I've just been amending flight details, Asian vegetarian seems a good option for my meal, don't you think?
Virgin Atlantic tells me it is 4 days, 8 hours and 34 minutes to my flight.
Before then I have essays to mark, library book orders to fill out, emails to send, bits and piece of work admin to do, organic veg. delivery to cancel, US train info. to check, camera memory cards to clear, bills to pay, cheque books to balance, niece's birthday gift to get ready for posting in my absence, confirm proxy vote for london mayoral elections while i'm away.... No more teaching (yay!) but one particularly tedious (but important) meeting to attend.
Work is shitty at the moment. But, on the other hand, 4 days, 8 hrs, 26 mins.
Which should allow some time for last minute shopping.
Oh, and time for packing?
I've only had one NYC dream, which i hope wont be repeated as it involved a last minute (as in, seriously last minute only-one-hour-before-departure) panic about having left everything, including washing, packing etc., far too late.
I have, however, finally got around to spending some time with the NYC Guide I bought months and months ago... and I had a great planning session last night with L, with whom I will be in NYC.
We want to allow plenty of time for simply wandering the streets, following our noses. But we do hope/plan to fit in the following sights and activities (in no particular order):
Walking in Central Park Visiting Brooklyn - the museum and a general wander...and food Cultural/Food tour of Greenwich Village (already booked!) Empire State Building A broadway show (courtesy of Gary) Chinatown and Vietnamese food (as recommended by Kimy) Time Square Guided street tour (with graffiti?) courtesy of Steve. MoMA (other museums poss. depending on time and weather)
L has a shopping list from her daughter. I have no shopping list, but will be happy to see Bloomingdales, or Macys - I'd really enjoy visiting some thrift stores, maybe East Village? (see, i have been doing some homework)
How does that sound, for a 4 day 5 night trip?
If any of you know NYC, and would like to leave a comment with your 2 top recommendations of experiences not to be missed, sights we shouldn't go without seeing, food which simply HAS to be eaten - we will be very pleased to take them under advisement.
4 days, 8 hrs, 4 mins.
After 4 days, 5 nights in NYC I will be catching a train to Harrisburg, Pa, where I'll be staying for nearly a week with some long-standing friends who I've not seen for far too long.
My trip concludes with 3-3 1/2 days in Washington DC, where my priorities are: -spending time with Reya [oh, and Jake :-) ] -meeting other bloggers -seeing a bit of the city
Now, if I'd not spent time writing this post, I could have got some of those chores done. But on the other hand, if I'd not started blogging, I'm not sure I'd be taking this trip. Really.
And, as I might as well upload some pictures while I go and get another cup of tea - here are some more pictures of Jersey (Channel Islands):
I had a good laugh earlier this week when I read a student essay which was talking about "pillow saints".
I'm fairly certain she meant "pillar saints" - early christian ascetics who tried to overcome the temptations of the flesh, and separate themselves from the world for spiritual devotion, by living on little platforms high atop very tall pillars.
Like my students, I'd like to know what they did for a toilet. Or maybe I wouldn't like it... or maybe (quite likely) they ate so little that they had not much need for a toilet...
Having just googled David Blaine, I see that he describes himself as a Magician and an Endurance Artist. Which, I suppose, is what the pillar saints were too, though (possibly) for rather different reasons. His website talks about his "INSANE 2008 event". Hmmm.
In any case, I very much prefer the notion of pillow saints. That sounds much more appealing. And feasible. In fact, that might become one of my new aims in life.
This is quite an old photo, but LG's ideas about one of The Best Ways to spend the day haven't changed hugely since then.
Rosie is the year-old golden retriever we stayed with in Jersey (along with her humans). The house was regularly littered with the disembowled remains of the soft toys she loves to play with and she has the eyes and expression to make you feel like an utter scumbag should you think of going out without her. Her ears are beautiful.
She loves other dogs and soft toys and humans and tug-of-war and television. Especially the animal planet.
This is our new nephew - how could you not nuzzle and sniff such a little head?
My mother-in-law is originally from Malta and most of M's family - including my own LG - were born with a riot of silky black hair like this. When LG was a baby people used to almost delight in telling me it would all fall out or rub off. It didn't much. So nyah nyah nyah.
My own hair is entirely different and much less delightful but i have recently succumbed to LG's make-over nagging and i too now have short newly-black hair, but its way less cute and nuzzlesome than this.
Our other (2) nephews in Jersey have transmogrified, over the nearly 3 years since we visited, into teenagers. The deep voices, height (they're probably both approaching 6' or more), teenage humour, large feet, disreputable topics of conversation etc.... were all predictable. Less expected was the mass of curly hair which they both now have.
Nobody in the family seems to know where it has come from. It must be some recessive gene. Last time I saw the boys they both had very straight hair (as they always have had) which was also kept pretty short because of the perennial peskiness of head-lice at school. Now - curliness abounds.
LG and the boys have always got on like the proverbial incendiary dwelling-place. Even after nearly 3 years, and with puberty in the interim (and all that that entails) there was scarcely a whisper of hesitation before they were back to their old hilarious loquacious riotous easy familiarity. Thick as thieves.
They hatched a plot.
We didn't expect it would come to fruition, given all the variables.
So, two teenage boys will be on a plane, London-bound, on Monday, to stay here for 10 days while they are all on their Easter/spring school break.