Monday, October 24, 2016
London and Kent
A Hurried Morning:
Unlike most mornings, this one was a bit frenzied as I blogged, dealt with email, sent something to my office for printing, then sat to have a chat with my Dad in Bombay--which is always more time-consuming than I expect. After a quick breakfast (muesli with coffee), I showered and left my flat at 9.15 am for my 10.30 am meeting with Gary, Director at NYU-London. I was on the Tube and in my building at 10.00 am.
Chores and Meetings at NYU:
My first port of call was the Porter's Lodge where I set myself the task of packing my parcels for mailing to the US. Breaking up one large parcel into three of no more than 2 kgs each took more effort and time than I expected as I stood over a weighing scale and carefully redistributed weight. With only one parcel ready at the end of half an hour, I left the rest of the task for tomorrow and went for my meeting.
At 10.30 am, I was meeting over a cup of tea thoughtfully provided by Gary, our Director, in his office. In a freewheeling conversation that covered the research I am currently doing in London and the contents of my coming book, half an hour passed. It is always a pleasure to meet Gary who is a very easy conversationalist and a very humorous man--take a look at all his funny legal books! Time flew swiftly and at 11.00 am, the two of us left for our next meeting.
On the second floor, we met at another one of our periodic GRI Fellows' 'Teas'. About six of us were present as we discussed our on-going work over tea, coffee and ginger biscuits. Gary was in attendance as well and provided a lot of very interesting information on Jeremy Bentham on whom one of the Fellows is working. I had no idea that he was Oxford's youngest student ever having arrived there at the age of 12! I did not know either that by the age of 5, he was translating Latin texts!
When 12 noon struck, however, he excused himself and hurried away to his next meeting--which was exactly what I did as I had a busy afternoon ahead of me. I rushed up to my own office, printed out my Works Cited pages (for my book) for proofing, glanced at email and left.
Off to Kent with a Relative:
I returned to the Porter's Lodge to pick up my coat and hat and to rearrange things in my bag as I accommodated my printouts. Then, I rushed off to Tottenham Court Road station to take the Northern Line Tube southwards to Clapham South where I was scheduled to meet my relative Joel who was driving me to Kent where we had been invited to spend the evening with my cousin Cheryl who lives on the Isle of Sheppey. I was with Joel within the hour and we started our drive on the M2 motorway to the East. We were at Cheryl's place at 3.00 pm where we had a lovely reunion at her home called Catalan and met her husband David and her niece Hailey who was visiting from Bombay.
A Lovely Evening with my Relatives:
Over the years, Llew and I have spent many happy times in Catalan when David has driven us around the island and over many interesting parts of Kent. Today all we did was sit and chat about the developments in the world from Brexit to the destruction of the Calais Jungle to the coming election in America. Cheryl was in and out as she busied herself with our meal. She provided us with coffee and a delicious home made fruit cake upon our arrival and with the table well laid out, she took charge of serving our meal as she has always been a brilliant chef.
It was when I went to pull my camera out of my bag to take a few family pictures that I realized I had left it behind in the Porter's Lodge at NYU. A quick call to the Receptionist and my fears were confirmed--but I was also deeply relieved. It would be held for me until tomorrow.
When it came time for dinner, a bottle of white wine was opened and shared and we sat down to Cheryl's lovely starter: a smoked fish quiche which was served with a lovely salad. The main course was Toad in a Hole--British for sausages in batter. It was very delicious indeed. To go with the dish, there were carrots and peas and roasted potatoes. It could not have been more English! And for dessert, Cheryl served a low-fat Cherry Cheesecake which was very tasty.
Replete with our meal, we were astonished to find that it was already 8.15! Where had the time gone? Within the next few minutes, we took a few pictures, said our goodbyes and left. Joel and I continued to chat on our way back to London. He dropped me off at Clapham South Tube station where I took the trains that got me back home to Ealing exactly at 11.00 pm.
Considering that I had spent most of the day seated, I was surprised at how tired I felt. Only a few minutes later, I got ready for bed and looked forward to a new day.
Until tomorrow, cheerio...