O joyous reunion! Finally I've spent ten days with Ash after nearly six desperate weeks without him. I felt such despair when I thought of him, missed him so acutely that I began to substitute anger for the sadness. It was getting ugly. So I went to England.
Spent most of the days wandering around Cambridge, where Ash is working, as I did last time. I didn't think Cambridge could possibly have more than two weeks' worth of activities to offer the visitor, and I spent that much time there already last July. Yet Cambridge continues to charm me, as I revisited some of the colleges, with their exquisite buildings dating everywhere between 1250 and 1860. Of course there are more modern ones too, but what use are they? Any structure newer than 1886 is met by me with disgust: "Pfft. My house is older than *that*!"
I spent a certain amount of time each day in my favorite store, a UK-wide chain called "Accessorize" (with a "z" -- trying to sound American?). This shop is all things sparkly, shiny, colorful, soft, fuzzy, and girly. It is scarves, jewelry, bindis, eyeshadow, purses, hats, gloves... it all sounds so banal here, but the stock is arranged around the perimeter of the space according to colors: from gold to burgundy to red to pink, then from black to silver to green to blue to purple. And very thoughtfully, within each color's section, subtly harmonious elements of another few colors may be added; yet when viewed as a whole, a single, dominant, gloriously rich hue emerges in each section. I'd walk around and around and around the shop, touching everything: a wall of sparkly and opalescent sea-green dangly crystal earrings; then a wall of irridescent wine-colored silk scarves with embroidered or beaded edging, and long, feathery purple fluffy ones next to them; a wall of ultramarine blue velvet and wooly cobalt blue hats, and knit caps with long strings and big pompoms on the sides; a wall of violet and ruby beaded bags and coinpurses; a wall of shimmery gold organza wraps and creamy feather boas, with snake-like golden Indian sequined and mirrored belts draped nearby, and more beaded bags (for the holidays, no doubt) in gold and silver and creamy white.
A veritable feast for the eyes, and I am such a whore for sparkly and/or fuzzy things!
So besides Ashley, that's what I miss most, returning home from this trip. I also got to spend about 36 hours in London, of which I spent about 4 shopping - buying new nubbly X18 trainers with red incisors (!) at Camden market; and the next 15 at the hotel with a stomach ache, pooping and vomiting. I assure you the shopping and the vomiting were unrelated events, and I swear I'll still have nice thoughts about my 36 hours in London.
The next night Cambridge held Bonfire Night events, so I had to summon the strength to get back on the train and return to Cambridge for the fireworks and celebrations there; but prolonged standing being difficult enough with my icky stomach, the culinary delights, such as fish and chips, cotton candy, and beer, were not shared by me. I couldn't eat from Friday at 5pm, a.k.a. Barfing Time, until Sunday around 3pm when I was overcome with desire for some kind of fancy French cheese stick thingy from the local Cambridgian Starbucks. (Don't hate me. Really there's no other way to get good, strong American-style coffee in the merry land of tea!)
It rained a lot while I was there, in fact there was an exceptional amount of flooding happening throughout England; and the news programs and headlines were split about half and half between the floods there and the U.S. Presidential election here, which Ash and I watched unfold in horror. The inevitable is just being prolonged. I've known all along what America likes; and they'll happily, tongues lolling, elect the moron who can barely form sentences, 'cause goshdarnit, he's nice. God I hate the way he pronounces "doesn't" like "duddn't". Oh well... at least I can distract myself with my new sparkly bracelet and fuzzy scarf.