Sunday, February 22, 2015

Heavy Bag and Heavy Eyelids

Well, I survived my journey across the ocean, and now I'm back in London, on a train speeding from Gatwick airport to Victoria Station. My head is spinning, I am so tired. I was tired before I even got on that plane.

My last day in Florida consisted mainly of eating -- breakfast and lunch outings with my family, and only two hours apart! I think I was still recovering from my road trip the day before, because all day I was plagued with an urge to nap. The surfeit of food probably didn't help. But I resisted the urge because I wanted to be tired on the plane, in the vain hope I could sleep.

When the time came, I crammed everything into my suitcase: two mugs, a big vase, my matchbook collection (I cut the matches out of the books), some Naviera coffee with chicory, a couple of framed pictures, some CDs, my newly purchased bedsheets, books and, oh yeah, some clothes. I always wind up with the strangest assortment of stuff in my luggage. I keep thinking someday I'm going to be a normal person and just carry clothes, but that never seems to happen. (Then again, my perceptions of normality may be flawed!) Of course the bag proved to be slightly overweight, but the guy at the British Airlines ticket counter let me go without an extra charge.

Then, while sitting in the Tampa airport, I was approached by a fifth-grader from our school in London! She spotted me across the room -- turns out she was visiting Florida during our weeklong break as well. Holding up her Kindle, she asked for a book recommendation for the flight. Resisting the urge to say "Go away, kid, I'm on vacation," I smiled brightly and came up with something. (Actually I was really tickled that we crossed paths in Tampa, of all places.)

The flight was a little bumpy but otherwise uneventful. I dozed a bit but didn't really sleep. I read back issues of The New Yorker for as long as my eyes could focus, and then I moved on to "The Hundred Foot Journey," which was a cute enough movie I suppose. Helen Mirren is good as a stylishly fierce Frenchwoman.

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself today after I get home, except kiss Dave and pet Olga. I want to try to stay awake until tonight so I can get on schedule. We'll see!

(Photos: Used books in Chiefland, Florida, and a sticker by the street artist Mildred that decorated my old computer, which we recycled this week.)


Vivian said...

you are such a sweet guy and not being mean to a little girl really tells who you are.
welcome home!!

37paddington said...

Sans matches, I can imagine those matchbooks as framed art.

Sharon said...

Glad you are home safe and sound. I do so love to travel but, I do hate the flying part. I can never sleep either no matter how tired I am.

Radish King said...

Which book did you recommend to your student?
Rebecca Loudon

Ms. Moon said...

I was curious about what book you recommended as well!
Glad to know you're home, safe and well and I'm sure it's going to take you a few days at least before you feel anything like normal.
I'm still talking about your visit here. It was just so much dang fun.
Give my regards to Dave and Olga. And rest up!

Gary said...

I admire your dedication to be tired and still find the energy to write. Glad you are safely home.

The Bug said...

Woo hoo! Glad you're home safe & sound. Hope you get some rest!

Elizabeth said...

This week flew! I'm glad that you're safe at home with Dave and Olga and hope that you readjust quickly --

e said...

Glad you made it home and I hope the readjustment is smooth.

Steve Reed said...

Thanks for the comments everybody!

Radish and Ms Moon: I recommended "Close To Famous" by Joan Bauer, which has been very popular with some of the kids at her grade level. (I must confess I haven't read it myself!)