Yes, that’s blue sky, and yes, the hand is mine, and yes, that’s sunlight on it; and no, it wasn’t taken in Edinburgh. But as it turns out, I could have stayed here to see it after all; after three months the rain has finally stopped. So we didn’t have to go all the way to Canada for a week, except to introduce William to his great-aunts, great-uncles, and great-grandma. (He was surprisingly well-behaved on the flight over, and asleep for most of the flight back, which was a relief; there may even be hope for his eventual trip to Australia.)
We didn’t come back with many photos this time, except baby photos, but then this was basically a visit with relatives: home cooking, suburban and highway driving, department stores. The sights of Alberta are all a long drive from each other, which is less appealing when there’s a bored baby on board. We’ll wait until he’s old enough to sing “A Thousand Green Bottles”.
We did go to West Edmonton Mall. The first time (last time), its hugeness was intriguing. This time it was just a mall. Good for half-price Levis and Henckels, but that’s about it. The shops out in the country were fun, though; Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack were having a Back to School sale:
So we had a good time. I read half a book (coincidentally set in northern Alberta), and William learnt how to sit up without falling over. Apart from paternity leave and a day either side of that Naples conference, it was my first holiday since last year.
The price was jetlag on the way back: flying west to east is a killer. It’s taken the best part of a week to readjust, not helped by a baby who doesn’t understand the meaning of “11 p.m.” I’ve been oversleeping every morning, trapped by vivid dreams. In one I was staring at an old 1930s road atlas in a bookstore, wondering why it was called The Tasmanian Tetipeskary. After waking up I googled the word, just in case it actually was a synonym for “gazetteer” and not one invented by my sleep-deprived brain. (It wasn’t, and was, but now I get to keep it. I hereby claim this word for the People’s Republic of Tasmania: may her tetipeskaries always guide true.)
On our return, all of the stresses of imminent teaching and unresolved house-purchasing awaited us. I repainted our study the weekend before we left, because we’d left instructions with our solicitor to put in another offer while we were away, and wanted to be able to sell ours quickly if we won. As it turned out, we came second—again—so it’s back to Sunday and Thursday viewings, and now the flat is full of boxes of stuff from the study. Two months in, and we’re effectively back where we started, but with less time: semester starts next week, and William starts crawling sometime after that.
What that means is that this site faces even worse neglect than before. So it’s time to do what I’ve been planning to for a while, and put the snail into hibernation; I can’t see there being much opportunity for blogging between now and the end of the year. On the plus side, this is the first price rise, um, official hiatus since March 2005, which isn’t too bad.
See you in 2008.