Monday, January 18, 2010

Thirty-one

I have arrived in London. There are two wardrobe - one, apparently, for tops and the other for pants. I dutifully hung my shirt and jacket for tomorrow in one and pants in the other.

I scurried across my lovely room a moment later, scooping up the two hangers and hung them in front of the pants, feeling better that the latter clothing wouldn't be lonely this way.

The first day I can claim 31 years was, for the most part, lovely. I was busy and felt productive. I learned a lot, some of which might help people. And all went right according to schedule, calming my frazzled nerves when I made my train to St. Pancras Station.

I slept, peaceful and deep, after having chicken tikka masala and many bottles of (still) water. When my iPod played Trip on Love, I first incorporated it into my dream but blinked my eyes open to see the hotel-supplied alarm clock, turned it off and closed them again.

Two hours later, I dumped water from the kettle on instant coffee and sipped gratefully. My brain, sulking for a moment that it was really 2AM, started to work and I got ready for my day. I trudged up the hills behind my host, scowling at his back when I had to wave aside another apology that we didn't take a taxi.

I snuck away to the toilet to cry once - medical procedures, regardless of how altruistic, with children break my heart. But I gulped back my tears, refreshed my make-up and went back in to the room and smile at the young mother, thinking I was older than she even before I turned 31, and told her newborn was beautiful.

I wrote pages of notes I was unable to transcribe because my Brookstone adapter smells alarmingly of burning electronics when I plug anything into it. I sheepishly borrowed an adapter from my current hotel, currently thinking said choice was very worthwhile. I read Practically Perfect on the train, finding it lovely even while I wished it was light out so I could coo at the scenery. I took a cab to my hotel downtown, checking in and sniffing absently at the soap. Last night, the plane was lavender; yesterday's hotel ginsing; tonight's lemon.

In the rare moments when I'm tired or nervous or out of sorts, I look around and think "I'm here!" and am happy.

"You should have done something special for your birthday," one of my customers said today.

"Oh, I am," I assured him. "I'm in England."

7 comments:

rpg said...

I *so* owe you a Martini. xx

lucy said...

Happy birthday, Katie!

JaneB said...

Happy Birthday!

And Katie Forde books are great, definitely a good read for your England trip (if you haven't come across her before, she has a nice back catalogue of fun, frothy books where things turn out fine set in well realised settings - I find them very comforting).

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds as if it was (is?) nice.

Brigindo said...

Happy Birthday Katie! It sounds like a lovely day. I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself.

Anne said...

So glad to be following you on your trip! :o)

Seeking Solace said...

Happy Birthday!!!

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