Well, after a long red-eye flight and only about 40 minutes of sleep over "night", I am safely stowed in my favorite little B & B hotel near the British library. The nice woman let me check in early (before noon!), and now the trick will be to try to stay awake until at least 8:00pm. This will not be easy. It's currently 4:25a.m. California time, and it will be noon in CA by the time I'm "allowed" to go to sleep here.
This means that even though I so badly want to lay down on the nice tiny bed in my nice tiny room, I'm going to have to go out and about for a while. See the sights through my very bleary eyes. I'm thinking about looking for the Dickens House Museum. I don't think I can handle anything much bigger than that today.
The flight was smooth, and I landed safely, so I probably shouldn't bother complaining about how unfriendly the "friendly skies" were today. The head flight attendant sounded like Paula Poundstone without her wry but endearing tone. At one point, she said, "The captain has turned on the seatbelt signs for a reason. Please take your seats." Very ominous. The rest of the crew gave off a similar vibe.
Since I couldn't sleep, I blew through Lorrie Moore's new novel. It definitely had some good parts, but some sections seemed a little overdone and indulgent. Am I allowed to say that about Lorrie Moore? Maybe not. But there were puns that actually made me groan. And I don't think they were just the character's puns. You'll have to read it and let me know what you think.
But I have plenty of DVDs for another night when I'm not planning to pass out by 8:00 (if not before). I have North and South. I have How Green Was My Valley (which I had not heard of before but which is so perfect for this trip). For something completely different, I have the first two seasons of Buffy, and I have the first season of Arrested Development.
And for my reading pleasure (when I'm not reading the academic stuff), I'm on to David Liss's A Conspiracy of Paper. This way, when I'm not studying, I can pretend I'm doing contextual history stuff. I haven't read Liss before, so we'll see.*
My eyes are burning. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it until 8:00. Yawn.
*Really, I am going to work on the dissertation, but I just can't do it after about 8:00 or 9:00 at night when I'm in my hotel room missing my family so much. Then, I need true diversions.
P.S. The night before I left, we harvested ten green beans from the garden! My first green beans ever. I know you're probably not very impressed, but I cooked them up and they were absolutely the best green beans ever. And we have a tomato that's getting red! I instructed the boy to keep a close eye on it while I'm gone so that the bugs/slugs don't get it before we do.