We arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport, ca.6.30am. Waiting in one of the lines for security checks seemed to take a long time. One of our group was subjected to a luggage check. We were interviewed one by one, as on the outward journey. Janet had inadvertently put a small pair of scissors in her hand luggage, which set off the alarm. She was very anxious to stress that it was an oversight on her part. No harm done: they were just confiscated.
05:44:38 GMT+2 (03:44:38 GMT)
The very “English”-looking tower of St. George’s Cathedral, visible from the coach as we are about to set off
The way from the plane at Heathrow Airport to passport control was seemingly never-ending: a long, long way, then a turn; then a long, long way, then a turn; then a long, long way, then…. In the photo below, the plane can be seen by the first long building. The photo was taken from the third. The trek was mitigated by moving walkways. We went through automated passport gates, which scanned the chip in the passport, then matched the image of the person facing the camera with that in the passport. A person was still needed to help, though, e.g., when it wasn’t immediately obvious how to present the passport to the scanner. Would our luggage ever arrive at the baggage-carousel? I’d forgotten that it was quite a long trek from the terminal to the shuttle train for Paddington Station. The train-ticket booking specified the “15:48” train from Heathrow, but since there were no seat-reservations on that leg of the journey, we figured that it would be OK to get the first train that came along.
13:10:04 GMT+2 (11:10:04 GMT)
Detail from the above photo. Judging by the yellow line on the TV monitor, it was somewhere over Germany. It’s evidently commonplace to see men wearing the “kippah” on El Al flights, but it’s not something I normally see every day. I imagined the two men on the right being deep in debate about the finer points of the Torah. The fellow facing left looked as if he was saying “Oy vey!” The figure on the left was not the ghostly figure of death! — it was just the back of a woman with some sort of headdress covering her hair.
We got off at Grimsby Town station because of the ease of getting taxis from the always-populated taxi rank in the station forecourt. There was a message from Pat just coming to an end as Janet opened the front door. I was still outside and didn’t hear it. Janet reported that by the tone of voice it sounded like bad news. I played it back; and yes, her uncle Eddie had died: pneumonia (lung cancer was mentioned). Janet felt too weary to face calling Pat back; what’s more, it wouldn’t make any difference to leave it till tomorrow.… The house was bitterly cold because it had not been heated for several days, and it took a long time to warm up after the central heating was switched on. While Janet was upstairs unpacking just the essential things I rang Mum and told her we’d just got back. Janet went to bed shortly after that.… Changed the dressing on my right foot; was at last able to use the correct irrigation solution, with which I soaked a swab and applied to the lesion for 10 minutes or more. The lesion had got worse and spread.… Getting into bed later was initially like getting between two sheets of ice; Janet was on the far side, but no warmth had filtered through to my side. I shivered and shivered for quite some time.
17:00:34 GMT (19:00:34 GMT+2)
On board the East Coast London–Leeds train, waiting to go to Doncaster
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