Mar 14, 2007

Over The Pond (2), Day 1 -- Tiring but good

After a pretty full day with Communality and schoolwork, Billy drove me to Cincinnati to catch my flight to London. The wunchie slept all the way to the airport, and awoke just in time for a quick snuggle and a kiss (sort of). After a ridiculously long check-in (I think Northwest needs to hire more people, really), I settled down with an asian chicken salad, an iced tea, and Xenocide, the first of several books I plan to devour while I'm gone. I connected in Detroit just in time to board; unfortunately, this wasn't one of those semi-full flights where you can commandeer an entire row and stretch out to sleep; it was packed. But my neighbor was nice, and I worked on Plato and read my book and watched "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "X-Men: The Last Stand." (Both good, mindless entertainment.) I dozed for a while, but couldn't get comfortable enought to really sleep.

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
And the BIG anti-highlight: as I walked back to my room, getting hit (on the behind, no less!) with an egg that some drunken person threw at me as they drove by! I'm sure it wasn't personal, as I saw other eggs up and down the Bailey, and fortunately it didn't break on my jeans, but still. And it really stung!!!


billy said...

Maria....this is a great installment considering how hectic the last two days have been for you. We're glad to hear that you're having a good time and that things are going smoothly. However, I'm sad to hear about the egg pelting. I fear that you may have suffered some karmic retribution for all those eggs that I heaved at houses and smashed in mailboxes during my adolescence. But on second thought I'm grateful for the words of Bono about grace, "She travels outside of Karma.." We love you and miss you and are glad to hear that you have not been eaten by cannibals disguised as theology students in Durham.

Daddy & Crunchie

Lazymom said...

Were the egg throwers wearing "man diapers"?!

I hear there are 300 or so of them running loose of late.

Glad your enjoying your trip so far. Now get to work woman!!!