Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last Post.

 All we have left of our four London Taxi's.
Photos and this Number Plate from 'Tabitha' #4 hanging up on our family room wall with other signs  and posters collected from the U.K.

I have now finished this 'Europe by London Taxi' Blog, it follows our almost three years of travelling around the World in 1968, 1969 and 1970.   I included our travel after we sent our London Taxi home from London because it made the story whole, and because we visited countries which were under Communist Rule at the time and are now free.  I know we weren't doing those 7 months in 'Tabitha' Taxi but I thought that part of our trip needed to be included. 

I have really enjoyed writing up this Blog, it was such fun reliving and remembering details some of which were small, some large, some well remembered and some long forgotten.  I've relived the first three years of our marriage with great joy and expectation.

One of the things that I will be forever thankful for is the fact that both our families kept, then gave back to us, most of the postcards and letters that we had sent them.   These items were enormously valuable in not only remembering the small details but dating a lot of our trip.

Special thanks have to go to Google Maps who have been invaluable in the writing of this Blog, making it possible for me to map our trip, visit sites we'd already been to and check out the differences, many of which make me so glad we visited these places before they became so very popular.  Also special thanks to Wikipedia who made searching for details of things and places visited very easy.

Many thanks also to our parents especially our mothers,  Rosie Rodd who gave me back our correspondence many years ago and to Mary Griffiths who kept everything we ever sent her and we found on her passing.

Some Highlights.

Scary - Having great big old rifles pointed at us, once in Yugoslavia by a soldier and again in East Berlin by a young nervous guard and my being given the 'third degree' on re-entering the USA from Mexico.

Inspiring - Ancient sites in England and Europe, how did they build those magnificent structures? and  Roman Central Heating, how clever and sensible.

Delicious - Discovering that food cooked perfectly, isn't overcooked.  Europeans know how to make bread and know how to cook and flavour foods much better than the old Australian habit of overcooking everything just like they did in Mother England.

Exploring - Finding places, homes, castles, museums, art galleries and landmarks that I had only ever read about before.

Disappointments - Gretna Green, what a dump, nothing like I imagined after reading novels by the likes of Georgette Heyer...  and have you actually ever 'taken' the waters in Bath, that was a real shock, it's revolting but fun watching others coming along in anticipation.

Family - Meeting and finding some interesting distant relatives and their old homes.

Frustrating - The English inviting us to Tea... we still don't know if it's in the afternoon or the evening and after all these years we've come to the conclusion that it means two different times to different people and if invited to Tea... always ask what time :-)

Financially - Finding out how far we could make our meager monies last, I find it laughable now on reading back on how much it cost us to do this and that and how much it cost us to travel here and there.

Best Bit of the 1,000's of things, people we met and places we visited - Meeting and living nearby in Carmel, California... David's Uncle Keith and Aunt Virginia.  The more time passes the more I remember and love and appreciate those two, they were so generous and giving not only financially but with time and thought and introductions.  I like to think we have followed them in some way by always welcoming and helping young people travelling to Australia.

I have thoughts of other subjects to Blog about but I'll take a step back for a while and let the ideas come to me slowly.

Thank you for reading and following our trip, it's been fun to see how many people found me and which countries they come from.

cheers Pennie Griffiths.


Will said...


Thank you so much for this wonderful story. I stumbled upon it just days after you began and have delighted in each and every post. A love story, a travelogue, a memoir of the 60s: who could ask for anything more? Well, I eagerly await the next project. You deserve a medal for this one.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA

Pennie and David said...

Thanks Will... it was so kind of you to say so.

One thing I haven't put on this Blog is the fact that very early on the National Library of Australia found it and asked permission to Archive it! I said yes of course. What a thrill and honour :-)

cheers Pennie

Will said...

A well deserved honor and one that, as a librarian, I approve heartily. It's a minor masterpiece of intercontinental social history.

Anonymous said...

Ive loved reading your blog diary about a whole world thats disappeared.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to share.