Okay, be calm. No need to panic. Have to finish the dissertation this week, so really should not be writing blog posts at all. But I was without Internet access for the last two days and almost died from the withdrawal symptoms.

I wanted to thank everyone, though, who wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday. I got some lovely and thoughtful texts and emails and e-cards and G-talk voice messages. ("Yes, I love technology . . . ") My favorite, though, has to be the Google video of The Precious singing Happy Birthday in the manner of an indentured servant who is routinely forced to sing while putting on pajama bottoms. It kind of made me bark like a seal.

Because Lady J had to go up to the Lake District to do geology things, she dropped me off at the Preston Temple on Monday. So I worked on my laptop in the accommodations, and then the next day I did temple work during the day and worked on my bibliography for 4 hours in the evening before she came to get me. And then my dried-out eyes fell out of their sockets.

Observations about the Preston Temple:

  • It is beautiful there. Of course.
  • It was Scottish week or something, and it turns out Scottish people are loud compared to English people. Everywhere I went there were Scots calling out things like "It was rrrrrainin' yesterrrrday!" and cooking really smelly fish and saying words that I could not even make out.
  • The cafeteria food at Preston is naff. My choices for lunch were soggy macaroni & cheese, a dessicated pork slab, or lukewarm chicken in an indeterminable red sauce. The dessert was supposed to be rhubarb crumble but looked like brown vomit. So. Happy Birthday to me. At the London temple they have this retired French chef serving a mission there, so you get things like lobster bisque and turkey with tarragon and profiteroles there.

But I'm not too bitter, because Sunday night Lady J made this amazing warm chocolate mascarpone cheesecake. It's made with double cream and egg whites and ground almonds and dark Belgian chocolate and I kind of wanted to make out with it right there. SO good. And more like a really rich brownie thing than a cheesecake. I would show a picture but that new Beta Blogger is on my craplist right now. It won't work with Picasa AND it won't let me post comments on blogs that haven't updated to Beta yet. What the heck is that about???? Anyway, I've been eating the cheesecake for breakfast with sliced bananas and double cream on top. Will have to buy all new clothes soon.

Other highlights:

Have booked a 75-minute massage for Friday afternoon. Could not be more excited.
Have booked trim and highlights for Monday. Ditto.
Wicked is in 3 days. There are no words.


The McCulloch Family said... [reply]

wow. I think you should bring a cooler with ice and a piece of that cheesecake home with you. I probably need it.
And happy bday. I'm sure we'll be singing happy birthday to you at our house for at least the next few months.

noelle feather said... [reply]

Um, wait. Didn't you already see Wicked since you've been there?



And, update to Beta Blogger--is EVERYONE supposed to do that now?

PS, Happy late birthday!

JB said... [reply]

Happy belated birthday! :)

I'm with you on the Scots thing. I was living in England for three months before I lived with some scots for my last week. I thought I had the British accents down pretty well until then, but they said so many things that I just couldn't make out. And then there are words like "ken," which means "to know." How was I supposed to figure that one out?

Good luck with the dissertation.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Everyone, I'm really sorry about the Blogger Beta thing. It's making everything complicated and I didn't realize it was going to do that. I've already had a few people email to say that the world is being deprived of the funny comments they tried to post today.

Noelle, sorry if I was vague earlier. I bought the tickets back in June, but the show isn't until this Saturday. And have I been counting down . . .

Thanks JB! I'm glad you feel me on the Scots. They were all lovely and friendly, but I only caught about every third word. :-)

Absent-minded Secretary said... [reply]

I, too, am finding nothing happy about beta blogger. But, happy belated birthday.

noelle feather said... [reply]

So, must I get on the beta blogger bandwagon? Or can I let it pass completely?

blackjazz said... [reply]

If you haven't already done so, you need to read Bill Bryson's account of going into a pub in Glasgow. It was in a seedy area and everybody looked threatening. I remember reading it on holiday in a hotel in Gran Canaria and laughing so much it hurt. His inability to understand anything they were saying but imagining they were threatening him is so priceless.

Don't imagine that the problem is yours alone - I can't understand some strong Scots accents. And the problem extends to some Geordies and Liverpudlians. Try listening to Wayne Rooney - he needs sub-titles when he's interviewed on TV.

Scully said... [reply]

One of my funniest memories of my stay in London involved one of the other study abroaders being ambushed on a train back from Glasgow by a Scotsman drinking whiskey out of a can and regaling her with the tragedy of when the Germans betrayed the Scots in the 1700s. It seemed to be a long, involved story, but the above is all we understood. Especially once the whiskey took effect and he started crying about said tragedy. Loudly.

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