But first a pit stop in San Francisco where (except for a few fantastic meals out), I spent the entire weekend like this, chatting with my friend Jules and catching up on life.
Laurie, Imants and Jules are some of my dearest and longest friendships on the planet. The kind you can flop down and rest in, which is probably why I didn't stray far from the couch.
Here's a bit of a rude awakening-no latin classes required. As jobs go, I have a magnificent one which was made all the more obvious when we hopped into a cab and saw this. Dear God, the fact that you have to address puke in your work place would be clue enough for me to choose another career (and no I didn't incur the vomit charge)!
Fast forward a few days and I awoke alone and hugely contented in my brother's little village house. I padded down the stairs and was momentarily puzzled at the vision of no kettle on the stove. It took me a moment to switch my US circuitry to UK and remember that all kettle's in Britain are on the counter. They sit there in a perpetual state of readiness waiting to serve their masters at the flip of a switch, by rapidly bringing water to scalding point for the greatest ritualistic healing of all time.....tea.
We'd met my brother's neighbour in the pub the night I arrived (as you do) and post pint, while he played sherpa, Jackie kindly handed over a welcome gift of freshly jarred Plum Jam. "It's not set properly" she advised, but as my tea steeped, I poured the scrummy runny gift on top of my freshly buttered toast and crawled back into bed grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
Hmmmmm, I wonder what her next gastronomic delight will be, pickled onions perhaps? I see a Ploughman's Lunch in my future.