It was one of those weeks when lightening wasn’t easy – Orange County Register

It has been a difficult week with painful memories of the loss to our country and global grief at the loss of a woman of royal stature, Queen Elizabeth II. I had no personal connection to her but to her mother, known as the Queen Mum, after I mailed her (as the founder of the International Humor and Healing Institute) the 1991 International Humor Award for being extremely warm and funny.

Thinking back to the mid 1970’s when my husband and I visited England, I recall a touch of excitement as I wore my Greta Garbo hat and trench coat slung over my shoulder. Surely intrigue and adventure would be our co-pilot.

That thought vanished as the pilot’s harsh voice greeted us and announced that our film would be a Disney flick. For real! I had envisioned some spy fun that would go with my outfit rather than a talking car. Oh well. Things would certainly improve.

We heard nothing more from the pilot until we fell asleep. He was kind enough to point out the cumulus clouds to our left. We arrived at Heathrow Airport where our travel agent said a driver was to pick us up. He never showed up.

We grabbed a taxi and experienced our first language challenge: the taxi driver spoke a slightly different English. He was Cockney and we were from Brooklyn so the conversation went nowhere. He also mistook my husband for a governor. How absurd. A prince yes, but a governor?

We were dropped off at the Churchill Hotel. The lobby was packed to capacity as there was a flower fair going on and the London was full of vendors and petunias.

We had a reservation but they couldn’t find it. About 45 minutes later they found our reservation under W. Of course what is a W other than an upside down M?

The rest of the trip was a treat.

We strolled through Charles Dickens’ house. I felt his spirit

Drove through Shakespeare’s country and felt his spirit.

During our stay we visited seven pubs and oh yes, we really felt a lot of spirit.

It was a fun time for us. And my fear of not understanding how to find out the British currency was not a problem. Luckily everything was so expensive that there was never anything to change.

best part? Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew was about me.

Until we meet again.

Humor columnist and Laguna Woods Village resident Jan Marshall is the author of adult humor books including Dancin Schmancin With the Scars. She has also written challenging children’s books – The Toothbrush Who Tried to Run Away and The Littlest Hero. She is the founder of the International Humor and Healing Institute in 1986. She is a clinical hypnotherapist, television presenter and media humorist and – most importantly – a proud great-grandmother. Contact them at It was one of those weeks when lightening wasn’t easy – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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