Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Day 27: Goodbye to Ireland and hello to Maldon.

Four of us were on the bus at 7:15 for our drop-off to the airport. Single Carol and I chatted happily, while Fred and Wilma, an American couple who had been friends with Cornelia sat silently. Fair enough… it was early.

Then as the bus stopped at the terminal, the wife handed Ben a small stack of COINS and said, “Thank you for your work on the trip, Ben.”

Now, in Australia we don’t tip a lot, but even for us, that is an insult. Good lord, at least give the man some folding money!

Do you know the worst of it? After Ben got their luggage out of the bus, he got Carol’s and mine out, then looked around and said, “ Where are Fred and Wilma?”

They’d gone into the terminal without saying goodbye.

“I feel terrible about not saying goodbye,” Ben said. “Let me quickly see if I can find them.” He dashed into the terminal to try and say goodbye to the couple that had stiffed him on the tip.

They’ll never know it.

Single Carol and I had a couple of hours to kill at the airport, so she found a table and a couple of chairs while I was held up in security. My pottery woman caused me some difficulty. They couldn’t work out what she was. I hope that doesn’t also happen at Heathrow and Singapore. It was a bit nerve wracking, especially when I only got one of my boots back, so I was hobbling around with only one shod foot while they were elbow-deep in all of my things.

She and I swapped travel stories until it was time for her plane to board. Then it was just me, happily dropping photos onto the blog until it was time to go.

The flight between Ireland and England is just right for a little nap. Then before I knew it I was in the car with Scott and we were headed for the bed and breakfast in a little town called Maldon.

The plan for this leg of my holiday is for us to drive around and explore Essex. Deana and Kathleen have shown me a bit, and now it’s time to see the rest!

The b and b is directly across from the river, where these sailing barges are moored. My window overlooks the river and the wetlands beyond. The house is filled with bowlfuls of lollies and chocolates, with nice little touches like some binoculars by the window for birdwatching and a rubber duckie for the tub.

After we settled in, we took a walk around the place to orient ourselves.

We were looking for a particular church. In a surprise to no one who knows him, Scott had done a bit of research on the places we were going to visit and this church has a link to the first president of the United States.

There was a window in here…

… which was donated to the church from the USA because…

… George Washington’s great-grandfather was the rector here.

I’m tipping that the rector would never have dreamed that he’d be honoured by a window in the church, though really, it’s not himself it’s really honouring.

After walking around the town a bit, we went for a meal on a quayside pub that our hostess Kim recommended, and then it was home to bed.

Scott took this photo of the Orange moon.


  1. sandyg61

    You’ve had some great memories from your Ireland portion of the trip and some interesting stories to tell as well. Just what a trip should provide. Have loved the photos.

    • FrogdancerJones

      There’s still a week in England to come…

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