Saturday, February 09, 2008

the pleasures of home

I like to travel, but even better is coming home and showering in my own shower and sleeping in my own bed! I got home from London yesterday afternoon and decided I needed to stay awake until at least 8 p.m. I made it to 8:04 and fell asleep the minute I turned out the light -- and stayed asleep for 10 hours with only a few minutes of eyes-open at 4 a.m. I feel just about normal!

I never made it to any fabric stores on my trip; I was on Regent Street in London but couldn't for the life of me find Liberty -- nor anyone else who knew where it was. I didn't want to actually shop, mind you... the exchange rate is the worst it's ever been when I've been in the UK.

I'm feeling slightly less disgusted with my colleague at this point, so I'm not as inclined to trash her as I was a few days ago. However -- since I promised:

1) I'll just start out by saying that I'm sure Sue* is well-meaning. She's not dumb, but she's ignorant and doesn't really care -- she reads (maybe) one book a year. Her newspaper of choice is USA Today. She doesn't know anything about art, classical music, literature, different cultures, or any of the other stuff that my parents made sure I knew about. On the other hand, she knows a lot about sports and clothes, which my parents didn't much care about at all.

2) She insted on referring to the concierge as "con-cee-air" despite the fact that she did study French in college by her own admission, and the fact that everyone around her repeatedly pronounced the word correctly -- including the concierge.

3) Selective anorexia: Sue is very very thin -- I think her thighs are thinner than my knees, in fact. She constantly yaps about healthy eating, and orders low-fat everything... but then has no problem drinking the equivalent of a couple bottles of wine in an evening. And getting pretty blotto, I might add. How can you be so concerned about health and then burn up your liver like that? I've examined the possibility that I might just be envious about her lack of bodyfat (and her tolerance for alcohol!) but I don't really think either of those attributes are attractive.

4) The Tate Modern. Ha ha ha. First, a story: A couple of years ago, on a similar marketing trip, I was dragged to a place in Paris called "Buddha Bar". This was perhaps the most obnoxious place I've ever been; it had all my least favorite things going on -- lots of drunk people crammed very closely in a dark space with cigarette smoke and extremely loud rock music. I lasted about half an hour, then bailed out and caught a cab back to the hotel, leaving my colleagues to obliterate themselves. Sue has told me several times that she LOVED that place.

So we went for a long walk last Saturday, across the London Bridge and through the Bermondsey market, and to the Tate Modern. I hadn't actually been to the "new" Tate before, but I loved the old one. We went up to the top floor and wandered around for half an hour in one gallery and met up again; I suggested that we should spend more time and why didn't we meet up later on after looking at the rest of the exibits. Sue got a terrified expression when I said "at least an hour" and said that was the longest she would be willing to hang around.

Afterwards, she told everyone we saw how much she hated the place. There was not a single piece of art that she appreciated there. I consider it payback!5) We ate dinner one night at a tapas bar called Providores, in the Marylebone area. It was quite good, except: I ordered a plate that was supposed to be sardines on bruschetta. I love sardines. Well maybe not so much -- the plate showed up with two sardines, each was the size of a small trout, I kid you not. For those of you who don't know trout, these were a good 20cm / 8" long, head to tail with all parts still intact. And smelling quite pungent. I managed a couple of bites (Sue is way more squeamish than I am and wouldn't come close to them!) and the waiter looked understanding when he came to clear the dishes.

Okay, back to sewing. I have been doing some more shopping in preparation for Shakespeare in the Park (here's one example) and will post a photo when the parcels arrive. I found some great deals on Civil War reds at This 'N That and Wish Upon a Quilt. I'm trying to decide whether to cut & sew a couple of blocks, or force myself to deal with the items on my "February Goals" list first... Al and I have been trading off travel for the last 6 weeks, and now that I'm back, he's leaving for almost 2 weeks on Monday -- so I'll have few distractions other than work and getting myself back into a gym routine.

photo credit

*name changed to protect the innocent


DPUTiger said...

Traveling with someone you have nothing in common with. I'll never forget going to the Louvre with a friend of my mom's. I suffered through the impressionists, then had to SPRINT through the statue gallery because they were "stupid." That was the trip when I learned that "divide and conquer" is the ONLY way to do museums.

Glad you're home in one piece. We missed you! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi - I have a question. If Deb reads your blog or is informed re this particular entry, how will that affect your working relationship with her? Canadian Gail

floribunda said...

Hi, Anonymous Gail -- thanks for your comment. I went back and changed my colleagues name even more than it had been changed before. But, having said that, I think the likelihood that she would ever read this blog is very very small. She has little interest in computer stuff and even less interest in anything remotely craft-related! said...

Welcome home - there's no place like it.

Elaine Adair said...

Not being a traveler, I had to look up "concierge" and how to pronounce it! Dictionary says "Also warden". LOL

BTW, I DO pronounce it correctly.

Is this experience called "Diversity"?

Nancy Near Philadelphia said...

I loved this report! What a riot!

And, BTW, I'm accumulating browns and creams for my Someday Shakespeare quilt . . . .

n, np

Pam said...

There is nothing worse than traveling with someone you have nothing in common with and who drives you a little nutty!! Good you survived and got a little payback -LOL