Tuesday, October 15, 2013


It's funny to wake up at home to what I would regard as quintessentially Irish weather: misty rain, cool breezes - the kind that make those cheeks so rosy.

I had good travel weather yesterday, so surely I ought not complain.

And here's another category of "no complaints" from me -- one that may surprise  you; I have nothing bad to say about the air travel experience.

The flights were more or less on time.

The seats were comfortable.

The food was good.

The champagne flowed freely (meaning it was free).

And another detail -- one you surely would not expect anymore: the airline (AF) informed us that they commissioned a prominent designer to work out a new design pattern for the plastic eating utensils used in economy class. Whereas these days on most flights we're used to being herded into tight seats, with no promise of food -- with the exception of small snacks and you're charged Las Vegas big bucks for those -- here, I see an attempt at real class. Even if it is plastic class.

I did work the whole flight long (and it was a long flight) and I caught no great photos of the descent into Chicago (what can I say -- the city was on the other side), but the whole travel thing was a curiously pleasant experience.

I haven't come into Chicago's O'Hare (International) in a while so I was surprised to see a new system in place for passport control. Self-service stands -- sort of like you have in supermarkets: scan your own! But of course, then some authoritative person has to review your work. This isn't groceries, it's your entry into a country. So after waiting for a self service scanner, you wait again for a real person. It's all very confusing, but I'm sure efficient in some fashion that I don't quite yet understand.

And because I was toward the front of the plane, and because I ran to get to the passport line, and because I said "no" to all the questions asked by the scanner  (I hope that was correct -- I did not read them all that carefully) and because I had no luggage to pick up (actually no luggage, period), I noted that I had all of 8 minutes to make it to another terminal and the bus station, and you know what? I did it! Ran, ran, ran, knocking people down left and right (O'Hare was very crowded), then on to the bus just as the driver was shutting the door and getting ready to pull out.

At home, Isis was so happy to see me that he stayed by my side all evening long. I ate chili prepared by Ed and then soon after I retired. Isis followed. I know I shall complain endlessly in the future about the cat taking up so much of my bed space, but on this night it felt snug and warm.

In the middle of the night, Ed had an insight about the porch roof and so at around 3 a.m. he climbed out there with flashlight and some tape (he's experimenting with a better way to seal off some of the trim; his excuse in doing it at such an odd hour? It was supposed to rain soon). That was interesting to observe for a few minutes;  otherwise, the night passed uneventfully. Meaning, Isis behaved.

In the morning, there is the matter of breakfast. Happy to be eating oatmeal again, in the kitchen today because I just can't get enough of that new light pouring in, even on a rather gloomy and wet (remember, Irish weather!) morning.

I did notice that Ed's hair has grown beyond the reasonable mess that it usually is.

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Out come the scissors. Haircut time.

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And then it's time to zip over to campus. It's Tuesday and that's a very busy day for me. Though not so busy that I can't produce at least one photo of the current state of the yard, looking toward the barn and sheep shed (for the new reader -- we do not have sheep; just a shed, converted by Ed into workable space of sorts).

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And a shot toward the farmhouse -- all flush and pretty with light pouting in through the new glass porch roof.

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Late, late in the evening, I point Rosie (the motor scooter)  toward home. It's just barely warm enough to be out on her, but I'm up for it. And as I swing by the lake, I note that the trip does come with rewards...

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Most trips, even short ones on Rosie, do come with rewards.

And that's a good thing.