Friday, October 21, 2016
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.
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.
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
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!
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: