Sunday, April 02, 2006

COOL. CALM. COLLECTED.

All of a sudden it's spring in London. I don't want to be inside my flat now. Ever. It has shockingly been sunny here all weekend. Last night as I sat upstairs in the fantastic John Snow pub near Carnaby St. surrounded by my London friends, I felt like I hadn't been out in this city in years. Country-hopping often makes me forget how much I love London - the pub culture, the lowkey, relaxed and welcoming Britishness of my friends here, the whole picture.

(This photo was actually taken from the television studio in which I work far too often. C'mon, you don't think tourists get this view from above, do you?)

Uh...this said, though, I've just booked three week-long trips, one per month in May, June and July. In May I'm going to Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. June brings me back to Rome and also to Florence, Pisa and Siena (I went to Rome and Venice in February of last year). In July I'll travel around Switzerland, specifically Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva (I just barely ventured into northern Switzerland in summer of '04 during my two-week trip around Germany). After frolicking all over Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Eastern Europe, I've realized that I unintentionally saved the most expensive countries for this spring and summer. Hotels in, flights to, and everything else in Scandinavia and Switzerland are fucking expensive! I've also booked a long-weekend trip to Stirling, which is for another conference, one that promises me another chapter in yet another publication. (Yay!) I loved Edinburgh but Stirling seems a bit more 'country' than Edinburgh or Glasgow, which is completely fine by me. Please feel free to start emailing your Scandinavian, Swiss, Scottish, and Tuscan recommendations now...!

Also, this morning while consulting last night's drunken texts on my mobile, I apparently promised my younger brother that if he finally gets his ass over to England in June, I will pay for his flights, hotels, etc. in Italy. This was a rather stupid move, as I can barely afford to send myself all over Europe. Boy is rather well-traveled, but he's not been to Italy. He's not even been back to England since I've lived here; my sister has come to see me twice. See, when my sister and I were Boy's age, we had the pleasure of being spoilt rotten by my father. Since Dad died almost 1.5yrs ago, I've been spoiling Boy as much as possible. Sometimes purposely, sometimes unknowingly at first. I temporarily upgrade myself from the elder brother role to the dad role more often than I realize. He needs it. He's a happy 'kid' but at 22 he's inevitably a furious young boy, at the crabby age when every young male childishly protests growing up. It's what we do. So, uh, this means I will assist his psychological development into manly adulthood by spoiling him with airplane tickets and pasta. Oh.

I'm off to play with friends in North London now. It's all springy 'n shit. Maybe it's the weather, I don't know - but I'm all relaxed this weekend. I've gotten tons of work done over the past few weeks. I actually even feel like I've got my dissertation under control and have a meticulous plan of work/attack until the end of May!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Work is much more fun than fun. - Noel Coward