Roughly two weeks ago I returned from two and a half weeks in England. I had not had a holiday (vacation, for you Americans) in nearly two years, and it was showing all around. Melancholy. Ennui. The ancient Chinese curse (may you live in interesting times) manifesting itself on the domestic scene. A yearning for the Old Country. Footpaths. Bleak windy moors and fells, replete with sheep and the occasional flagstone stretch of path or lopsided cairn marking the way down to a cozy rural pub. Coal fires and conversation. Beans on toast. A ridiculous amount of proper hand-pulled beer.
I had promised myself that I wasn't going to work whilst away. You know what I mean. Dragging out the iPad and being the antisocial old git in the corner of the side room pretending to be a blogger. I kept my promise. Back I now am to the increasingly chilly river office, of which I have several, enjoying one of those last few days before it gets too cold to sit out here with a pint and a good book.
Yesterday I finally washed the clothes that I bore on my back for 17 days while on my trip. Air France had cancelled my flight from Paris/Chuck De Gaulle to Manchester and promptly lost my baggage. Although I was rerouted on British Airways and finally made it to Manchester six hours behind schedule, I was not to see my backpack until the night before I had to fly back to the USA of America. I was going to burn these clothes when I got back, but thought better of it, and am now absorbing the memories of a wonderful trip to the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria through the patient, loyal fabric that took about four days on a stretch each time to develop a ripe, manly smell. Thank God for the modern washing machine.
This is the first of a series of posts about some thoughts and blather from some of my favorite spots on the planet.