Those of the group who had congregated there left London yesterday, driving down to Southampton. I sat up with the driver for most of the way, and he was a talker. He told, for example, of surprising a burglar in his home four years ago, sneaking up behind him with a can of gas, drenching him, and holding a match near him while calling the police. They criticized his unconventional methods, he said.
He’s not overly fond of the Arabs and other foreigners who come to live in England. He presumes that they’re thieves, who obtained their wealth by ripping off their innocent countrymen. If any of them ever come to live in his neighborhood in Cornwall, he says, he’ll make their lives hell. And they’re ruining the traffic in London, because fines are nothing to them and they don’t obey the laws.
He lived in Orange County, California, for eleven years, earning big money as a disk jockey, driving fast cars, etc. Now divorced, he works three months a year as a bus driver for tourists, and spends nine months annually, as he puts it, living in “tropical paradises” like Thailand, Brazil, and various places in Africa. He lives in a camper truck (a “caravan”) when he’s abroad, uses no electricity, pays no taxes, and, I’m guessing, lives a quite un-Mormon lifestyle. (For instance, he says that he’s discovered that it takes him about four days now, at his relatively advanced age, to recover from drinking binges. So he gets drunk every fourth night of his nine-month downtime.)
Finally, we arrived at our boat, the Caribbean Princess. We got on early and had lunch. Then, after we’d moved into our cabin, it was time for me to do a fireside. (It was the Sabbath, after all.) Not much to report afterwards. An excellent dinner. Strolling on the deck as the boat steamed away from Southampton.
Up early this morning and, after breakfast, onto a “tender” for the short trip into St. Peter Port, Guernsey.
We drove around Guernsey for three hours today. This is the only part of the United Kingdom occupied by the Nazis. Nearer to France than to England, Guernsey is still replete with French place names, and, in certain of the more remote districts – “remote” is a very relative term on so small an island – some older residents still speak a local French patois. Victor Hugo spent fifteen years in exile here for his outspoken opposition to Napoleon III, and it was on Guernsey that he wrote several of his most popular works, including Les Miserables.
After returning to the boat and having lunch, I lectured to the group about Latter-day Saint history in the British Isles. To be more precise, I spoke to them this afternoon about the biography of John Taylor, who was born in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, just south of the Lake District, in 1808 and lived there until his emigration to Canada at age twenty-four, where he was taught the Gospel by Parley Pratt in 1836. Then I began to discuss the life of George Q. Cannon, converted in Liverpool by his uncle, John Taylor, during the mission of the Twelve Apostles to England in 1839-1840.
I had more pictures to put up, but, well, computer and expensive Internet are not cooperating, time’s a wasting, and money is flowing away. Maybe when I get back.
Seven hours out of St. Peter Port, Guernsey, United Kingdom.