Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The Biggest Slug Ever
Dave's nieces arrived just fine, thank goodness. After their plane took off from Chicago I had all sorts of nightmare visions of them getting to London and being unable to figure out the Heathrow Express or not having any money or losing their passports, and not having working phones, thus being unable to text or call us. Fortunately, as is often true with nightmare scenarios, none of that happened. Dave met them at Paddington without a hitch.
They got ribbed at passport control by the UK border guard, who told them that saying they're "on vacation" is inappropriate, because "vacation" comes from "vacate" which means leaving, and they'd just arrived! Instead they're "on holiday," he told them.
It's probably a standard line he uses for every American who passes his desk.
Last night we went to the Black Lion, our neighborhood pub, where we bought them dinner and a pint, though I had a creeping fear that their parents would frown at us buying them beers. (Even though they're in college, and of legal drinking age in Britain, and they assured me these were hardly their first beers.) "Are you kidding?" Dave said. "My family would demand that they drink."
I have to show you this crazy garden slug I found yesterday morning. It was so huge I actually ran to get my grandfather's old General Electric engineering ruler for comparison! That slug is coming up on five inches long. It's practically a snake! I let it go on its way because it was in the alley at the side of the house and not really near any vulnerable plants. (Though I hear slugs and snails can travel remarkable distances fairly quickly, so I may regret that decision.)
Work was crazy busy yesterday. We have lots of students doing year-end projects of one kind or another, and for those projects, of course, they need books. In many cases their classes are meeting in the library, too. And I'm coming to that time of year when I'm trying to prevail upon people to bring back overdue materials and return everything before summer -- and instead these kids are checking things out. It's like holding back the tides!
I suspect that deep down, many librarians would be happiest if no one ever checked anything out, or ever touched the shelves, or ever read the books, dog-earing the pages and cracking the spines. The irony! This is why librarians are often depicted as cranky. There's an inherent conflict between our organized personalities and the public disorder of the job. (Especially in a school!)
(Top photo: Near London Bridge station, a few weekends ago.)