Well, I am back in England – where you can’t figure out how to turn on dryers and water heaters (the secret is often pulling on a rope hanging from some dark corner of the ceiling), where they will charge you as much for a half hour train ride as lunch and a whole day’s exploring in Gozo does, and where you will wrap your rain jacket around your shoulders while reading, despite being indoors, within the confines of a surprisingly sunny living room. That’s not meant as a series of complaints, of course. Indeed, I read about sixty pages of Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island while trying to dry my socks on an icy radiator and can therefore say that the above is positively chipper by comparison.
In a few hours, I am heading to Drury Lane to see The Producers with my mother before trekking myself and a great mass of dirty clothes to Marble Arch for the bus back to Oxford. One piece of welcome news, delivered by text message as my mother and I waited in line at passport control at Gatwick Airport, is that Louise will be in Oxford next week. Her presence will either mean that I will have someone to scrutinize my efforts at revising, even as I play the same role for her, or that I will have good company to look forward to in those periods when I will take breaks.
Tomorrow, it will take the greatest restraint to avoid spending hours sorting and editing photos. That is to say, I will almost certainly spend much of tomorrow doing exactly that. I will then work myself into a proper panic by looking through the dozens of exam related Word document attachments that are lurking in my email inbox. My mother is stopping by Oxford on Monday and spending that night, before returning to Vancouver the day after. Hopefully, she will have the chance to meet a few more friends I’ve made in the U.K., as further demonstration of how clever and interesting Oxford graduate students can be.