The Art of Queuing, and Other Travel-Related Notes

It is three o'clock in the morning in Glasgow and I am all out of sleep.  Having slept for at least four or five hours this past afternoon, in addition to going to bed at a decent hour, my body is all full up on sleep and ready to start a new day.  The poor thing is very bewildered.  I kept it mostly awake for the previous twenty-four hours (sleeping on a plane is next door to impossible).  By the time I got to my flat after a mind-numbing eight-hour layover in Newark and a grueling night-flight to Glasgow, I looked and felt like a hellhound who, despite its best efforts, has lost its quarry and is in disgrace.  Between what certainly felt like a much-needed shower and what was certainly much-needed sleep, I managed to remove the appearance of hellhoundishness. 

Prior to leaving my home town, my sister and I discovered "Pocahontas" streaming on Netflix; having only seen the movie once in our lives, and that many years ago, we hunkered down and watched it.  It turned out to be alarmingly apropos since Abigail is taking a Minority Rights class and I was on the brink of travelling to a very strange new world.  In the past forty-eight hours I have used an airplane bathroom, employed an electric shower-head, boiled water for tea in a saucepan, and become half-convinced that I have somehow, freakishly, wandered onto the set of "Doctor Who."
moonblood - anne elisabeth stengl
dragonwitch - anne elisabeth stengl
practical religion - j.c. ryle
friday's child - georgette heyer
the foundling - georgette heyer
the black moth - georgette heyer
bath tangle - georgette heyer
the mind of the maker - dorothy sayers
the last of the mohicans - james fenimore cooper
howl's moving castle - diana wynne jones
sin and salvation - lesslie newbigin
the heir of redclyffe - charlotte yonge
green dolphin street - elizabeth gouge 
It turns out, I brought a lot of books.  I read nearly halfway through Dragonwitch on my stay in Newark; I read a little more on the first evening at the flat.  I didn't manage to make it to the halfway point in Practical Religion; the last few days at home were understandably hectic.  But some of my creative juices have been restored through reading Dragonwitch, and I have been reading so much that I am almost sick and tired of doing so and want to go write, just for a change.  I brought The Last of the Mohicans because Abigail loves it; I brought Green Dolphin Street because she gifted me with my own copy and I didn't want to leave it behind.  There are what appear to be some first-rate second-hand bookstores here in Glasgow, but it is comforting to see all my books on the sitting room shelf: their faces are blissfully familiar.

12 ripostes:

  1. 'The poor thing is asleep' - Sarah and I had a good smile over that one ^_^. Ah, glad that you're safely arrived in Glasgow! Phew, you sure got a portable book-store along with you (that must have been a HEAVY suitcase). I am just about to start reading Dragonwitch (have read Heartless on kindle and then I won a giveaway of Dragonwitch on Elizabeth Rose's blog - yayy!). I liked Heartless, though in someways was slightly disappointed with certain aspects of the theology behind the allegories. But still, it was really a good fantasy and I think from all I have heard Stengl improves greatly with each book. The Mind of the Maker and the Last of the Mohicans are on my reading list.

    Hmm, LOTS of georgette heyer ^_^.

  2. Oddly enough, I'm most interested in learning how the adventure of boiling tea-water in the saucepan went. Hasn't your flat got a kettle? (And it calls itself a respectable British abode!) Also, it seems to me you might have left just one Georgette Heyer for me. I didn't get to buy any this month.

    The kittens are doing pretty well, though they still haven't ventured to come downstairs. I think they were most alarmed by the air conditioning unit: when I turned it off, they slunk out from under the bed pretty quickly. Aquila helps me with my homework by sitting under the red chair and occasionally pawing at me. I think they both miss being home with you guys, though.

  3. Aw, poor babies. After we got to the flat and crashed, it occurred to me that I was doing the exact same thing: hiding under the bed(clothes). They do not have a kettle: they have an electric kettle, which is plastic and seems to be "the thing" around here. We looked for a proper kettle at Tesco, but again, only electric ones. Starting the stove up is more of a trial than anything else: we have small lighters, which require the hand to be quite close to the gas. I always have Tim start up the stove. And the first time, the smoke alarm went off; we shut the door to the kitchen now whenever we have to use the stove. The ordeal requires first shutting of the kitchen door, then trepidatious firing up of the stove, placement of water and saucepan over element and placement of teabags and mugs in the sink. We don't pour boiling water over the counters, not if we can help it.

    Life is definitely bizarre.

  4. See, the spirit of adventure is not dead, in spite of this age of modern conveniences (?). But I agree with Abigail; it seems mighty peculiar that you're having such a difficult time finding a decent teakettle in the British Isles!

  5. I think the whole tea thing is British national propaganda.

  6. I've been meaning to get up a decent reply to your two emails, but in the meantime, I suppose this will have to suffice. :) I can definitely see myself bringing that many books — there's something so wonderfully familiar about books that makes an unfamiliar place immediately feel a little more at home. I took about six different books of varying lengths on a five-day trip this past summer, and some of them I didn't even open once, but it's nice just knowing they're there. I'm apt to finish The Grand Sophy this evening and cannot thank you enough for the recommendation, as it's been such rip-roaring good fun. British wit cannot be beat. ^.^ I'll echo Abigail's sentiments in accordance with The Last of the Mohicans — it's well worth your time — but I will warn you that it's also the sort of read to rip your heart out and stomp on it.

    The irony of finding no decent teakettle in Great Britain is not lost on me. :P

  7. Of course Australia is hardly the United Kingdom but generally at hotels/flats here you will find an electric kettle, and usually a normal decent teakettle will only be found in resident homes. I wonder if it is the same on Scottish soil ^_^ by and by I noticed I was giving the impression of surprise over the amount of books you took with you but it would also be the sort of thing I would like to do too were I to be away on a long trip - :))

  8. Yes, but one must take into account the fact that my luggage is restricted by weight, and books are heavy. As a matter of fact, one of my suitcases was over the limit by half a pound; they didn't mention it, though., Of course you would like to take all your books with you, but you can't, and so I was surprised by all I was able to bring.

  9. Well, at least you're starting to sort through the details of your strange new world.

    (Gorrammit now I'm hooked on that soundtrack too... though I suppose I never should have doubted Daniel Ingram.)

    You should head down to the Fourth and throw some tea in it, in protest.

  10. I always resent the people who walk off a plane looking perfectly normal. :P
    I was going to remark on the tea-kettle-in-the-UK joke, but it seems a bit past laughing at this point, me being the last to the party and all.
    Well. Going to break the mold here and say that 13 is not too many books for 3 months out-of-country. There is no such thing as too many books!

    But then again, I always over-pack. ;P

  11. Chewie - Firefly and My Little Pony: that's a combo worthy of the Triple Threat.* I usually sing in the shower, myself (though quieter now that I don't want to disrupt people in other flats), and "A Strange New World" has been my song of choice.

    Bree - I've seen a few people who look immaculate when they step off the plane. My soul grinds with jealousy. I don't know how they do it. I did see someone who looked like a Heffington (which has more to do with facial appearance than make-up of any sort), and I wanted to ask if she was related to anyone named Rachel, but then I was too shy. Suppose I'll never know.

    Immina have to ask you about Japan in my return email. :)

  12. Hahahaha Jenny. You saw someone that looked (ish) like me? Now that's a first. I've heard each one of us has six "doubles"...and I've found two or three of one chap I know, but I've never seen a "me". I just discovered your two travel-emails and gobbled them up; thankee for queing me up! ^.^