Saturday, October 15, 2016
I still lament the fact that I cannot get more than five hours of unbroken sleep--an adrenaline high, perhaps? At any rate, even though I wake by 5. 30, I do spent at least an hour on Twitter--not posting, but reading tweets from around the world that keep me up with the news. For example, this morning, I found a link to the stirring speech that Michelle Obama gave on the campaign trail in New Hampshire pertaining to Trump's attitudes towards women. I listened to it in its entirety and before I knew it, I was almost an hour into catching up with Twitter.
Next, I drafted out a post for my blog--as I am trying hard to catch up and keep it current--and I finally finished all my Eastern Europe posts. Email next. Responding to people who've sent me invitations to lunch or dinner was very gratifying. The Brits are being extremely hospitable to me and almost once a week, I find myself enjoying someone's generosity.
By the time I got a text from my landlord Stuart saying that he needed to come in to fix handles on the laundry cupboard, it was almost 9.00 am and I figured I better arise from my bed and meet the day. But before I did that, I made a To-Do List of all the things I needed to do and before I knew it, I had to abandon all thoughts of going out and enjoying a Saturday of glorious sunshine as I simply had too much to get done. It would be a day to spend at home, chained to my PC--which was just as well as my feet could certainly do with the rest after being seriously overworked during my trip to Cambridge.
Stuart did arrive at about 9. 45 when I put my brekkie together--honey yogurt with fruit and nut muesli and decaff coffee--I offered him a cup but he said he had just eaten his breakfast. He got to work while I ate and watched some TV--I love a TV program called Come Dine With Me--I watched re-runs. Breakfast done, Stuart was on the way out and I returned to work. Since I would be spending the day indoors, I decided to do my laundry and got the machine running. While it hummed, I returned to my bed (my preferred place to work for at least the last 15 years although it is terrible for my back) and caught up with my blog. That took me to almost noon when I stopped to lay my washing out to dry on the stainless steel wrack in the house.
I took a break to speak on the phone to my friend Bina and to send out a few texts and email messages to friends in London whom I have not yet seen and whom I would like to meet before I leave. Their responses poured in instantly and interacting with them made me feel as if I had good company even while I was alone at home.
Working on Future Travel Plans:
Steadily and slowly, I tackled my To-Do List which also included making arrangements for future travel--tickets needed to be booked, itineraries needed to be drafted, accommodated needed to be reserved. I stopped for lunch at 1. 30 pm (a blue cheese sandwich on multi-seeded bread with a cup of soup) and then got right back to work.
I have an invited lecture to give at the University of Leeds in early November--so that was my first priority as I booked tickets and looked for sights close to Leeds that I could cover. I would dearly have loved to see Hill Top, the home of Beatrix Potter in the Lake District (which I had somehow managed to miss the last time I was there with Llew and Chriselle); but I discovered that there is no direct route from Leeds up north--one has to go via Manchester and the entire journey takes about 7 hours!
Since this was not feasible, I turned my sights to visiting another place I have long wanted to see--Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. It turned out to be much more easily accessible from Leeds via Sheffield. So I went ahead and made my bookings on National Express coaches with my Road Map of the UK spread out before me, my calendar at the side of me and all sorts of travel sites open on my PC. In-between, as I was using a new credit card, my payments would not go through--and I had to switch to using another one. All this ate terribly into my time and before I knew it, 6.00 pm was looming.
I had a long Facetime chat with Llew, Lalita and the children in Southport and then decided to have a very late cup of tea with carrot cake and a biscuit. It provided the sustenance I needed before I went in for a very late shower. My routine of the morning had been disturbed by Stuart's arrival and stay in my flat. Deeply refreshed, I returned to my PC for more work--this time creating an itinerary for Llew and my travels in the Holy Land in mid-November followed by our motoring tour around France, followed by my stay in Paris for a week.
As you can imagine, it was never ending and drafting email messages (in French) for my friends in France to inform them of our imminent travels also took a lot of time. I did not even manage to get anywhere near creating an itinerary for my travels in Italy in mid-November (as I have been invited to give a lecture at the University of Padua)--this time is still on my To-Do List and will be tackled tomorrow. After I had put down all travel timings in an itinerary, it was almost 9.00 pm and I decided to take a dinner break and watch Lewis on ITV3--which I did. Dinner was ravioli in a creamy bottled tomato sauce with a cup of soup and a Tunnock's Tea Cake for dessert. I enjoyed the show but could not keep my eyes open after 10. 30--so I shall have to catch the end of it on my laptop.
It was about 11.00 pm when I finally switched my light off after brushing and flossing my teeth.
Until tomorrow, cheerio...