My exile in New Jersey continues, while the battle with the Home Office for an entry clearance goes on in England. Jersey is really just one large strip mall, connected by highways and diners. But it sure is some great shopping and eating. I had missed American malls and 24-hour a day breakfasts. And it’s certainly a new experience to spend Christmas, basically, in New York City. We’re all going to see the Holiday Show at Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, and thinking about New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
My mobile (British) goes off constantly with texts from friends in Weybridge with messages of encouragement and support. It’s great to be missed and cared for.
Karen, Cheese Boy and the gang pulled off a lovely surprise. Mike, the owner of the Grotto, came to New York on business this week, and fedexed me a package. It was supposed to be just my accumulated mail, but when it arrived, it was a huge box. Inside was a beautiful, silver frame (from Pat and Mike) with a picture Lou took of everybody at the Grotto. (Robbie Lee must have missed the photo shoot.)
Cheese Boy had thought very hard, and I got a tee shirt with a picture of me dressed as the queen, surrounded by about fifty Philadelphia cream cheese packages, and a message, in red, saying:
"Hello, I’m the Queen of Philadelphia, and before you ask, YES, that is where THE BLOODY CHEESE IS FROM."
I didn’t get to deliver his gift seeing as I was deported courtesy of those grumpy armed guards, but, obviously great minds think alike. My present to him has a definite "cheese" theme, as well.
The Grotto folks also sent a white tee shirt, which everybody signed. Some of the messages: "Let Jeano In", "You Goddamned Reprobate-Bugger off to Oz with the other Convicts!", "The Grotto Misses and Needs You", "Heathrow Sucks!", "Barbecue 1.1.07: Don’t Not Attend", "Get Back Soon to ‘Sweet Home Weybridge’", "Save Jeano", A Giant’s Helmet, and lots more. Of course, I cried.
Everybody stuck in Christmas cards, too. I actually felt a little better . . . for about five seconds.