Remembering today

  • Today I must remember the narrative and ignore the jet-lag induced drama.
  • Today I must also remember that life continues regardless of what happens to us, and that you have no option but to do what you can with what you’re given.
  • Today I must also remember that strong coffee may taste good, but it is no panacea for all ills.
  • Today I return to work and for the first time in 6 – 8  months have no immediate deadlines that need to be met, and then rejected.
  • Today I must remember that I am extremely cranky despite all the good things that have happened.
  • Today I must remember that expectations must be managed, and that when I'm tired, they are magnified beyond belief.
  • Today I must remember that the third instalment of Bridget has come out and that her three precepts must be hewed to...again...even if she stole them (pointed out by CK) from those good folk at Barbary Lane.
  • Today I must also make a list of things to do, then do them.
  • But first I think I’ll clean up my patio and put my plants to bed.
Siena with one n 
Oh so many things to do today. I think I shall go to bed instead. My dears, it's been more than a month since I last graced these pages. Do forgive me, not that I really expect you to. Let me tell you what's been happening to prevent me from writing little bits and pieces of nonsense.

I was on my way to Rome, and from Rome, I went to Siena (with one n because it's the city and not the car) where we stayed in an Auberge about 2 km from the city which brought about much whining and groaning which were all pointless because there was no other option but a brisk walk anyway. Nonetheless, there was good food and too much truffle impregnated Pecorino cheese. It was all delicious, then a celebration dinner of a victory 300 years ago between two neighbourhoods. Then lots of driving around to towns in the area to look at Tartovsky filmed ponds, religious ceremonies with banging, prayers and processions through the teeny leetle town and the grand palatial lodgings of a former Pope. Then our native guide dashed off to Milano and thence to Vancouver, and we went to Florence for a whirl-wind mad step about the Orsanmichele before boarding our train to Perugia where we examined Etruscan arches and Roman Viaducts. I shan't mention the gallons of gelato consumed before we made our final dash to Rome where the crowds and heat overwhelmed me much like they did Maggie Smith as Charlotte. Rome, I must return someday but probably during the winter when hopefully there are less people and some snow. 

Oh, did I mention that  during the plane ride to Rome, I was working on a grant application? Yes, I certainly did work on one.

Rome in the early morning when few doors are open,
and even fewer people are around
Then after two days in Rome, another mad dash to the airport far too early because of some dire warnings from Dr. C only to find that there was no need to rush really, and that I could have had a lovely coffee and creme-filled croissant first. In any case, I didn't, but more than made up for that when at the airport I saw more cream filled pastries - and after all, one had to use up one's Euros did one not? So there you are, I used up my Euros.

The trip back was long with many a stop - so much so that the nice lady who processed my tickets in Rome actually said "Mama Mia!" when she realised how much bouncing around I was doing. Another thing to tick off my list - much like the time when I visited Calgary for the first time and the first thing I saw was a man in a business suit with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. I love it when I see or hear cliches - they are the nearest I will ever get to being one. 

Once back, I hit the ground and wrote another part of another application and ran around writing various letters and documents for different people. I have come to despite the grant writing season because it's such a lot of drama for such little gain. Nonetheless, it's part and parcel of the process and there's always drama. I rather suspect that we had to forge signatures when people who should have been around (including me) weren't. But you didn't hear that from me. Four days I was back here and on the fourth day, I left for Malaysia with BKKB hanging onto my sleeve asking questions about everything and everyone. 

According to the flight map, we flew backwards
This is how the trip started:
7pm - 10pm: Grilled salmon for a dinner where two were entertained and one fed.
10pm - 11pm: Fall asleep and wake up to the beeping of the oven timer - fortunately I'd set it
11pm - midnight: Did last of packing, got car, caught train to airport. One stop away from the airport, my little digital companion beeped at me indicating that a document had come in for me.
midnight - 2am: Checked in for flight, met BKKB, downloaded document and boarded flight and feverishly checked for power outlet under the sea.
2:05am: Plane takes off - wooooosh!
2:20am: Check document - 15 pages?! 15?! How can this be? We're only allowed 10! There're 15! Count pages obsessively several times
2:25am: Have a little melt-down but had to do it discreetly because I didn't want the plastic handcuffs to come out, nor the plane to turn around.
2:30am till arrival in Hong Kong: Cut text out while retaining essence of meaning (hopefully), power nap, cut more text out while retaining essence of meaning (hopefully), power nap and so forth.

No Noodles? How will I survive. 
In Hong Kong, I was dismayed to see that my favourite noodle store was closed for renovations - no spicy beef noodle soup which has been a tradition for a long time. I arrive in HKG early in the morning and have a two hour layover before my connecting flight so I always have SBNS. This time, I had an overpriced muffin. Bah. However, I did manage to tap into the network at the airport and sent 11 pages back and hoped for the best...Despite the lack of noodles in HKG, I at least managed to get Nasi Lemak in KL which is another tradition - to have NL on my first day back in M'sia. You win some, you lose some.