In the past, I have prided myself on getting through jet lag pretty swiftly and easily, and this time around seemed to be no exception--except, I noticed by mid-weekend, that I kept staying up ridiculously late. 1 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m.--later and later each night, in fact. Knowing that letting myself then sleep eight hours would be a recipe for disaster (or at least a lengthily deranged sleep schedule), I kept forcing myself to get up by 7:30 or 8. And finally, yesterday afternoon as I took the train up to my office, it started to hit me that I was exhausted. I managed to stay awake until about 8:30, when I fell asleep on my couch. By the time I woke up at 9:22, I wasn't sure whether 9:22 meant a.m. or p.m. Somehow I got myself to bed, only to sleep until nearly 8:30 a.m. And so today felt slighly less off-kilter.
I find myself wanting to tell you everything and not knowing where to start. Should I start with the thrill this sign provoked in me the other day, as I walked the half-mile to the local food (and awesome everything else) emporium around the corner from my house?
My heart leapt up like that iconic woman there. I must look as if I'm high on something much of the time here; I know I'm walking around smiling at everything, from fancy chocolates to exquisite and strange salad dressings to bottles of elderflower pressé whose labels say "You're lovely." For real.
The groceries on this table are so local that the wild rocket from Warwickshire counted as being from far away: most of these things are from this county or the next one over.
Or should I tell you, instead, about taking an evening walk, thinking that I'd just follow an estuary-side trail
around its two-mile loop back to where I live, and instead finding my way down a path
to fabulous and thoroughly organized and provided-for birdwatching spaces (like this hide)
where simply sitting still and listening to other people for fifteen minutes got me started learning about what kinds of birds are congregating here, and what the impact of another marsh's drying up has been, and where the curlews are gathering, and when the plovers arrive, and how one kind of bird will slip in amongst another and arrive with it in its wing-flashing glide into shallow waters?
Or the strangeness of metering something so wrong that the image comes out 100% more interesting than it should have done?
It really was this young cow who took the day, in the end: we startled each other a tiny bit beside this fence, and then we both kept doing what we'd been doing (he: eating, I: photographing) but also examining each other, at the same time.
I had to hold myself back from trying to pat the cow, who reminded me so much of a very large dog.
And then there was the other cow, the one who was more skittish and skeptical--and farther from the tasty ivy.
And then I was back home and talking on the telephone to my beloved parents and eating dinner and gearing up to stay up too late one more night in a row.
Fortunately, given the things I need to do tomorrow, last night's crashing out early seems to be setting in again tonight.