Strikes, snowstorms, perpetual passport drama, and reading news of a bungled bombing = trip cancelled.
Free first class tickets.... squandered!
Oh well; at least this city is beautiful.
I finally have a bank account.
Huh. The process only took five and a half years.
How did I manage this stunning feat? It would be best not to share details, for fear that someone reading these words is warned off by my immigration woes. Suffice to say that my copious documentation of identity, assets, and fiscal stability were not enough.
I have lots of money, letters of reference, and a valid residency permit, but I am self-employed and my address is a boat - albeit one registered to and lawfully moored in council jurisdiction - so hey! It was a cash-only existence for me oh these many years.
Sheer bloody minded persistence did the trick in the end, but I promise, if I had known this would be such a huge problem, I might have just stayed home.
But anyway, with my shiny new account I: sent invoices for three years of freelance work, filed and paid taxes in six states and two nations, subscribed to all my favorite magazines, bought a Tate membership, and splashed out on my first ever pair of high heels.
Grownup? Ladylike? Or just foolhardy? Hmmm...
Continuing in grownup mode: I'll be selling my boat later this spring. Of interest mostly to those who already have mooring sorted.
I'm definitely back on the grid.
I hope all this adult behavior abates in the new year.
I gave and received excellence in abundance.... while Santa decided it's all about stilts and show tunes.
Highlight of the holiday? A Ukulele orchestra.
After the usual feasting I celebrated this festive yule by acting as midwife to a brand new server. I named him Oswald.
I was away to London for literary debauchery; now I am back in Cambridge to attend a bookstore bankruptcy sale.
Helpful hint: if you wish to purchase Lessons in Taxidermy at the Borders closing sale, it has been filed under "cookery."
Poor little book - misunderstood by the publishers (who largely want it to be "inspirational" when it is in fact "subversive"), shelved incorrectly by the stores (generally under "parenting" or "disease" or "sports and fishing" instead of, um, anywhere accurate), distressing to those who appear in the pages (or who have since formed an emotional attachment to me "the person" as opposed to "the character").
It is snowing! Hurray!
Except.... I was denied a Santa visit for the first time in my whole life!!
At this rate I'm going to have to borrow some children.
I consoled myself by watching bunnies frolic through sparkling white fields.
Ana's first choice of London adventures? We bought flowers and slogged through the crowds at Westminster Abbey to offer a tribute to Aphra Behn.
The stone is inscribed Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be / Defence enough against Mortality - and it is directly on the path to the toilets.
Uncaring tourists kicked the bouquets aside just seconds after we put them on the grave, and we scuttled away shrieking with laughter.
Further perambulations took us through Covent Garden on a search for tights, the Shoreditch vintage stores questing for the perfect hat, dinner on Brick Lane with Alessandro and Yuka here on a short visit to ponder relocation.
The hunt for Oscar yielded no prescribed results, though Ana did find a charming young banker at the Commercial Tavern, and we towed him along to Jaguar Shoes for drinks and chatter.
Ana had difficulty tracking the fact that London closes early, but we still managed to make the end of Daniel's birthday party - once again, the best of times spent with the dearest of people:
It is no secret that I am thoroughly sick of this city; the question is, what keeps me here?
Now that my kid has dropped out of school, the answer has become: nothing whatsoever.
However, certain persuasive external forces are tempting me to stay. Or should I say bribing? Whichever. The offer this week is a secret, and incredibly desirable.
I resist because, dear reader, what is ever truly free?
While we ponder these existential concerns a much more entertaining event has happened - Ana Erotica is here!
Last time it was all about Bad Boys and Lumberjacks. This time? We're on the hunt for someone named Oscar.
England, you are on notice.
I am not ashamed to admit the delight I feel hanging out with people who punctuate all sentences with AWESOME.
James has lately found love & all that good stuff in, of all places, Ohio. Why do so many people from my youth end up in that state? FYI: I will never visit. Though I do miss James, at least!
We were the best and closest of friends throughout our grim years in the Pacific Northwest, sharing everything including a shotgun shack in Olympia, before taking off for (in his case) Chicago, Tokyo, Ann Arbor, (and in mine) England, and scattered destinations in between. During the traveling years we corresponded nearly every day, and for awhile he lived as an ascete in my Portland basement.
His newfound happiness has translated to a marked lack of communication - but I don't mind, because I love him quite sincerely and it is tremendously thrilling to know that he has found the life he wants to live.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice, he is supremely talented. You should definitely buy his book.