Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vagabond in Britain

While still a student at Pepperdine, I was able to study abroad two different seasons…once in Heidelberg, Germany, and once in London. My first trip, all of the travel was on trains, but when I stayed in London, I traveled on the cheap, backpacking, hitchhiking, and sleeping under the stars in open fields. I also talked to Van Morrison. Once. Briefly. On the phone. His daughter, Shana, was in my program, and one time I traveled to Bath, England, where she was hanging out at her dad’s house, and I called to speak with her. Van Morrison answered the phone. “Hello?” he said. “Hi, is Shana there?” I asked. “Hold on a sec.” He said. So, I can say from experience, he seems like a great guy. Here’s a nugget…

“Last night as I slept out (this was after a great evening hanging out with Shana, Van Morrison’s daughter) an interesting scene unfolded. I was sleeping in a farmer’s field just outside of Bath when someone blundered through the trees and almost stepped on me. I cried out and the guy ran back to the trees and disappeared, but I could tell that he just stopped in the shadows. There was no answer when I asked who he was, just more rustling. So I packed up my stuff and headed off to find a more secure resting place. I ended up in somebody’s garden, but it was so late the foxes were out, (I saw two) and I didn’t disturb a soul.
I forgot to mention that the night before last I heard witches. It was a full moon, and I was in an isolated field on a hillside (outside of Eastbourne). The field was bordered by trees, and the grass was close to three feet high. At one point, I was suddenly awakened by loud female cackle and laughter at the top of the hill behind the trees. It grew in volume for half a moment or so—then silence. Seconds later cackles loud sound from the bottom of the field, again behind the trees. These continue a moment and cease as abruptly. I suppose it was some sort of broomstick race under the full moon, but perhaps it was just a gaggle of spinsters having fun with a sleeping trespasser.
You never know your luck.”

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