Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Care for Tea? (Or a look around my room?)

I just finished enjoying afternoon tea service in the morning room, surrounded entirely by Welsh-speaking senior citizens. Occasionally, they would speak to each other in English, so I was able to glean that many of the locals received discount coupons (of some sort) inviting them to afternoon tea at the mansion for the grand re-opening during the month of May. I have also discovered that I need to lock my hotel room door when I am inside since visitors are interested in touring the mansion as they would a museum. In the process, they seem to forget that it *is* a hotel, and they just try the knobs of all the doors. One man opened my door, but I'm glad to report I was merely sitting at the desk, typing, when he came in. Once he was in, however, he did not retreat! He chatted me up about the mansion and its beauty as he looked around the room--from his spot in the doorway, thank goodness. Then, cheerfully, he wished me a happy afternoon enjoying the beauty. I am now back in my room--with the door locked, of course--a bit hopped up on black tea, ready for more work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Good Kind of Day

I had my first meeting with my primary supervisor today. We mostly just sorted out some bureaucratic stuff and then had lunch. On Thursday, we'll meet to discuss my chapter draft, and Friday we'll talk about the article revision. After our meeting today, I had great fun in the library with old newspaper archives (digital versions, which are less cool but also less dusty). Then I stopped by my favorite charcuterie to stock up for the hotel room: Olives, almonds (the kind with oil and salt), Bread, Manchego, An awesome local cheese, and An awesome Spanish white wine. I also have a couple of bananas, some trail mix, and leftover chocolate mousse in the mini-fridge. I'm set! Oh, and thanks be to Bacchus for the return of the screw top. Airport security confiscated my corkscrew. My only challenge now? To keep working for a couple of hours before I relax. (edit://Whoops! I forgot that the iPad isn't doing paragraphs, so I'd better go back and stick in some commas.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

I feel like Emma Woodhouse

Yesterday, I arrived in London after a fairly smooth flight (we had some major turbulence about an hour in--accompanied by a few shouts and spilled beverages--but fortunately it did not last long). I don't really care for flying, so I'm always very happy to get back on the ground. London, yesterday, was sunny and HOT. I'm not sure of the temperature, but it was probably mid to high 70s. Maybe even 80. Today, my Welsh cab driver told me that this is the hottest it's been in about 28 years. Maybe that's just for this Welsh town, but maybe for the UK as a whole. I'm not sure. Either way, after arriving in London and checking into my hotel, I had a lovely time walking through Regent's Park, people watching. Loads of people were out and about, enjoying the day. Today, I took the train to my university town in Wales. I love the train ride. It's so relaxing, and the countryside, especially as I get closer to uni-town, is beautiful. Now, I'm sitting in my hotel room, looking out my window at the hillside that is dotted with sheep. I posted a picture of the hotel a few posts back, and I wish I could add some now, but I don't know that I can do it from the iPad. But it's wonderful. I haven't had time to look around much because, when I arrived, the hotel was very busy serving high tea. I think people drive here from town for the afternoon tea service. So I've been sitting in my room, catching up with email and the online writing group , all the while looking out of my window, listening to the sheep. After I finish this post, I think I might poke around downstairs, and then come up and read in my window seat until I go to dinner. I miss my family, but I'm so excited to have this opportunity to be here and get work done, all while staying in a Georgian Mansion. When I caught the taxi at the train station and told the driver my destination, the first thing he said was, "I don't know if I should tell you this, but they say that that place is kind of spooky . . . " (It appears that I'm having paragraphing issues similar to those of loveskidslit. My apologies! Let's blame the iPad, shall we?)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Taking Recommendtions--Books and Movies

In two days, I leave for England and Wales to go to my PhD uni and meet with my supervisor. Although I will be spending a lot of time on thesis-related work, I tend to go for lighter, leisure reading on planes and during evenings. I mix in a few evening movies, too, especially when I have jet-lag induced insomnia. Usually, I've got some perfect books queued up, but this time I'm not sure what to read or watch. I have already downloaded Season 2 of Sherlock to my iPad, but, other than that, I'm looking for book and movie recs. Nothing too scary, please, since I'm staying in a supposedly-haunted mansion.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Similar But Different

The Boy and Girl each have a friend over. Both friends are girls (all the Boy's friends are girls). But two kids are in the bedroom, listening to Taylor Swift, doing hair, and singing on the microphone. And other two kids are in the backyard creating a volcano from dirt and a hose.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I am feeling better today, which is fantastic. On Tuesday, I was so congested and my nose was so sore from all of the blowing that I was wishing I could just rip off my head and breathe through my neck.

The bad news is that Hubby came down with the crud yesterday, and the Girl might be on her way down, too.

But as for me, I'm recovering, and I gave my last final yesterday. Although I have a lot of grading, and I have tons of service work this summer, and lots of diss writing to do (esp. over the next few days and weeks), I still feel so liberated!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

It finally happened. I got sick. I can't really complain. I'm not sure when I was last sick, but I know that it was before August of last year. We've been a very healthy family this year, for which I'm grateful.

And if I'm gonna get sick, better this weekend than last weekend when we were camping at the beach to celebrate the Boy's ninth birthday. We camped at a spot right by the beach, and the weather was glorious. We had all of the Boy's good friends there (all of them girls), and it was a grand time. We had a family dinner on Wednesday to celebrate his "actual" b-day. I do love that Boy.

Things are wrapping up at my CCC (community college of crisis). Finals are next week, and although the meetings continue, their intensity is waning. This coming week, I imagine we will have some meetings to map what kind of work will need to happen this summer (despite the fact that I'm not on contract in the summer, of course). But I glad to see things settling down a bit even though the crisis is still at the forefront of our concern.

I'm also getting ready to visit my PhD university in the UK. This involves fattening up a chapter draft and maybe doing abstracts of the remaining chapters that I need to write. It also involves leaving my family for 10 days, which is always a bit heartbreaking for everyone.

Mother's Day has been trounced by this fairly intense cold (or whatever it is) that I have contracted. Hubby made a good breakfast, and now he and the children have gone out for the afternoon. I had hoped to work on my chapter today, but my brain is pretty fuzzy. I'm not sure if it's from the cold or the meds I took last night. I took some nighttime cold medicine, and holy coma! Apparently, the Girl woke up several times with nightmares last night (thanks, Rango!), and Hubby was up with her. I didn't hear a thing. I'm not sure that has ever happened before.

We had planned to go out to dinner with my parents to celebrate Mom's Day, but I think we'll have to wait until next week. Let's see if I can push far enough through my mental fog to get some work done today.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is a Test

This is a test post. After my last one, I noticed that old posts weren't showing below the newest one, and I'm not sure if the new one is visible. Blogger decided to get all new-fangled, and I don't know if it's working. So if one or two of you could comment and just say, "Yes, I see the posts," that would be awesome.

I wish I could also think of some little tidbit of value, but my head is muddled by conferences, meetings, grading, and assessment, so I've got nothin'.