 

came an interview with a white coated official doctor-like person.  My wife received a dose or two of low level radiation.  She was casually assured by the white coated official doctor-like person that it was probably not broken but she should wait to view the X-Rays before leaving.  I called for a ride only to call again to delay the arrival of the car because the X-Ray revealed a fracture of the base of her right Fibula and she needed a cast.
Well there she was in the midlands of England waiting for a nurse to plaster her foot and leg up to her knee.  All the worry of medical expenses was for nought, though.  For as long as she was not admitted to hospital, even though we are foreigners, UK's National Health Service covered all costs.  The services were on the people of the UK, even the crutches come with no conditions.
Waiting for the pink polyester cast after taking a deli-type number from a dispenser on the wall
On The Original London Tour Boat Trip
This made the visit a bit more, can I say comfortable?  That along with the fact that we no longer used the Underground opting to learn the bus routes.  The buses didn't require climbing stairs as did the Underground.  More time was spent on busses than if we used the Tubes.  On the other hand, we saw much more of the neighborhoods than if we were underground.

I sincerely want to give thanks to all the royal subjects in the UK for the great health services, crutches and casts we received in your lovely country.

We can't wait to return to take advantage of you again, soon.   However, I don't think it will be for the Olympics next year not even the Special Olympics.  The 2012 Olympics will be minus one, appreciative American.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be shy. Leave a comment. I won't bite your head off.