Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Nearly Rested

I'm sure you all, all three of you, have been wondering about this for days now, so I'll begin by saying that, yes, my trip back to Scotland was fine. Time slipped by quicker than my wayworn friends cum chauffeurs anticipated while en route to Chicago. I tell you this only to flag the one marginally notable aspect of my travels back home. Should any of you ever feel behooved to take me to an airport, consider yourself warned when I tell you that I am not a fun passenger when I feel as though I might be late for a flight. (Just ask Pat and Julia.) Anyway, I finally got to check in about an hour prior to my flight, and was lucky enough to have a departure gate not too far away. By the time I emerged from my routine orifice inspection, I had a few minutes to pump up on the piety I never fail to leave on the ground just before a flight.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful -- a bit bumpy in parts, but short enough for it not really to matter all that much. Unfortunately, but certainly not unexpectedly, no sleep was to be had. Upon my arrival at 8.30 a.m., I was welcome by the Zoons clan, with K. clad in an enormous parka-like thing around her petite frame, last week's reward to herself for passing French.

Since then, life's been pretty non-stop. Deprived of sleep or not, I was a bundle of energy once we got to the flat, skimming through my midden of mail and making quick phone calls to verify the astonishingly miniscule outstanding bills. The standard, minus the 'astonishingly miniscule' part. Come 7.30, though, I was beyond wiped out. However, about thirty minutes earlier I'd begun a large Windows update download, and I was bound and determined to stick it out. I dozed off once, I remember, while watching the Australian women's soccer team playing somebody whose nationality I can no longer remember.

This morning was a layer of hell for which I was not suitably prepared. Hell #1 -- shopping, not simply browsing mind you, at Ikea. K.'s mom is a born-and-bred shopper. Holy hell, nothing escapes this women's shopping gaze. One can but guess that the only thing that helps things escape her grasp is her husband. A couple of hours after entering, we emerged with a suspiciously cheap dining room table, a full-length mirror, a little vanity-mirror thing for the bathroom (with requisite interior medicine cabinet), toilet paper roll, floor mats, shower and sink mats, a couple of other things that I, rejoicefully, do not have to remember because I did not pay for.

The good news -- it's not been entirely, or even mostly, bad -- is that K. got a job at the very first place, and only, place she's interviewed. Boy does it pay to have marketable skills.

Back to your irregularly scheduled, non-autobiographical blog tomorrow.