NOTES FROM LONDON

Looking at London, from the vantage point of ten stories up, has brought music to our stay here.

I hate these sounds; stuffing of bags, crunching of paper, “hey, where’s my _____,” it means we’re packing up and heading home. Tinny music blaring from an iPhone, cupboards and drawers being searched. An old instrument rolling around in the tub … What?

Skye found an ancient baritone at a street market today and after bargaining it down to £25, she’s giving it a wash and polish. Ah the sounds of packing, Curtis-style.

We’re going to miss jolly ol’ London town. Yes, we visited the home Marci lived in when she was a child, so the continuity of then and now can hold us over. All the ladies want to move here. Their slightly more reasonable father points out that with the price of homes, the closest to London we could probably afford to live is maybe Wales.

You can tell you’re smitten with a place when — like you feel with a lover — parting leaves you wanting so much more. Oh, we didn’t get to the Olympic village or out to Oxford or do that silly four-of-us-strolling-across-Abbey-Road thing that I was planning on. You’re welcome, everyone.  But my legs and feet tell me we did so much, much more and really, seeing five shows in the West End eats up a lot of time (and money, although the discount ticket booths really helped).

But there’s a part of this trip that I might miss more than anything else: that view. We found a cheaper than normal apartment for these previous 11 days. And it came with a spectacular view of our beloved city. The panorama grabbed me during the day, at sunset, late at night and early in the morning when everyone else was asleep, but I arose to swallow my ever-present medicine.

Thank you, view. I put coins in all the musician’s cases as a way of repaying you. But you brought jazz to my trip. Your enormous London Eye ferris wheel winks back at me to let me know we’re karmically cool.

The laptop needs to go night-night now. As we do the final sweep, our bags are noticeably heavier. Luscious London candy along with cool clothing, gifts and trinkets weigh us down. And also, we’ve added to our quartet. A funky brass instrument is tucked in amongst the socks and bras and underwear.

We’re bringing some of the jazz on home with us.