...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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April 28, 2005 || 3:12 pm

Long time no blog, as many of my readers have been pointing out to me...and for this, sincere apologies! There are several bad reasons for this:

After the Canadian visit of last week, I promptly came down with some kind of bug and lay in bed for a couple of days. I didn't want to blog about this as I knew my mother would worry unnecessarily and really, it wouldn't have been that interesting for y'all to hear about how I lay in bed, tried to go to the doctor, etc. The only new thing I learnt was how convoluted the American healthcare system is. I mean, asking someone who feels like death to ring up all sorts of people and check whether there is a doctor within 30 miles who falls under your healthcare plan? It puts you off going to the doctor at all. Oh, for the NHS...

Then, I had an exciting Saturday of errands in the morning followed by many hours of playing bluegrass at Chip's annual big party down by his pond. Lovely, as always, to jam and listen to others playing. We had Allan Tobert come to play, who is a 17-yr-old, amazing guitar player (as bizarre in appearance as amazing in sounds) and he came with his band, including Stanley, a backing guitarist who looked like he had stepped out of the 1950s yesterday, no change - the all-American smile, the tall, tanned body, the perfect white hair in a perfect 50's wave.

But I had not time to blog that either as the next morning I was up at the crack of dawn to come back to England for all of 55 hours. After a day's travelling, I arrived at Heathrow at 5.55am, went into town to have breakfast with the boy (finally reunited after 3 1/2 months - oh joy) and then straight to work for GPA on the shortlisting for the book. Major culture shock to go from Alabama to a meeting room in the RRP offices overlooking the Thames, and lunch at the River Cafe, compounded by the severe jetlag and lack of sleep that means that I felt like my feet were never truly on the ground and I was somewhat dizzy/nauseous from the whole experience. I had to wear my cowboy boots the whole time as they are the only vaguely decent footwear I have left.

London was grey, and this time I really noticed the difference in air quality. Ironic, of course, that city-dwellers are vastly less polluting in terms of quantity of emissions per person than us rednecks here, but because you're all crammed in together, the proportion of those emissions that gets into your lungs is vastly greater. Whereas here in Alabama, you can kid yourself that you are being really healthy despite burning up fuel in vast quantities. And I missed my rooster waking me up in the morning.

So, two days of hard work, then back on the plane to 'bama and now, back to work on the house!



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