In 1998, my accountant husband said the three little words all anglophiles long to hear, "move to England." So we packed up our two boys and our belongings and shipped off to Bedfordshire for eight months with his company.
An excerpt from my non-fiction as yet unpublished book;
An American Housewife in London
One weekend My husband and I and our two young sons had the original idea to travel to old English town of Cambridge, but when we got there, to our surprise we found there was an entire tourist industry set up and running to service our original idea.
The drive to Cambridge was like a trip back in time. We drove past crumbly old kirks, thatched roofed cottages, cobblestone streets, and meadows that revelaed a patchwork of farms and fields. Cambridge is a beautiful historical town with an "oldy-worldy" feel to it.
The highlightof our visit was a trip to Cambridge University which is not one university but thrity-one distinct colleges. Our favorite was King's College. The first stone was laid in 1441 and was completed in 1515. It contains a dark oak screen that was a gift from King Henry VIIIth and bears his initials and those of Anne Boleyn.
But one of these visits was life-threatening to our one and half year old son. Benjamin was sitting in his stroller, sucking on a lollipop, when all of a sudden he started making these awful strangling noises. I paniked. Immediately I tried to get him out of the stroller but in my hysteria I couldn't get the clasp released. My husband pushed me out of the way and calmly undid it. My mind raced with --where was the closest ER? We had parked miles away how would we get to our van in time? Could an ambulance pull up to a chapel built in 1441?
Benjmian's eyes were bulging as we slapped his back over and over, finally he threw up the lollipop and everything else in his stomach all over the himself, the stroller and the ancient chapel floor. I grabbed my son and hugged him firmly to my chest.
A few weeks later, a friend who was with us at the time put the incident into an amusing news flash.
AP Newswire--The building and grounds of Cambridge University will reopen their chapel after an unforeseen shutdown over the weekend. The grounds were closed after an incident involving some American tourists. Apparently, the youngest member of the group expelled large quantites of gastric fludis onto the sacred stones of King's Chapel. Chapel officals reported that the situation seemed to escalate when a blonde-haired woman tried to dismantle a stroller with her bare hands to release the child. Onlookers were agast as the object finally dislodged from the child's throat, shot fifty meters across the courtyard, bounced off a statue, and impaled a pigeon."