Sunday, September 28, 2008

If Home Were To Be England...

Risky Regencies Romance Bandits Drawing inspiration from Anna Sugden of Romance Banditas’s list of what moving home to England for her was like and from Amanda McCabe of Risky Regencies’s list of her sightseeing plans of England, here’s my list of what I would do if I had the opportunity to call England home for once in my lifetime for a few moments (read that as: months).

First the assumptions. I would have to be a lady of a certain age and certain independent means if I have to achieve this dream.

Big BenSoane Museum 1. I can rent rooms at a hotel in London for a few weeks, at Oxford for a few weeks, then a few other sites, and finally settling in Bath.

2. Hang the unpacking. Sightseeing's going to be foremost on the agenda in London, and that's going to mean the Tower, the V&A Museum, the British Museum, the British Library, Hyde Park, Mayfair, London townhouses, watch Shakespeare at the Globe Theater, Sir John Soane's Museum, Devonshire House, Windsor Castle, and the list is endless. The only stopping point is going to come when I'm exhausted.

Radcliffe Camera, OxfordChatsworth 3. Then I'll hie myself off to Oxford and stay with my cousin. From that vantage point, I can reaquaint myself to the beauty and peace and splendor that's Oxford. Perhaps I can inviegle a couple history classes from their education outreach programs.

4. Derbyshire and the Peaks and Lake districts, then it's off to Bath and rooms at a bed & breakfast. This is where I hope to remain for the majority of my staying: working and writing.

Bath Crescent5. Staying at a B&B and walking everywhere is an absolute must for me to integrate myself into the fabric of the place I'm in.

6. Buying groceries, eating local produce, delicious curry take-aways, talks with regulars who sit in the main church and conversation make for good starts to friendships.

7. Working in a place increases the stake I have in the community. When I'm paying taxes, I start caring what those taxes support. Getting to know people I work with also means I care what their concerns are.

8. Similarly, attending the parish church on Sunday mornings and joining the choir further enmeshes my square into the town's quilt. I'm not a fan of organized religion, but music makes my heart sing.

9. Resume my building up my collection of Enid Blytons. My goal is to own every known EB book published by her (not by other authors in her name) before she passed away.

10. Squirelling away a lifetime's worth of memories, sights, smells, sensations, tastes, touches, sounds for when I return and miss England with a visceral ache.

RomanistasSo, Romanistas...
What would your dream location be? And would you like to permanently move there, or just for a while?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Was MIA, Back Now

Nope, I didn't levitate off the face of the earth (no matter what those ancient wise yogis thought). Hiding under a rock also isn't the explanation for my absence from this blog.

My first week off, I was in Milwaukee for a wedding. It was an emotional experience. Life was at its hardest and at its best when I was living there all those years ago. I was creative; I matured; I did many new, fun, and some scary things. Meeting up with the people who'd watched me grow up, and attending the wedding of a dear, dear cousin and one of the people I admire the most, was empowering and touching all rolled together.

The second week, I was off to San Diego to an ayurvedic retreat. That was an out-of-body experience: some good things, some puzzling, some definitely woo-woo. My takeaways were: twice daily meditation, yoga stretches, and eating a bigger, heavier lunch than dinner. The best part of the experience was the wonderful group of people I met. I laughed, definitely cried, and came away immensely comforted.

Every conference/event I attend, it's never the talks, perks, deals, etc. that make a difference to how much I value the experience. At the end of it, what I remember are the people. I go for the people, even some of whom I haven't met face-to-face yet and some whom I know only as names on a list. And I come away taking them with me in my heart.

The third week off was due to a bunch of "then life happens" stuff: school, activities, bills, chores (read: a Mt. Everest of laundry), food, etc. etc. etc. The weekend was devoted to Le Migraine.

Early this evening, I typed up this blog and then typed up one on Eric Maisel for tomorrow and was about to post them, but I got sidetracked and sorely tempted into watching part one (for the 1000th time) of North & South. (Longtime friends know how this story is going to end.) At the end of the first episode, I said only ten minutes of the 2nd episode. Before I knew it, I was hitting next for the third episode with a mere twinge or two of the conscience. At the end of the third one, I had had to watch the last episode. I mean, you wouldn't want me to toss and turn and not know if Richard Armitage ends up with the girl or not? I mean, you never know. At the 1000th viewing, I could get lucky. Well, never fear for my husband, my friends. RA got his girl, and I got to re-live one of the best love stories on film (a wet Darcy rising from the lake, notwithstanding.)