Saturday, January 3, 2015

Home to a Chilly House

We made it home safe and sound, as I suppose you can tell from the fact that I'm writing this. Our flights, from Detroit to Chicago and then on to London, were uneventful, aside from the fact that we had to pay an additional $160 for a very overweight bag. (Considering all that we had in it -- all Dave's clothes and his vast array of gigantic shampoo and conditioner bottles, several framed pictures, a game of Trivial Pursuit, eight tuba mouthpieces and a set of silverware, among other stuff! -- I'm not surprised.)

We basically flew all day, from 6:50 a.m. Detroit time to 10:30 p.m. London time, and had better food than on our flight out -- our main meal was breakfast, and it's hard to screw up breakfast. When we landed we sailed through immigration, picked up our bags without any drama, and were walking toward the Heathrow Express when Dave said, "Wow, this trip has gone really smoothly!" No sooner were the words past his lips than we realized the Heathrow Express was shut down, leading to a mild argument about whether to hire a taxi from Heathrow (expensive) or take the tube (slow). The tube won.

When we walked into our flat it was bone-cold, but otherwise unmolested. I watered the plants and unpacked, and we warmed up the couch with a bit of TV-watching. It will seem much more like home after we pick up Olga at 9 a.m. this morning!

I quit a book yesterday, which I almost never do. But I just couldn't hack my way through Iain Sinclair's "American Smoke," in which he followed in the footsteps of the Beat writers. I ordered it for the library because the reviews were good, but Sinclair's writing is fragmented and indirect, and I found myself reading entire pages with only the vaguest idea what was going on. (Appropriate for the Beats, admittedly.) I got about 60 pages in before I decided I just didn't need to do that to myself. I moved on to Jonathan Tropper's "This Is How I Leave You," which I love.

Maybe that should be my new year's resolution -- to quit more books.

Speaking of the new year, I did pretty well blog-wise last year. I posted almost but not quite every day because of our two-week trip to the Seychelles, where I briefly abstained from the Internet. I'll do my best to post daily in 2015. It helps me remember and process the world, you know? Blogging every morning was the one bit of routine I could preserve through our trip to Michigan, for example, and that touchstone really helped keep me sane.

(Photo: O'Hare Airport in Chicago, yesterday morning.)


  1. Our flat is always freezing when we return. The nice gas man tried to persuade me to install Hive where you control your heating from the internet. I have been put off by the annoying adverts though! I have tried to read Iain Sinclair books in the past and found them impossible. I have given up on a number of books this year, though some I intend to go back to as they were good. I am reading Wallander novels at the moment. I am enjoying them-they have a particularly miserable outlook which I quite like! Glad you got home ok!

  2. Ah...
    I bet you are SO glad to be home.

  3. I recognize that airport! That is a gorgeous photo of it. I'm glad you are home safe and sound and with all your treasures in tact.

  4. Great that you're both back with everything intact--enjoy the rest of the weekend!

  5. YAY! You're back! Just in time for more winter. So cold here, feeding the birds and rodents, they are scoring big time! There are so many good books I really can not be bother if one does not grip me right away, and I cheat...I always read the last few paragraphs of the book to see where it might be headed.

  6. Glad you made it safely back! I was paranoid after I posted my comment on the last post, in case there had been drama or tragedy (I know - I have such POWER - ha!).

    I quit two books this past year. Actually, I guess I sort of quit about 4, but I think I'll go back & check 2 of them out again. When I run out of other stuff to read. Ha!

  7. I loved the Tropper book -- it made me laugh out loud many times, which is a difficult thing to do in a novel! I recently watched the movie -- basically a bit of entertaining fluff and not nearly as great as the book. I'm glad you're home and look forward to another year of daily posts from Shadows and Light.

  8. I rarely quit books. in fact I think I've only done it a few times but I did quit two this past year. One I just could not get into with it's page after page of soliloquy. the other was by an author I like but just could not get engaged in that one.