After a very nice sleep and breakfast of poached eggs on toast, I set off through the rainy morning to the train station so that I could travel east from Wales.
The lights in the train made a pseudo-mirror of the window and I couldn't avoid my reflection if I wanted to watch over the green hills in my quest to spot sheep.
I sigh over myself, frankly, as I meet my own gaze and don't have a particularly positive reaction to it. I like me - I am (or can be) sweet and funny and bright. But the packaging leaves a bit to be desired, mostly because I can't be bothered to take proper care of myself.
While I'd like to think the kilometers of walking and liters of water (still - never sparkling) would spark a bit of a lifestyle change, I'm likely to revert to Diet Pepsi and cheeseburgers and reruns of sitcoms once back in my normal routine.
I was relieved to alight at Paddington Station, the distractions of London most welcome in light of my depressing introspection. I caught a cab in the sullen rain, admiring the organization as workers arranged the line of travelers so that we could enter taxis with maximum efficiency.
"Your room isn't ready," the receptionist noted and I sighed, though it was just before noon and check-in wasn't until 2.
I walked through the rain, peering from beneath my hood, until I reached Whiteley's. I had some lunch before setting off to buy items. I'm going to travel in my new pajamas as they are the only clothing I currently possess that is clean. I picked up candy for the girls and a couple of stuffed sheep on sale. (They're wearing cardigans of sheep's wool! I love cardigans! Just like my new silly sheep.)
As I was preparing to brave the rain again, I sent a look of apology to my feet surrounded by shoes that had not quite dried and were going to get soggy again. And a woman stopped me beside her cart of pricey cosmetics.
"White people have fewer layers of skin," she told me and I frowned with skepticism. Because that didn't seem right. But after disparaging my normal mineral make-up (which I wasn't wearing) and the people of London (they don't smile), she prepared to cover the redness of my cheeks and even out my skin tone.
"It does look better," I admitted when given a mirror, thinking I'd looked at myself more today than in several weeks combined. But I laughed when she asked for hundreds of pounds for foundation and blush and colors I could use for eyeshadow or lipstick! Foundations and bronzers and exfoliant creams made of diamond dust.
"Nope," I refused as she detailed packages and prices and how very important appearance was.
"You're a pretty girl," she said, "but you do need to refine a bit and this is the best way to do that."
I cocked my head at her and swallowed a comment that I already have a job I like and at which I'm competent. I've more or less given up on dating and love, at least for now. So an extensive routine with bottles and brushes and containers of powder didn't appeal.
Still, as I finished stuffing my belongings into my bag one last time so we could make our way home tomorrow, there was a jar of mineral foundation that made its way into a corner pocket. Because while it hardly solves all my problems, it does help with the redness in my cheeks.