Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I had a very important meeting with my employer in London today, at Westminster Abbey.

Oh yes I did - I'm a Missionary, which means that I'm working for God, and what else is Westminster Abbey for if not for spending some time with the creator?

Well all right, so actually my human employer Phil was using up time sightseeing with me until his flight home this evening, but in fairness, we did have a bit of work to discuss too, and what better opportunity to do that than while strolling around the inside of such an ancient, and apparently still unfinished, London landmark.

After buying our tickets, we discovered that WA boasts a similar electronic commentary system to Milestones Museum, featuring Audioguide handsets that play a relevant clip of Jeremy Irons whenever a number is punched-in from a corresponding map. Irons sounded terribly slow to me, which given our limited timeframe had me chomping at the bit to get a move on.

Phil kept asking me questions. I kept not knowing the answers, so I kept making them up. We both agreed that it was amazing that some of the tombs were so beautifully ornate, given that they were for people who had left this physical world behind.

Eventually we did the really touristy thing and got someone to take a photo of us in the cloisters:

Phil illuminating Westminster Abbey with his innate super-holiness
Then we left the cloisters and went back into the main church, where I kept on taking photos:

Then an Abbey Marshal in a red gown kindly asked me to stop. I'm still not quite clear why, unless it was because, as evidenced above, he could see what rubbish pictures I was taking.

As if to prove my photographic incompetence, once we got back outside into the extremely well-lit and photogenic city that is Olde London Towne, I continued to take no further photos whatsoever.

In fact, despite our subsequent journey down ancient streets, all the people we met, the panoramic overland tube journey and the thriving hustle and bustle of Heathrow Airport, the camera that I had earlier been using remained firmly put away.

Well, I guess Phil and I were just too engrossed in catching-up.

During my time in New Zealand, I saw no less than ten people who I had first known outside Godzone, not to mention all the other kiwis who I'd previously spoken to on the phone or heard on the radio. Most, but not all, of those occasions are recorded on this blog. (I later learnt that one day old friends Rob and Jo had passed within a few minutes' walk of me too)

Conversely, the number of people who I first met in New Zealand and have subsequently seen back here is now up to just two – Chris (in 2006) and Phil (today).

Chatting to Phil over a coffee in Heathrow Terminal One's branch of Costa (a shameless name for any airport outlet) was a completely ordinary situation that just never happens these days.

Meetings like today's give rise to a sense that those years of my life spent down under are still very much in the present, a perception that my work, blogging and even Facebook-reading also contribute to. Not to mention all the phone-calls, emails and IM chats that I have, so many of which still continue to challenge me with the exact words "When are you coming back?"

I like that. No-one ever misses-out the word "when".

Anyway, eventually Phil went through to the duty-free area, and I made my way home, anticipating another coffee at a similar establishment somewhere beneath my feet presently.

When I typed that I guess I was thinking of somewhere like Kreem Café in Penrose, but I guess those freebies I used to enjoy by the luggage carousel at Auckland Airport count too.


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