Saturday, June 14, 2014

Long Daylight Hours

Summer break has officially begun!

This is such a crazy time of year. The sun rises at a ridiculous hour (yesterday at 4:43 a.m., though the sky starts getting light long before that) and sets at an equally ridiculous time (9:19 p.m. yesterday, but again, the light lingers well past 10 p.m.)

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining about too much sunlight in London. But it can be hard to go to sleep when the sky is still so bright, and the gray morning light gets Olga's motor running way too early. We have heavy drapes in our bedroom but the light comes in around the edges and that's enough to tell her that it's time to get up. She starts furiously licking my hand, resting her head on me and wiggling around as much as possible. (Who knows what kind of window coverings we'll have in our new apartment?!)

I feel like I'm running a little bit of a sleep deficit, and I'm also still fighting my lingering cold. That hasn't stopped me from walking, though, and yesterday I went from the Barbican to Tottenham Court Road, passing St. Paul's Cathedral, which as you can see from the photo above was thronged with midday crowds. Don't you love that -- everyone out soaking up the beautiful weather? That picture makes me happy. It reminds me of "Where's Waldo?"

Work yesterday morning was just a matter of neatening up the library -- recycling newspapers, shelving last-minute returns, putting away temporary displays. It was satisfying to leave everything neat and orderly. (And thus is revealed once again the obsessive side of my personality.)

I feel like I learned a lot this year. I started out stern and demanding -- at least with the high schoolers -- focused on enforcing rules while simultaneously feeling inwardly terrified. I might have even been a bit of a jerk. As the year went on and I learned how to talk to the kids with a bit more ease, I eased up too, and by the end, we'd reached a better equilibrium. A few kids even asked me to sign their yearbooks! I'm actually looking forward to seeing them again in the fall and continuing to help them enjoy the library.

But first -- vacation!


  1. That picture is tremendous! And you couldn't have PAID that guy in the center to wear those teal socks. Just the best touch.
    Vacation. Are there any sweeter words?

  2. The worst part of growing up and getting a full time job was the realization that I would no longer get summers off. Maybe that's one of the reasons I chose the path I did.

  3. Minneapolis has a similar feel at this time of year -- and after the "Polar Vortex" of this last winter, we are soaking up every possible moment of this glorious season now that going outside no longer includes an additional 7 pounds of clothing and fear of amputation due to frost bite.

    Hmmm. I may have some issues to deal with. :-)

    I enjoyed your writing style!


  4. I love that photo, too -- it reminds me of when the first warm day hit Manhattan and people lifted their faces to the sun as they lounged all over the steps of the big public library.

  5. I lived and went to school in London when I was 5 and didnt much like it. Your posts about living in London have single handedly made me want to give that city a second chance.

  6. Vacation...I like the sound of that. Enjoy yours.

  7. I'm jealous of your vacation, but not enough to make me wasn't to work in a school. Makes my eye twitch to think about being around kids all day :)

    I slept until 11:00 today! I know they say that sleeping extra on the weekend doesn't make up for proper rest during the week, but it sure felt good.

  8. PS - WANT to work...

    And I think I might need those socks!

  9. Aren't those great socks? They really are the key detail in the photo. I'm so glad that guy was sitting smack in the center.

    I love the scooter and the running kid, too, and the man watching after him/her.

    I was a bit bummed that the guy in black wandered into the frame from the left at the last second, but, well, you can't have everything.