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English towns, fields and highway

Weren’t we lucky? The sun was shining and we could see the ground when we landed at London’s Heathrow Airport. What a treat to see the tapestry of Merrie Olde England spread out beneath us. It gives one a very clear visual understanding of their Greenbelt philosophy.

We spent the night in London before making the rest of the trip back to Italy.  It’s hard to resist the siren call of good British Beer, consumed by Speedy in this photo at the Wheatsheaf Pub in Harlington, adjacent to the airport.  That man behind him?  Turned out to be very friendly, a sort of Harlington Ambassador.

Louis drinks Doombar in pub

(By the way – a very useful aside – if you find yourself in London and are overstaying at an airport hotel, you do NOT have to take the confiscatory Hoppa buses to your hotel. Free local transport – red doubledecker buses – make the run down Bath Road where many of the airport hotels are. You won’t be dropped at the door, but you will save L 7 for the round-trip.)

London airport hotels are mingy in two ways – 1) you have to pay for the wifi that we’ve all come to depend upon and 2) breakfast may not be included.  It wasn’t in our case, and we didn’t have a lot of options nearby.  However, a little bird whispered in our ears that the McDonalds down the street offered free wifi, and, with a bit of an arcane registration ordeal, it proved to be true.  We decided to kill two birds with one stone (though we spared the kind whisperer) and to take our breakfast at McDonalds in addition to making use of their wifi.

egg mcmuffin

Egg McMuffin! Though they are now called something completely different, I don’t remember what. I have always loved them. The ‘English Muffin’ is but a squishy hint of the real article, and the egg was probably laid by an unhappy hen; but the bacon was delicious! And here’s why:

McD mat

What a shock!  McDonald’s has gone all socially-conscious and responsible on us.  I would never have imagined.  Speedy found the Egg McMuffin odious, but I loved mine (could have done with a bit of mayo, perhaps), but then I have always been a gustatory philistine.  So, the bacon was delish because it came from happy pigs.  And guess what else McD’s is serving:

mcD organic milk

Genuine organic milk!  I note they say nothing about the milk coming from cows who have not been treated with antibiotics and so forth, but oh well.  ‘Organic’ is a start.

But what’s it a start of?  It makes it all so confusing when the companies we, as card-carrying liberals,  are meant to hate (McDonalds, Walmart, etc.) start engaging in behavior we approve of (even Walmart is up to some good, it seems).  I guess all we can do is applaud the steps they are taking, hope for ever more advances (especially for the employees), and enjoy the bacon.