Everything went without a hitch. We took the train to Manchester on Sunday night, settled into our hotel and found a wonderful Italian restaurant to enjoy our final supper in England. We were off early the next morning to the airport and managed to get ourselves a very chatty cab driver. Once he found out we were Americans, we starting comparing notes.
To sum it up, a goodly number of Brits are keeping a wary eye on our elections. If you don't know why they'd care, I suspect you might want to bone up on our history for the last seven years. They're edgy who will be in the White House, edgy about their economy, the problems with their health care, immigration, etc. Sound familiar?
I found a common theme: We're so screwed and don't know how to fix the mess. We have politicians who couldn't find their arses with four hands and our future is looking pretty crappy. Brits are a stoic lot. They've been through stuff that makes our 9/11 look like a bad road accident. They grumble, but they usually have a sense of the future, that things will get better. I didn't feel that during this trip and it troubled me.
Much like here in America. We're worried about the same things, furious at our politicians who can't seem to do a damned thing right and frustrated about where it's all heading. I didn't travel anywhere else this trip, so I can't say if this is a worldwide malaise or just isolated in a few countries. Contrast this with the Victorian Era, which was full of energy and a sense of confidence, and it's even more depressing.
On the whole, it was a very good trip and I learned a lot, both for my writing and on a personal level. I'm hoping if I make a journey back to England next year I'll find my Brit cousins a bit more buoyant. If not, then I know things are really not going to get much better in the long haul.