A long silence. Sorry about that. We are all still here, but busy for a change.
Last week was my first back at uni, or to put it another way the end of my "holiday." I was sad about this for a couple of hours before I realised:
(a) I had actually done more uni work over the break than the rest of the first term, and had done it while having tons of visitors;
(b) I used to work a ten hour day minimum and now have eight hours per week of uni. THIS IS A HOLIDAY, in other words.
It was actually great to be back and see all the generally fun and nice people with whom I study. Sure, some of them are basically five and a half, but they're very precocious. And there are a few thirty-somethings who sit around and angst glumly about careers, which makes me feel right at home.
Also last week I had a very welcome taste of corporate hospitality with one of the UK lawyers with whom I occasionally collaborated at work. She was very nice indeed but I had forgotten that one of the main traits of generous corporate hospitality is that it refuses to accept no for an answer. Hence I was plyed with enough New Zealand white (not too bad actually - well done to our trans-Tasman cousins!) that I was rather the worse for wear the next day. When of course I had to go to uni.
Other than that we have had a really busy holiday season with family visiting and visits to and of local friends and most importantly a 2 week stay from Vron, whom we have missed terribly. It was great to have her around to just generally hang out, but between us we also did the obligatory tourist hike of 90% of the Greater London area, as well as surgical strikes on its largest museums. There's a great metalwork exhibit at the V&A should anyone be interested.
Of course, three people in the pixieflat was also rather an adventure. When your main bedroom is also the loungeroom, your guest bedroom is - drumroll - your KITCHEN (hygiene dictated that the bathroom not be used for this purpose). Vron has now become one of a select group of humans, namely those who have banged their head on a fridge in their sleep. Vron flew out on Saturday, and we are trying to be brave about it but maybe our chins are a little bit wobbly.
In other news, yesterday involved a mammoth hike through the wilds of Kensingtons north and south as we conducted a tour of department stores of the West End, or at least Marks and Spencer and Harrods. Harrods is very very very DJs-ish although bigger, and I am trying to work out which was the chicken and which was the egg in that particular scenario without checking the Internet, because that would be cheating. Harrods is grossly overpriced on most fronts but does have a room decorated with sphinxes which few other stores could boast. Furthermore, they sold us a union jack demitasse coffee cup for Grant (matches his new red coffeepot, thanks Susan & Robert!) and a CARBON STEEL WOK AT LONG LAST. The fact that the latter cost the same number in pounds on sale as the last one I bought at Flemington markets in Sydney cost in dollars is kind of par for the course, but since they are the only establishment in the entire country so far that has been willing to pony up a carbon steel wok and since I am sick of scooping veg all over the place from the frypan while attempting to stir fry, I am praising Harrods.
But I'm never going back there because it was really busy and scary and really really hard to get out of, and they were cheating by using the perfume and cosmetics rooms to scare me away from the exits.
Not a great deal of proper travel lately due to aforementioned visitors. We are in the early stages of working out another euro trip, but in the meantime are planning more extensive use of the "25 Day Trips from London" book!
Can you tell I am avoiding a copyright assignment as we speak?