In Which I Don’t Get Lost

September 16, 2022

Conference day today. That means plenty of time spent sitting in hard, uncomfortable chairs and processing information, both new and old. And that means a mostly boring conference lunch.

Still, there’s just something great about international conferences, learning different perspectives and other approaches to similar problems. This is my first conference since before-times, and I’m really glad I’m here.

Vivian is here too, which is fantastic. It’s great to be here with a friend from home. Some of her students came as well.

The highlight of the evening was taking them to dinner. We all met at the welcome reception where we partook of mediocre canapes. After we had eaten too many, we headed out, talking as we walked up one of the neighborhood streets.

In due course, we found tables at the Queen’s Head. They’re already selling tickets for Christmas Dinner, in case you don’t yet have plans.

I had the Steak and Ale Pie. It was good – but could have used some condiments (with which the table wasn’t properly equipped)

September 17, 2022

Another conference day. Great talks.

My greatest excitement came, however, when I noticed this sign on the minibar. In general I actively avoid the minibar, as it is too often a source of high cost and low reward. But this sign changes everything. I’ve never seen a complimentary minibar. There’s plenty there I don’t care about and won’t touch, but I’ve been parched this trip, and the two small bottles of water contained therein will go a long way to fixing that.

This evening, Vivian talked me into the conference reception – something I also usually avoid. Honestly it was a good time, and the food was decent. I even danced – if you can call it that. To clarify: There was music and I stood on the dance floor and tried to move to the beat. It was fun. I do this about once a decade, so I’m happy to report that my quota for the 2020’s has finally been met.

As the evening wound down I stepped to the restroom only to find, upon returning, that our group of friends had left. The buses had dropped us off several blocks away, and rather than try to find them I decided to enjoy a bit of a walk across the Thames and take the underground back to the hotel (remember, I generally view buses as being unpredictable). Then Vivian texted me, worried that I was lost.

It sounded like the group had walked quite a bit already, and I was happy with my plan, so encouraged her to stick with her friends. But Vivian insisted and came back for me, which was very sweet, and entirely unnecessary.

In truth, it’s probably for the best that she did, however, since I think they were all lost, and I’m the only one who knew where the buses were.

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