A year ago, I:
- had just had an academic achievement
- had just finished knitting a pair of socks from my handspun yarn
- ... and was about to go away for a week's roleplaying.
- have just had an academic achievement
- have just finished knitting a pair of socks from my handspun yarn
- ... and am about to go away for a week's roleplaying.
( Saturday: hot and soapy )
( Sunday: hot and chlorinated )
( Monday: cold and salty )
( Tuesday: hot and soapy )
( Wednesday: cold and salty )
( Thursday: hot and chlorinated )
( Friday: no immersion in water :-( )
( Saturday: no immersion in water... )
Thank you, everyone who came, who ran games, who cooked, and washed up, and did anything else to make it as much fun as it was :-)
Off on holiday tomorrow at silly o'clock.
- Shedloads of organisation done? Check
- Lists made? Many
- Work deadlines met? Check
- Clothes packed? Check
- Books selected? Check
- Not-clothes packed? Mostly
- Car cleared out? Check
- Washing up done? Check
- Cat feeders arranged? Check
- Thinks: what have I forgotten?
I hate the immediate run-up to holidays. Rationally, I'm well aware that anything I've forgotten can be done without or got when I'm there; I know that I really have done a lot of organising, that it will all probably be fine, that if it's not all fine it will be because of circumstances beyond my control, and it'll still be basically fine in the long run anyway. I know this, but still, I sleep badly, and have dreams of everything going wrong in new and inventive ways.
But unless circumstances beyond my control intervene, this time tomorrow I'll be there, and everything will be fine.
( We spent our anniversary in Chicago... )
( And then got on a flight to Baltimore... )
And a final note, for those of you in the UK, which I hear is grey and rainy: it's hot here. Very, very hot by my standards, although I've been thoroughly mocked by several natives for saying this - apparently it was even hotter a couple of months ago.
The strangeness of the subject of this post is from another part of this morning's entertainments: shopping in the mall across the road from the hotel. For the most part, this was fun, and I'm amazed at how friendly and helpful all the shop assistants are - one of them, having told me he didn't have the thing I was after1 checked with his manager after I'd wandered off, and then left the
Actually, the roads are pretty strange, too. The speed limits are all really low, and the lane etiquette is bizarre. I mean, there doesn't seem to be any. Pick a lane at random, and pootle along in it. Overtake on either side if you fancy it. And there's hardly anything in the way of signage to confirm you're on the right road. Pick a road according to a destination mentioned on a signpost, and you'll get no further mention of that destination till it's time to leave the road, which worried us driving out of Chicago yesterday.
1USB phone charger. smiorgan's charger isn't working, and there seems little point buying a US charger when a USB charger would continue to be useful at home.
2I don't usually think of myself as English, so much as British, but the first person we had this conversation with, on a bus at O'Hare airport yesterday, didn't understand "UK" or "Great Britain" and only worked out where we were from when we said "England".
3Oooh, get me with the lingo ;-)
Once more he stept into the street,
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.
(Full text available here: http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/etext/
Incidentally, whilst in Venice, smiorgan and I visited Ca'Rezzonico, where Browning died.
What did I have for lunch today? A cheese sandwich from the work canteen.
*Those who have previously visited Italy will no doubt tell me I'm way behind the times in deciding that those round red salad fruit things they sell in supermarkets in this country are in no way related to the tomatoes we ate in Venice.
I spent most of Saturday in search of a large body of salt water in which to immerse myself. The water we found in the end was technically estuary rather than sea, and sadly lacking in waves, but was at least salty. If also slightly grim and grotty.
On Sunday, less intentionally, I poured boiling water over my left hand, and, more intentionally, spent several subsequent hours holding my hand under taps, in bags of ice and bowls of water in a (mostly vain at the time) effort to stop it hurting. Now it's only my thumb that still hurts, in a paradoxical numb-but-sore way.
Other news: in six weeks time, it'll all be over.