We departed London in an aeroplane uncontaminated by Polonium 120 (we trust) and enjoyed a smooth and pleasant flight into Boston.
For me, the homeward journey was made particularly enjoyable by this new novel:
It's smashing debut fiction by Harriet (no relation) Evans. In addition to an appropriate title for my situation and state of mind, it had many charming and/or hilarious overtones of my experiences in the UK. Perhaps Harpercollins will eventually publish it on this side of the Pond, for the benefit of the US readership.
In the evening we collected our darling dogs. Both were overjoyed to see us, and we felt the same. Until the trip, I'd not been apart from Ruth a single night since she came to us in May. Reportedly she was a "sweetheart" during her first kennel stay, although she started to chew on her LL Bean bed out of boredom and it had to be taken away. (I predicted this...unfortunately I was correct.) She and Lola had a blast in the play yard.
My schedule offered me no time or opportunity to recover from jet lag.
Early on the morning after our return it was off to the Legislative Office Building and the State House for Day 2 of New Legislator School, aka Orientation for New Representatives. (I missed Day 1, due to being in transit.)
We had sessions on professionalism, protocols, leadership, staff relations, as well as tours and lunch (sandwiches and green spinach wraps!). I made a wonderful new friend from the North Country. In the evening there was a mixer at a local restaurant...I made a pig of myself among the delicious hors d'oeuvres. My jet-lagged body assumed it had missed some meals along the way.
Just as early the morning of Day 3 (my Day 2), on my way across the State House lawn, I crossed paths with my chum the Senate chaplain. I hope he'll pray hard for me, I can tell I'm going to need it. The day began with a mock joint session of the Legislature in Representatives Hall, followed by another informational session with leadership and staff. Then our Caucus sponsored a celebratory lunch--sandwiches and wraps (no green ones, alas, but there was a roll-up with turkey and cranberry goop which sort of made up for missing it on Thanksgiving). I was more restrained in my eating. I stayed for the cutting of the cake but didn't have any.
The Governor joined us and made some remarks.
There was another party that night, but I had to pass. The Chap and I participated in a meeting at the new library, to plan the transition phase, finishing touches, and most importantly, the dedication.
I'm knocked flat by so much frantic activity. This is my much-needed quiet day at home with the girls. Here they are, watching me helplessly (and messily) stack newly-acquired books and papers and cd's and maps in my office. To be sorted later. Or not.
The Chap is away helping out with the church's St. Nicholas Fair. Last night I made chocolate cookies for the bake sale fundraiser, only they didn't turn out at all well. (Can I still blame jet lag? What's the statute of limitations on that?) If I don't come up with anything else to have for our dinner, we've got plenty of "not quite good enough to offer for public sale" cookies.
I've made a website travelogue of our time in London and environs. The links are over on the sidebar > > >. Start at Windsor and follow the entire tour page-by-linked-page, or choose from the individual page links listed. A few of the pics showed up on the blog, but mostly they're different ones.