Sunday, June 24, 2007

Muse of Muse

Yes, the muse has to have her own muse. Er, mews. A regular florilegium is Saffron: She never fails to fully digest the flowers I bring home. Currently she has one cabriole paw curled over the top of the laptop screen and is winking down at me as I type.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Today I have PLD (Post London Depression). I don't know if it is brought on by the jet lag, or by the stifling heat of the Southern summer, or perhaps by the sheer emptiness of this place this time of year but it feels dead dead DEAD everywhere and I want to go back.

Thankfully I ought to have my hands full with packing and schlepping and moving. And writing. But for some reason I haven't schlepped or packed a single thing, and I've only written a few hundred words.

Maybe I'm experiencing urban withdrawal and need another week to adjust. Maybe I just miss my friends and don't know when I'll see them again. In any case, I'm sad and lonely and bored here, and I'm not due for another visit to Montreal until August.

Time to write the book. Because there's really nothing else to do.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I've been in the UK for over a week now and have gotten completely assimilated. Life here would be lovely, temperate and blissful- If I only had twice as much money, or more. And didn't have to work. I'm currently in Oxford with my friends Dearest B and the evil twin, enjoying a much needed visit to planet academia with people I haven't seen in a year and a half. Soon I'll have tea and catch up with faustus. Apparently everyone is on facebook but me, where they throw sheep and soup at one another contentedly.

In London I've seen two Mozart operas, two shakespeare plays, and two early modern manuscripts at the British Library. I've also eaten the best curry in my life and some very good Turkish food, and encountered people who have actually heard of the university where I teach, which, in London and Oxford is a miracle in and of itself.

More proper blogging later, I just wanted to post a quick update and let everyone know all was well. Please send money.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I leave for London the day after tomorrow. At the moment I'm drawing up a research and writing plan: I need to figure out what to do with my first chapter, whether I want to toss it and rewrite it entirely with a new argument about the same old text, or whether there are salvageable bits; I need to finish researching and writing my final chapter.

But the reading rooms of the British library aren't open all night long and they're closed on Sundays. Plus it can take up to half a day to get the books I need and I can only look at manuscripts until 5pm.

So I'll have some time to do a little exploring. I've spent lots of time in London, but I always stayed out of the way in Crouch End with my family friends. This time I'll be in Bloomsbury. I don't feel as if I know London particularly well. It's so big. The only place in the UK I know really well is Oxford, and that's because I lived there for a year and then dated someone there for almost two years. But back to London: I'm planning on doing some London walks, and already have plans to see an Opera with my mom's best friend, visit family friends, catch up with Oxonians and catch Othello at the Globe. And a pilgrimage to Ormonde Jayne, my favorite perfumer, which has a tiny shop in the Royal Arcade between Albemarle and Old Bond street and makes otherwordly scents out of black hemlock and violet and coriander, and of course I'll hang out in Islington and the East End. But I was wondering if any of my loyal readers (do you still exist?) who have much more London knowledge than I do, might want to make some suggestions of places off the beaten path for me to explore whilst there. Am I missing anything great? What are your London secrets that you don't mind divulging? Where is the best curry? What's your favorite pub? Which parks are hidden and beautiful?