I arrived at London Gatwick around 9AM, took the tube (subway) through London to Kings Cross station (watched for Harry Potter and the Weasleys, but couldn't find platforn 9 1/2) and rode the train for 3 hours to Durham. Then found my room at St. John's college and met with Robert for a while as my eyes began to glaze. I was really tired. I wanted to go straight to bed, but had made dinner plans with some folks (whose blog I circuituously found) who are Americans studying and living here at Durham. (Billy said, "Just make sure they aren't serial killers or anything." So far they're not.) Turns out I'm glad I didn't cancel, as we had a great time. Another biblical studies student joined us, and we talked about programs and parenthood and theology and things in general. Thanks Heather and Ben for your hospitality!!! Then, took the bus back to St. John's and fell asleep reading.
So far, the main thing I've noticed is how much less... significant this trip feels, compared to last July. Billy mentioned in the car, "These trips used to seem like such a big deal, but we're getting used to them. They're just part of our lives now." And really, up until I was eating and relaxing in Cincinnati, this trip was just one more thing on my to-do list, something else I needed to be prepared for. I wsan't really thinking about being away from Miranda, which was a major preoccupation last year. One reason for that is that I was weaning her just before my last trip, and was worried about how she'd do with such an abrupt shift away from nursing. But that's been off the radar screen for awhile now.
Plus, I think that trip (combined with weaning) was the inauguration of a change in our parenting patterns. Whereas for the first year I was rarely away from Miranda for more than 4-6 hours, I now have larger blocks of time available to me. Billy keeps her for extended periods of time (and is so in tune with her, it's amazing), and she has nursery school and a day with Marie once a week. So, while I certainly miss her, I don't feel the same anxiety about leaving her. She's doing just fine!
Anyway, here's the daily highlights:
- Having time and quiet to read a good book on the plane, with a "free" glass of red wine
- seeing daffodils blooming on the hill of the castle and between the tombs in the cathedral lawn
- a nice evening with new friends
- getting 2 pix messages from Billy of the wunchie
- a comfortable bed and a good night's sleep