September 29, 1863
We have left earth and on our way to some trading post. When we are out of jumps, I spend my time communicating with Smith’s ship. But while we are jumping there is no communication and so I write.
Millicent has a tradition or rule that her charges must say good bye to loved ones. She admitted this time it might be different but she still required it. Since Michael and I have no relatives to speak of and neither does Liam O’Hannigan, we were excused. Most of the good byes went well and Jason found out that he will be a father. Poor John O’Malley had a hard time. I don’t know the details. He came back angry in a way I had never seen. Liam spent some time talking to him and Millicent even apologized. Apparently the horrible man said he was better off without John and he should never come back again. I can’t imagine a father saying that to his child, but Michael said the man was a “right nasty bastard” and John was right to get away.
I feel a bit melancholy that we had no one to say good bye to. What does it say about us that no one will miss us when we leave? But Michael said we can say good bye to other things – bless his heart. He planned out two glorious days in which we said goodbye to our favorite spots in London.
On the first day, we spent the afternoon in Hyde Park. First, we visited the Crystal Palace. It is practically brand new. Michael loves the glass house and all the openness. There is tons of the latest technology stored in the foyer. (Of course with all we have seen some of our technology seems a bit simple.) Then he took me boating on the Serpentine. We used these marvelous paddle boats and floated around the lake. We could never afford that when we were courting. Spring is always so lovely. The tulips were finishing their blooms just as the roses were started. Then we had a picnic complete with lawn chairs, silverware and china, and a proper bottle of champagne. Oh we never had it so nice when he was courting me. When he proposed, we had sandwiches on napkins and I think he took a flower from the mantle arrangement in the house. I suppose it won’t be much different when we come back, but I will miss it so a good bye was right.
On the second day, we spent the afternoon at the National Gallery. We spent a little time each of the rooms. When we had days off, Michael would come here and spend a day sketching or painting. I would wander about or maybe have a cup of tea. He didn’t sketch this time. We spent time looking at the new paintings from Europe – there was a Botticelli and several large landscapes. We finished early enough we could walk to “Le meilleur café de l’univers” and had a cappuccino and wonderful conversation with Abigail, Alice and Athena. Millicent and Liam joined us and we all had a dinner full of laughs and few tears as we parted.
I could ask for nothing more. Michael, bless him, took me to everything that I needed to say goodbye to. We are ready to move on, but I know what I shall miss now.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Charles says replies are faster than the London post (although that is not hard to do)