[Taken July 15, 2007 | The fountain in Trafalgar Square | London, UK]
Getting ready for Pennsic is taking a lot of time lately... although I have to admit, this is more true for John then for myself. I am gathering together the general "stuff" - camp stove, tent, tarps, bug spray... all of the sundries. John is doing all of the sewing. (I am sewing impaired.) Still, I help with the sewing where I can...
Why is it so hard to iron wrinkles out of linen, but so easy to iron them in?
So much to do over the next couple of days still. Final packing, food list and food prep, packing the car, remembering to ask Sarah to watch the fish and Merlin, cleaning the house one last time...
This is going to be a busy week...
Still. I can't wait to get to Pennsic. This will be a lot of fun. Plus, I really need this vacation.
[Taken July 13, 2007 | Raquy and the Cavemen | Dayton, OH]
I just finished the latest Harry Potter book.
My pre-ordered copy of it was waiting for me when I got home from London on Saturday afternoon. (I honestly think that 90% of the people on my flight back were reading it.) Actually, there were two copies waiting for me... since I only recall pre-ordering one, I assume that Amazon must have made some sort of shipping mistake... whatever happened, I ended up with an extra copy. I gave it to John so that he wouldn't have to wait until I was done reading it to start, and we spent a nice long, lazy Sunday afternoon sitting out on the back porch reading.
This latest trip to London was about the same as the last couple. I always enjoy going, and have a great time (not to mention get a lot done) while I am over there.
The flight out this time was a bit more exciting then usual. There was an accident, plus major construction and lane closures, on 75 south going to the airport. So what would, on a normal day, be an hour drive ended up taking over three hours. I got to the airport a half hour before the flight was scheduled to leave (thank god for the valet parking right by the Delta check-in desks!) and still somehow managed to get checked in, through security, across the airport, and to the gate just as they were calling my row to board.
Because of my rather late check-in, I was worried about whether or not my luggage would actually make it to Gatwick with me. Fortunately, it arrived all right... the last thing I need to deal with while jet-lagged is filling out forms to deal with misplaced luggage.
I did most (all) of my sightseeing that first jet-lagged day that I was there. The rest of the week there is really no point in trying to do a lot of sightseeing since I am usually working in the office until 6pm or later.
I started out at Piccadilly Circus and then walked through Regent's park (complete with a surprise heavy thunderstorm), listened to a string quartet perform at the bandstand, fed the ducks, and saw Buckingham palace before heading back toward Trafalgar Square.
After hanging out at Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, I ate dinner in a pub that I saw last time I was here, that was inspired by Sherlock Holmes (a nice, early, leisurely dinner at about 5ish) and yawned through the meal, though the two cups of coffee I had with dessert perked me up a bit.
I wandered around Embankment and The Eye long enough for everything to get dark to see (and photograph, of course) the lights on the Houses of Parliament and the Clock tower before heading back to the hotel. Then I really got a second (or third) wind on the while on the tube, and by the time I was trying to get ready for bed I was not tired at all. Altogether a typical first day in London.
I will have to pick a different area to check out next time I am over there – maybe Covent Gardens or SoHo, or maybe I will just stay in Camden Town or go to Knightsbridge and shop a bit.
Actually, I don't think that I ever got fully acclimated to London time until the last day I was there, and then it was time to head home. Fortunately, it seems to be easier for me to get re-adjusted when returning from London… all I do is fall asleep shortly after I get home, sleep through to the next morning, and I am more or less fine from there.
[Taken July 12, 2007 | Untitled portrait, by Xiaomu Yang | Dayton, OH]
I love my morning comics, and since it has been many years since I had a newspaper delivered, I love my online comics in the morning (after my shower and while I am brushing my hair). One of my current favorites is a semi-autobiographical strip called "The Devil's Panties". A recent story arch deals with the artist's/main character's recent trip to England. I read this strip and realized, just by looking at the building facades, that I knew exactly where the story 'took place' - they are in Camden Town... about two blocks away from the Elsevier Camden office. Could this be a sign that I have been traveling over there too much this summer? Nah... :)
(I admit to having this fantasy of exchanging all of the frequent flyer miles I am earning this summer for a trip somewhere nich with an awesome beech and excellent snorkling... like the Cayman Islands.)
I went to my friend and co-worker Xiaomu's apartment this evening the photograph some of her paintings for her. Holy, crap... she is really, really good. I knew that she did a lot of painting, but damn... All I do is take pictures!
I miss painting now... but I have so many other things going on... I really don't have time to take up painting again... but that doesn't stop me from feeling wistful....
[Taken April 30, 2007 | Bumblebee | Dayton, OH]
It is nice that after several days (weeks) of the weatherman promising that rain would be in the forecast that it finally cut loose and we had a bit of a monsoon this afternoon. I know that the lawn must have appreciated it, though I would like several days more of nice steady rain to try to counteract this nice mini-drought that we have been having here in SW Ohio.
I am kind of sorry that I have been doing so much traveling lately... I have missed a lot of the spring and summer flowers at the arboretum. I especially love the bumblebees... they are always so intent on the flowers and the pollen that you can get as close to them as you want. Heck, you could probably pick them up off of one flower and move them to another without getting stung.
[Taken April 30, 2007 | Purple flower | Dayton, OH]
Just like last year, the 4th of July was rainy. Rainy enough that we decided not to bother to try to go to the fireworks show at Centerville High, since we were sure that it would be rained out. Surprise... the weather cleared up just in time for the show. Oh well. So we missed seeing explosions on the exact date... eh. We did see the downtown Dayton fireworks show on Sunday evening, which was spectacular as always.
For a kind of podunk place, Dayton does know how to put on a good fireworks show.
Aside from not seeing fireworks on the actual 4th of July, it was a good day. John and I went to the Centerville street fair (it was huge... a lot bigger then either of us expected it to be) for the express purpose of eating funnel cakes. Then we hung around on the back deck and cooked burgers on the grill that I got him for his birthday. Nice and relaxing day.
Add to have a holiday in the middle of the week, but I will take all of the paid days off of work that I can get.
The next day, it being John's birthday (happy birthday!) we went out to dinner at Jay's Seafood. One of our favorite restaurants... a bit on the pricy side though, so we really only get to go there once or twice a year.