Books, I think I just rambled, Life, Story Time

// home again

I brought forty-six books home with me. And a pair of glorious heels and five packs of sweets, but … forty-six books … I feel like a proper bookworm.

booksfromusa
a properly penniless bookworm, that is

The check-in luggage weight limit was 23kg. I made it 22.8kg. I high-fived the check-in bloke and did not gush about Travel Panic, The Lift My Friends Gave Me and how so very thankful and relieved I was that the bag and my carry-on case had scraped by their weight limits.

I would never do something that undignified.

So incredibly tired and rambling a mile a minute, I arrived home at the obscene hour of eight in the morning without a wink of sleep from the night before. (I don’t sleep on planes. I do, however, talk to Grandfatherly Russians and accidently slap seatmates in the face with my jacket.)

It was an amazing six weeks across the pond, but don’t worry – I shan’t bore you with stories, though I am rather proud of fist-bumping Mickey Mouse and singing (magnificently off key, of course) ‘Country Roads’ as we went through the Blue Ridge Mountains and West Virginia.

cupcakewars
Also – Cup Cake Wars. ’nuff said

Oh! And I visited my happiest place on earth, and no – that’s not Disneyworld (which was fun but my word did the queues never end, did the heat never cease, and was Tinker Bell always so. astoundingly. perky?). It masquerades as ‘The Book Barn’. It is both a graveyard of trees and a magical world of endless stories. Also, it has free donuts.

moundofbooks
do not trust the donuts.

It’s been an epic second trip across the pond; apart from mammal riding (donkey, camel, horse, whale) I think I’ve used every form of transport there is. Oh, and guess what? My cab driver wasn’t a killer robot. And yes, I caught that first train. But the second one? To go the airport? To come home?

Ah. Yes. That one.

They had to replace the engine.

how have you been?

Life, Story Time

I’ve Returned. (Oh, And This Is How You Don’t Catch a Bus.)

fromcitadelGuess who has returned, life and sanity (possibly) intact? Yep! That would be me.

I’ve learned quite a bit – how to survive beneath a boiling sun (lots of water, suncream and shade hopping), catch a foreign bus and a host of other Very Important Things.

Oh, do you want to know how to catch a bus? Let me aid you in this by telling you what not to do.

How To Catch A Bus:

Don’t be polite and wait for the man to clamber down the steps and dismount from the front of the bus.
Don’t stare at the doors as they shut.
Don’t proceed to the middle doors and be extremely puzzled when these close too.
Don’t be astonished when the bus moves off, the last set of doors closing whilst it does so.
Don’t stare in bemused incredibility as you realise that there are people sitting in the bus and you aren’t one of them.
Do listen to the man speaking beside you. Do learn his language before you listen. He’s saying important things – [rough, paraphrased translation, minus hand waving] – “Get in the back of the bus, you dim-witted loon.”
 —

readingI’ve walked castle walls, roasted my skin, climbed steps (steps are wonderful things in small, manageable doses. A thousand or so in one go is not a small, manageable dose), eaten strange food, made friends and swum in clear waters.

And now I’ve returned home. And home, my dear friends, is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

England may not always have the most blue skies, its weather may not often reach the thirties (for this I am fervently thankful), it may not have clear seas or terribly exotic fauna.

But it is green, I consider it pleasant and it is the land I call home.

Hello Again!

Life, On Research

The Traveller Returns!

I had to give up several items of clothing, a pair of shoes and an hairbrush, but I did it; with only a handbag and a carry on case I brought nineteen books home with me.

They* say that travelling broadens the mind and enriches the pen. They could be correct.

As I looked out of the airplane window on the way home, I thought that maybe this whole experience was a gift from God, all nicely wrapped up with a big red bow. I’ve been blessed. Very blessed.

A little like this.

I had only ten days’ notice. Ten days and then I was off for a month and a half in the U.S.A. Yes, you are right in thinking that it was all very sudden. And no, no one had died. The real explanation is quite a lengthy one, but needless to say, everything dropped into place just like a really good game of Tetris.

out of a plane window
Have I mentioned how much I love clouds? No? Well, I do.

Having never been on a big ol’plane before, traveling on one was certainly an experience. So was being patted down for a random search. And having my bag searched (these things seem to happen to me. Only my hairbrush handle would resemble the neck of a bottle of liquid and thus have my poor pink carry on case pulled over).

Thankfully, all the airport staff were very pleasant.

I’ve acquired so much material for future blog posts on this adventure (adventure sounds so much better than ‘trip’, doesn’t it?). There were the clouds that resembled ice caps, that time I fainted from embarrassment, that really, really loud canon and the books.

Ah yes, the books. I read a fair few and wandered halls that were covered in books, buildings that were dedicated to books and little nooks and crannies that also had … you guessed it … tons of books (or as the Americans seemed to say ‘a bunch of books’. No. There wasn’t a bunch. There was a ton. A hundred tons. So many tons that I wondered how many butchered trees I was standing in the presence of).

And no, I do not speak of a library (though I did visit one of those quite a few times). I speak of … of … well, a post should be popping up in the near future dedicated to The Place of Which I Speak.

I arrived home (Oh England! You are a green and pleasant land even from the air. Especially from the air) and went to bed that night more tired than I have ever been in my life.

But I’m home and this blog has now been awakened from its hibernation.

Hiya folks!

Ness Kingsley has returned.

 *I have no idea who ‘they’ are. Perhaps ‘they’ are half a genuine ‘they’ and half my own invention.