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Updated: 03/25/05

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Friday, 25 March, 2005

In London, the parks are filled with daffodils and crocuses, the cherry trees are blooming. Even though it rained while we were there, the temperature was mild and I didn't even have to wear my coat.

On Wednesday afternoon, a storm hit the Mid-Atlantic region, bringing cold, windy temperatures and heavy rain or even snow to much of the area. Our plane circled around just off the coast for an extra hour until air traffic control would let us land. It's been grey, dizzly and cold ever since. No blooming trees, no flowers. Just grey.

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Here is the abbreviated version of *THIS* week's trip to the UK:

Saturday - Go "food shopping" and note that we don't need to get stuff for meals in the early part of the week since I will be away. Gary says, "You're going away again?" Poor guy.

Sunday - Spend (rainy) day puttering around house. Ordered counter stools for the kitchen from Target.com. Gary drives me to airport for 8:20 pm flight on US Airways. Comment that I didn't bother to check to see if the flight was still scheduled. Go to check in at ticket counter - advised that flight is cancelled. Extremely unhelpful US Air agent proposes flying me to London via Manchester or Amsterdam, neither of which will get me there in time for my lunch on Monday. Take bags and head to next terminal, muttering unfriendly things about US Air. Purchase seat on British Airways flight at 9:15 pm.

Monday - Arrive LHR, take shower at Arrivals Lounge, take train to Paddington. Staying at a new hotel this time - "The London Outpost". Taxi driver has difficulty finding it, but eventually succeeds. Charming old townhouse with only eleven rooms. Check in and unpack. Walk to Sloane Square station and catch tube to The City. Meet Andrew for lunch - very nice. Take tube back to Sloane Square and rest a bit before dinner. Go to Oriel restaurant to meet colleagues for drinks. Get stood up. Upon leaving, discover colleagues just approaching restaurant. Go to Eight Over Eight for dinner. All have much fun and wine. Return to hotel. Discover that in contrast to hotel on last London trip, room has only one temperature setting - very hot. Try to adjust without success. Go to bed and swelter.

Tuesday - Enjoy breakfast at hotel with clients - lovely conservatory in back of hotel. Cost is still expensive but much less than last time. Raining today. Head to The City for meetings until early evening. Return to hotel and change for client's retirement dinner. Lovely celebration with many "old" friends. Return to hotel. Room still hot, so open window. Sleep well.

Wednesday - Breakfast with client who is returning to states today as well. Share cab to Paddington and catch Heathrow Express to airport. Uneventful flight back to miserable weather in Philadelphia. Find welcome home card from happy boyfriend. Purring kitty.

[What is it with me and UK flights these days?]

Crate and Barrel delivered the new dining room table, chairs and buffet yesterday afternoon. The table looks nice - the chairs and buffet are still in boxes, so I'll see if Gary can unpack them this weekend. He is either on call or on back-up for five days in a row, so I won't make it a priority. I was also amazed to see that the bar stools from Target had already arrived when I got home on Wednesday. They look as if we had them custom made for the kitchen.

And to answer Mom's question, we purchased the "Madison" table and chairs.

[Now I just have to get the contractor's stuff out of the dining room.]

Speaking of Mom I saw Keith in London on Tuesday evening and he asked how Mom was doing with her gall bladder situation. I realize that I didn't not properly update the blog, so here is the latest.

After spending many hours in the emergency room, and determining that yes, indeed, she has gall bladder disease and needs to have it out, she could not get an appointment to see the surgeon until the following Wednesday. Once seen, he scheduled her for surgery - on March 31st. By controlling her fat intake, she has not been in the excrutiating pain that she was before, but is extremely uncomfortable. She said she is looking forward to surgery.

[You don't hear that very often.]

Cousin Patti let us know that her son, Chris, was just sent off to Kuwait/Iraq last week, so is on the ground as I type. I don't know which branch of the service he is in - Mom, do you?

Update: Chris is a Marine Lance Corporal.

[Semper Fi!]

Quote du jour:

"And in green underwood and cover/ Blossom by blossom the spring begins."

-- Algernon Charles Swinburne (1821 - 1881) Swiss writer

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