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July 16, 2002

Subject: England Trip - Letter #07
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Dear Friends,
Today's epistle will continue on with a chronology of some of my activies, but first I will digress to give a brief English lesson, based on my recent education on the language from my trip here. Apparently we in America use incorrect words for a number of things. I will bring this thinking to a clear focus with the following.
Vocabulary lesson:
to let - This is NOT refrencing permissive behavior, it is a local expression meaing "for rent" as in appartments. It is used everywhere in London and elsewhere.
A "flat" has nothing to do with auto tires or terrain. It means "apartment". I have actually heard this used in New York city as well, though not anywhere else in the US.
a "subway" - is neither a dagwood sandwich nor a means of automated transportation to move persons in cars on a track. It is an underground walkway - that permist you to cross under the tracks, the street or anywhere else that its builders planned for you to go.
Meals are not "fixed". They are prepared or given. I assume that they can be "fixed" if something is wrong with them and they can be repaired.
"way out" - is not an expression of exuberance or acclamation. When displayed on a sign and you progress in the direction of the designated arrow, you will EXIT the location to the outside. Also, "way in" means "entrance".
A "single" is ony the state of one not married, but what you buy when you want a one way ticket for transportation.
A "return" is not that portion of your trip when you come back to your point of origination. It means a "round trip ticket" and must be purchased prior to your outbound portion of the trip. You see this used on all forms of public tranportation - the rail system a s well as the bus system.
Their vehicles do not have "trunks". They have "boots". Nether do they have "hoods". They have "bonnets".
"Mind the gap" has nothing to do with obeying anyone or trendy clothing stores. It is a caution that is screamed out at the older underground railway (called the tube - or underground) to caution you to respect the space between the platform where you stand and the door to to the entrance to the cars in which you will be riding as well as the tracks in general. This has become unnecessary at the newer tube stations such as Waterloo where they have constructed glass walls and automatic doors to open when the train arrives and its doors are open.
So much for education, now to my day. I did find an unexpected pleasure in the Underground today. While I was moving between lines at one of the stations, there was a violinist playing. He had a taped recording he was playing which played the piano part and he was happily and skillfully playing one of Vivaldi's violin concerti. This was refreshing and delightful.
In order to save money on public tranporation, I had my passport photo taken ( a copy of which is NOT attached to this email) and I purchased a seven day pass, which employs the photo id. This was much cheaper than buying the daily pass for the time I have remaining here in London. For less than £20, I can have unlimited travel on the local bus and undergoround systems for one week. There is a threatened underground strike for drivers tomorrow. That would be a pain for many thousands here, should it come about.
The vast majority of my day was spent at Wesley's chapel. I completed a choral setting from a portion of Psalm 19. (Lent 3, year B). It is a choral call to prayer. I had put a great deal of thought into the strucuture of the work, its speaking meter and feel of the text. I had even scored a page with the words but with no notes in preparation. The music came to me rather quickly this time and I am pleased with its sound. I look forward to hearing it this fall. I also played over my previous two works and changed a few things in them. Like writing a book music can improve with age and reconsideration by its author.
Around the Wesley chapel I have become know as "the Amrican composer". Now as the history stewards give tours, they introduce me and let me tell about the Charles Wesley organ. Today, I particularly enjoyed talking with a group from San Antonio. I worked at the organ for about two hours. I then took a break and had my lunch. I have been buying a sandwich and coke (they don't sell any cups of ice) with me, having purchased it at the Old Street Tube station, a few blocks from the chapel. I enjoyed lunch in the basement of the chapel and then spent several hours in the afternoon with the librarian of their archives. I have identified several books, which I would like to purchase on Charles Wesley and looked over quite a few that have been out of print for 150 years. I also enjoyed talking with Michael Bendle(the archive steward) concering my impressions about John and Chuck Wesley. Unfortunately, more than once, he said, "That is a very good question.", followed by I will have to look that one up. On many occasions, he would pull out a book and leaf through it and say, "here is some information on that topic". Of particular interst was a book that was written by a Mr. Thomas Jackson who personally knew Charles and wrote his biography of Charles shortly after Charles had died.
Toward the end of the day, I took a bus ride from the chapel to south of the Thames (that's "tems with a short e") river on the new London bridge and looking at the Tower bridge, right by the Tower of London. I took the undeground to Westminster and hoped to tour Westminster Abbey, but they were nearing time to close. I felt a £6 touring fee warranted a more lengthy visit on a later day. By the way, have you heard of the Eye of London, probably the world's largest ferris wheel? It is amazing and just east of the river just north and across from Big Bend. It must be three hundred or four hundred feet high and contains rotating glass compartments that afford an amazing view of London. I will probably not make it over to that. I am told that in order for it to be authorized, the builders were required to agree to take it down and remove it as some point in the future in order to return the skyline to its traditional self. Can you imagine such a constraint on a private investment such as this in the US?
It is now 7:30 pm and I am hungry and also must find a laundry mat to process some of my atire that is to be recycled for use - starting tomorrow. Again, thanks for listening and there will be more news as it develops.
Best regards,
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