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What I did at the weekend

It was an interesting weekend, this one. I'd hoped to go to Portland, but money did not permit. So instead the marquis and I went to Strawberry Fair here in Cambridge, and drank beer and looked at interesting things, and I came home with three new skirts. Two of them are blue... Then we watched Doctor Who and went flop and played with the cats.
Sunday there was a vague plan to write and clean and go to the pictures. I was just starting on the cleaning when the phone rang. It was Caro winolj: she and various others were out on a 20 mile bike ride, and laosin had had an accident. Could I come and pick her up, please? Of course, says I, and set out into Darkest Cambridgeshire.
There are a lot of long narrow dyke-edged roads. It took me half an hour, which was poor. But I got there to find poor K sitting on the verge in pain, with Caro and groliffe and anef looking after her. We put her bike into the back of the car and I drove her first back to her house to pick up a warm top and her bag, and then to A & E.
She's re-broken the collarbone she broke in another bicycle accident about 15 years ago. After she'd been x-rayed and seen the doctor and given an appointment for the fracture clinic, I brought her back here and we fed her white wine and Indian food. She tells me she's very sore today, but she's coping. Cambridge people might want to drop in or ring, though.

Today, I went to the gym (huzzah!), then revised three more chapters of Grass King. I'm now very close to the end -- the aim is to get it done by the end of Wednesday, then print it off, reread, do pagination and so forth, and get it off to Nice Editor before we set off for Stockholm and the Eurocon on the 16th June.

Skirt of the day: black pinstripe wrap.

And she's back

It was an interesting week. The start... no, not so good. But the end was mainly fun and largely relaxing.
I've done a lot of solo travelling. Back in the early 90s, my first academic job was in Dublin. The marquis was in Cambridge. We took it in turns to come over, once a fortnight, for about 18 months, and the rhythm of that -- of lone flying -- remains with me. And in the decade that followed, the marquis stayed in Cambridge and I criss-crossed the UK alone every weekend. I've flown to the US alone twice, and returned alone from the Netherlands. I've been to Milan and back. I have restless genes, I do not like to be still. And yet at the same time, I hate to be apart from the marquis, and -- from those Dublin days -- I miss Cambridge, I miss this house (which we moved into in December 1991 at the end of my Dublin adventure). I'm a creature of imbalance, prone to running, and yet sternly fastened.
I was never homesick as a child or a student. It's this house that has taught me that. My years teaching were reft with that, with hiraeth, that longing that is not quite homesickness and not quite nostalgia, and all about the hunger for belonging. Travelling to join the marquis mid-week, I watched cormorants on Lac Leman from the windows of the train and counted castles in case he had missed them on his trip out (he had missed the biggest, it transpired -- it's harder to see from the road than the train). I love to be in new places, to explore, to see. And I love not to be away, and the two are never mutually content.
But it was pleasant, mostly (too much food), and my skiing is improving (because this is a skill, so I must be always studying and learning: this is not just about fun). The snow was good and on the last day we found a wide red bowl where I could practice off-piste within my comfort zone for terrain. (For the record, I can ski many blacks on piste -- though I do not go near double black diamonds -- but I have little experience with fresh powder, as Europe is not prone to it. I like moguls but am slow with them and inelegant; I count as a high intermediate and that suits me.)
And then we came home. The cats were pleased to see us and our cat feeder -- the wonderful elfwhistletree was relieved, as Horus had hidden from her consistently and she was concerned. He was home: he was just being shy. I have a short story to finish and a scary Celtic novel to confront. En avant...

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