While I was packing for England, I did some math and realized this is my eighth trip in five months. So maybe I can lay off myself a little if I don’t ride my bike enough or submit enough work or go to enough poetry readings. Already, on the way to the airport, I was having fantasies about the glorious four months I’ll spend at home.
But on the plane I read a surprisingly good Vanity Fair profile of Angelina Jolie, who’s always daydreaming about her next city. So for the next ten days, I’ll try to channel Angelina, but without six homes and a private jet, the lack of which could make things tiring.
My dad, Susan and Cathy don’t get here till midday tomorrow—it was nice to get our bearings before the influx of family. After an I-see-why-they-call-it-the-Tube ride from Heathrow, we settled into the Merlyn Court Hotel, a cute if utilitarian B&B where they don’t like to extend tea and toast past 9:01 a.m. I took maybe the best nap of my life.
Then we ate a bleary-eyed lunch at a sort of fast-food bakery where every flavor of sandwich was essentially mayonnaise, with a rotating cast of garnishes. It still provided the necessary fuel for our eight-mile Fat Tire Bike Tour, led by a guy AK thought talked liked Russell Brand (“but maybe everyone here does,” she conceded).
It was a perfect activity because 1) dodging minor traffic on a bike was one of the few activities that could have kept me awake, and 2) we got a quick, scenic, al fresco overview of Central London, but 3) not the kind that makes your back ache from standing around.