Tuesday, April 14, 2009
All day today, I played catch up. It's amazing how much one puts on hold while traveling. And since I am off again tomorrow (to Belgium), I had a laundry list of items to be accomplished. I did manage to finish writing my 'Ancient Worlds' travelogue (i.e. my account of our recent travels in Rome and Istanbul) and loaded them on to my blog.
I also managed to alter my accommodation reservations in Belgium as I have decided to spend two days in Bruges which has a great deal to offer and two days in Brussels. I was lucky to find accommodation at the St. Christopher Inn in Bruges at the very last minute.
Then, I rushed off to the Holborn Public Library to return some books and look for some on Belgium. I found two rather slim ones and borrowed them and then I set off to find a battery for my watch which stopped working yesterday. This turned out to be a massive production as none of the shops were willing to open my watch being prohibited from doing so. It seems that customers requested them to open their watches and then demanded they be compensated for the damage that the salesmen caused to the cases! I returned home in frustration and, using a slim knife, prized the back open. Back to the store I went with the open watch to find a suitably sized battery. And then the one that Maplin gave me did not work! I have no time to continue to pursue this matter and shall take care of it upon my return from Belgium at the weekend.
I also graded my students' essays, downloaded the pictures from my camera, charged it and got it ready for my trip tomorrow. I am excited about my trip as I am taking the Eurostar, aka the Chunnel train, for the first time and I know it will be a fun thing to do. I haven't read up anything about Belgium, so haven't the faintest idea what I will see...but I shall do my reading on the train tomorrow morning and, no doubt, by the time I arrive at Brussels' Midi station, I shall have a good idea of the shape my next four days will take.
Then, after a shower and a cup of tea in the evening, I set out for my appointment with my friend Loulou Cook at her flat in Farringdon. It took me ten minutes to walk there, past Farringdon Tube station. She let me into the enormous living-cum-dining room space and as we sat down to enjoy a cup of tea, we caught up on the past few days. I was at her place primarily to take a look at her spare room that does not get much use at all as the Cooks have a country home in Suffolk and spend just one day in their London flat. When I had taken a look at it and realized that it would work rather well for me in the summer months of June and July, I sat for a chat with Paul whom I was meeting for the first time. It was an interesting conversation indeed. I do hope that all will now fall into place so that I can have use of their place...so let's see.
Back home, I finished my packing for Belgium and put together all the papers I need for my travel. I have an early morning start with my train leaving St. Pancras Station at King's Cross at a minute before seven. I guess I shall be up before 6.00, so I can take a bus and arrive at the station by 6. 30 am! I guess I shall now just grab a bite of dinner, set the alarm on my cell phone and go straight to bed.