Keep on movin'.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

It’s been very quiet around here on WordRidden because it’s been crazy as anything in “real life” lately. February 24 was graduation day, and my whole family - mom, dad, grandma and brother - came over from the States to celebrate with me.

There were some very interesting logistics involved. My mom, dad and grandma flew into Gatwick on February 15. Jeremy and I met them there, and we all got on a plane together to fly to Ireland. A week later, we got back on a plane (this time with Jeremy’s mom as well), flew back to Gatwick and drove down to Brighton, where my brother and his girlfriend (who had flown into Heathrow and stayed in London for a day) eventually rendezvoused with us. My brother and his girlfriend went back to London last Sunday, Jeremy’s mom went back to Ireland on Monday, the rest of my family went back to the States on Tuesday - and now Jeremy and I are on our own again with nothing but the television and a bunch of work to keep us company.

It was a busy and extremely fun two weeks. We motored all around southwestern Ireland and southeastern England, taking in the mountains and lakes of Killarney and the castles and Saxon battlefields of East Sussex. We clambered around ruined churches and Norman towers, moseyed through various medieval and Victorian towns, nearly got blown off both the Rock of Cashel in Ireland and Beachy Head in England by a viciously cold wind, and experienced the excitement of navigating the highways and (mostly) byways of the British Isles.

Food and drink figured fairly heavily in all this traveling, of course. My mom and dad had their first Guinness in Killarney, and my Oma had her much-loved roast lamb at the gorgeous Ballymaloe House for Sunday lunch. We sampled seafood chowder nearly everywhere we went. Jeremy’s mom opened her lovely, cozy home to us and supplied us all with smoked salmon, Irish cheeses, cakes and tarts, and homemade Irish stew (as well as a place to watch the winter Olympics). In England, my family got to experience the British classics: bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, beef and ale pie, trifle, bread and butter pudding, and the best tea and scones ever. We had two lavish dinners in a row here in Brighton: one at Sevendials for my graduation, and one at the institution that is English’s for Jeremy’s birthday (where he dined in style on oysters, lobster Thermidor and champagne). I think we all gained about ten pounds each in two weeks.

Then there was the graduation ceremony itself, of course - a rather grand affair in the Brighton Dome, made even more classy by the presence of Sir Richard Attenborough, Chancellor of the University of Sussex. I got to shake his hand as I practically ran by him on the seemingly massive stage of the Dome. It was a long but lovely ceremony, and afterwards we retired to the Grand Hotel for gin and tonics before dinner. What a life.

So now everyone’s back in their respective homes and it’s back to the grindstone for me - for a bit, anyway. As it happens, Jeremy and I are off again in one week’s time to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest conference. I’m really looking forward to that, but I also feel like I need to catch up on quite a bit of work and sleep before I’m ready to face another week of partying. Still, I can’t complain - 2006 has been great fun so far…


Sorry. Comments are closed.