Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Day of Little Accomplishment

Friday, October 21, 2016
Morning Frenzy:
     Time is fleeing. I am now starting to feel those familiar tremors of panic which indicate that I must start getting organized--to leave. Next week will be my last full one here in London. The following week, I leave for Leeds to give an invited lecture at the University there and a few days later, I leave for Italy where I will also give a lecture.
I have not yet managed to sort out accommodation for Sicily where I will spend a few days before flying to Venice. Every time I call the B&B in Catania, they tell me to speak in Italian--which I cannot. Then I remembered my friends Greg and Nancy here who can help interpret for me. They readily agreed and, hopefully, I will get my accommodation needs sorted. 

Next week, I will be in a frenzy as I have many excursions planned in the afternoons although I do intend to spend the mornings working in my office at NYU. I also have to try to look ahead to further travels in December--to India, no less. I have been promising myself that I will look at airfares soon..but although the entry is on my To-Do List, it has been languishing there.

After my breakfast (one croissant and a bit of muesli with coffee), the realtor called with a very young couple looking to rent a flat. They stayed for about 10 minutes and left. I took a shower, I called my Dad and had a chat with him and then I got down to work.

I began working at 9.00 and by 1. 30 pm, I had accomplished half of the work I wanted to do--carrying out editorial changes in my chapters as I get them ready for final submission. There was one more disturbance as yet another photographer stepped in to take pictures of my flat. Fortunately, they do not stay long and their arrival gives me a break from work.

     I had three major items that I wanted to accomplish today--go to the Post Office at Holborn to mail off my US election absentee ballot form, getting the parcel containing my printed memorabilia and British DVDs mailed off to my home in Southport and finishing off the editing of my chapters on my computer. Hence, there was no time to lose. If I wanted to get the mailing done, I needed to move on. I made myself a toasted tongue sandwich which I ate with a cup of coffee and I got dressed to leave. By 2. 30 pm, I was in my office. I finished up some photocopying and then I went downstairs to retrieve the parcel I had packed and kept ready for the post office.  
Shock and Disappointment at the Post Office:
    Well, after I trekked with a heavy parcel for about 12 minutes from my office in Bloomsbury to the post office at Holborn, I received the shock of my life. It would cost me...get this...using the cheapest mail service (surface mail), as my Brit colleagues would say, 80 quid to send out my parcel to America.  I bounced in horror! No way I was paying that much. The Keralite Indian woman at the counter suggested other ways I could mail it cheaper: divide the parcel into smaller ones of no more than 2 kgs each. If I did that, I would end up saving about 20 quid! OK, that seemed like a plan. So
I walked back to my office with a parcel weighing, by the way, five and a half kilos, and resolved to work on redistributing the weight on Monday.  You see what I mean when I say that panic is setting in? Well, at least I managed to mail off my US ballot form. Now let's hope Mr. Trump will respect the outcome of the election and not drag the Supreme Court in to decide who gets to be the next American President!

Back at Home to Work:

     I made one swift detour before I reached home at Morrison's where I bought myself some goodies and got home for an urgent cup of tea. It was a delight to bump into my friend Cecil in the supermarket. In this country, where I am a stranger to everyone, I do not ever see anyone I know on the streets--unlike my little
village in Southport where everybody knows my name!

    The kettle whistled a few minutes after I got home and I sat down to a cuppa and a scone with cream and jam--yes, I had been craving one of those for ages. I also had a pistachio biscuit as I felt ravenous. My exertions to the Post Office and back had undoubtedly whetted my appetite. Still, I could not linger long. I still had the rest of my manuscript to edit on my screen.

     And that was what I did for the next two hours--after Face timing with Llew. It was about 8. 45 pm when I finished and I was tired and hungry again! But I had managed to tick off one more item from my List of Three for the day. Tomorrow and over the rest of the weekend. I can goof off without feeling guilty.
     Dinner was ravioli with bottled cheese sauce (which I do n
like), peas and corn and a cup of chicken and vegetable soup which I ate while watching Rosemary and Thyme. I felt fairly disappointed by the tenor of my day and the fact that the excursion to the post office was such a waste of time--well, OK, not quite. I now know how to package my stuff most economically and although this means more work ahead of me, I shall try to tackle it in as calm and organized a fashion as possible.  All is not completely lost yet...
     Until tomorrow, cheerio...

Spending the Morning at Home Proofreading:

1 comment:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rochelle - frustrating about the postal service ... just time consuming - let alone back ache from carrying the big parcel ...

Good luck with sorting out Sicily ...

Enjoy the weekend ... Hilary