Generally when a trip takes 1 1/2 hours more than expected you don't consider it a boon, but in this case our overnight sleeper train arrived in Euston station from Aberdeen at 9:00am instead of 7:30 and we were grateful. Sleeping on a train does have its charms (although those don't include the shunting around from track to track in the middle of the night, banging into, evidently, other trains as well as tanks and mountain sides and any number of other large immovable objects), and the Caledonian Sleeper is no exception. We had our own teeny cabin complete with two bunks, four pillows, four blankets, and four fresh clean sheets, two towels and a sink. We also each had a teeny toiletry kit of toothpaste (somehow formulated to be particularly foamy but not particularly minty), disposable toothbrush, floss-pick, and tiny bit of water and plastic straw for rinsing. As you might imagine, there really wasn't all that much room left for us with all those luxuries, and particularly not for our giant, giant bags. Once we were safely in our beds, bags piled onto the floor and perched precariously on the shelves over our feet, we didn't even attempt a midnight trip to the loo.
And now here we are in London, staying with friends at the Quaker Meeting House (she's the Quaker in Residence in a lovely, light-filled basement apartment--sounds like a contradiction in terms but I swear it's true) in Hampstead.
I realize there are lots of things to see in London that I've never seen (the Docklands for instance--would that be interesting? I don't even know.), but I've been to London so many times that I forget that I don't know the city intimately, inside and out. And so instead of sightseeing we accomplish things--for example, Ian dropped off a pair of shoes at a cobbler to be stretched. And I saw a Neurolink specialist/Osteopath for a tune-up (he said my energy was very healthy and was impressed that I had no lurking viruses or bacteria or fungus after all the planes I've been on recently).
Today we're getting passport photos and Monday we're seeing other doctors for Ian's new application for a New Zealand visa--this application for residency directly.
We're also having dinner with friends, doing our laundry, and appreciating the use of a living room and WiFi, all at the same time.
I must apologize for a gap in our photos for the time being--Ian's older laptop decided it was tired of being lugged around and gave up the ghost a couple days ago. Most of our pics so far have been backed up in several places . . . but not the 200 most recently loaded up there. Which means that there's no more Edinburgh, and nothing else until Orkney. Pics would've included Highland cattle and calves, steep hill-sides with tea-colored streams racing and crashing down them, me talking on a cell phone to my mother standing at the base of a ruined castle in Tongue, and lots and lots (and lots) of sheep in green fields. And maybe an oreo cow or two, and maybe even a mime cow.
One thing I forgot to mention before when I talked about the Old Pulteney distillery tour--I'm going to grow some barley on Orcas, and see about making some. Of course, I shouldn't probably post this in a public forum. (While I'm typing away here Ian is hanging out the laundry--good man.)