On Sunday, I left Northumbria and took the train south to Harrogate to stay overnight at our friend Pete's house (same one as below). This was another good step in the process of decompression which I've undergone since leaving home -- that is, it was nice to just be alone, really alone with nothing to do and no agenda. I fixed a sandwich and watched TV and drank tea and read, then went to sleep and woke up and repeated the process. Heaven. Since I couldn't get the DVD player to work, I spent several hours flipping channels on a modest British cable package. Lots of BBC news, sports, VH1 highlights of the 80s, a few good movies. I settled for some shows about childbirth, then Lethal Weapon, plus reread parts of George Orwell's Burmese Days.
After an equally relaxing morning, I caught the train and came to London, where I'm staying here in Hackney with our friends Andy and Rachel Turner and their great kids Jess, Millie, and Eve. They are our friend Geoff's dearest and oldest friends, and we love them. They're the best at easygoing hospitality -- no muss, no fuss! I arrived in time to help prepare teatime, and after a great meal and some fun with Rachel ("Maria, you've used far too much soap for the washing up!"), the kids went to bed, Andy studied, Rachel went out and I watched "Notting Hill" and "Angela's Ashes". Another quiet night. Will keep everyone posted.
1) Getting to watch my absolute favorite episode of the original Star Trek ("Devil in the Dark") -- what are the odds??? ( I actually read it in paperback, buying it at that newstand place on University where we'd stop after church on Sundays and get papers and gum -- remember?)
2) Looking at pictures of Miranda and Billy on the way to London
3) Seeing Andy and Rachel, and being amazed at how much their kids have grown in the 3 years I've known them. And not feeling like I'm intruding, but welcomed.
4) Not having to Harrogate today to get the thing I left at Pete's house (see above).