Unfortunately the accident slowed us down, so we couldn't do anything in Notting Hill other than catch the tube back to the hotel to pick up our luggage. After that it was time to head to Oxford to visit with our friend Ted Dewan, his lovely wife Helen Cooper and their rather adorable daughter, Pandora. We arrived after dark, but got a quick tour of Oxford, which is quite a charming place. Then it was time for dinner.
And what a dinner it was. Ted invited over a couple of friends of his who wanted to meet Scott, and their wives. Hence we had dinner with the rather well known publisher David Fickling (every one we saw in England seemed to know him) and his wife Caro, and the very talented author Philip Pullman and wife Jude. I can not begin to tell you how great they all were. Witty, and charming, and very kind. I think I talked more than I should have, as they were really there to see Scott, but they were very gracious about it.
The food was great, and conversations were many and varied. I think my favorite moment was when all of them started talking about what was happening on a radio soap that has been on forever and that everyone listens to. It was all very gossipy, and when I asked what they were talking about, their answers' and their enthusiasm for the show was really fun to watch.
After dinner Scott did the end of his lecture for them, and Sky did her presentation, so it really was the "McCloud Hour". Philip ended the evening by giving us some of his books. I was upset that I had missed the beginning of this process, as I didn't find out till later that he had given us a newly illustrated copy of one of his books that I not only really loved when I read it, but that had a special significance to me because it was one of the first books that Sky really enjoyed and wanted to share with us. We all had taken turns reading it aloud, and Sky read it more than once, if my memory is correct. The book is The Firework-Maker's Daughter, and I am sad that I didn't get to tell him any of this.
All in all, a great night.
We spent the night in Oxford, got up late the next day, and then we were taken to an incredibly cool museum: Pitt Rivers Museum. The girls were in a bad mood, and had to be forced, once in things did not get much better. Then, I found an exhibit that had a stock (is there a singular of stocks?) in it. It confused me as it did not have a hole for a head, but it had four other ones. The tag that went with it made it clear that it was made for only one person, so we were very confused. Me, being me, I found a guard and asked him (turns out that is was built for two people, even though it was only used once, and by only one guy). The guard was great, knew his stuff, and knew an appreciative audience when he saw one. He kept coming back to show us more stuff. At this point the girls started to enjoy themselves and all of us were really sad that we had to leave after far too short a time.
Ted then took us to the airport, and we had to say good bye to England. I am so glad we got to go, but it was far to short a trip. We met so many really cool people, and got to see many people that we wish we could see much more of. I am very serious that some day Scott and I will move there. I was surprised at how much I love it there. And miss it.
The plane ride home was uneventful, which is good, and it was on Virgin Atlantic, which is better. Virgin rocks so hard. Great airline.
Today we have spent hanging out, trying to make reservations for the end of week, and doing laundry. Sky's friend Shara has arrived, and tomorrow we say good bye to her mom, then she is all ours. I am always surprised at just how long laundry takes. I started writing this post at around nine am, it is now, 39 minutes after midnight. Scott leaves in the morning, and I should sleep.
Good night all, and as it is after midnight: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOLLY! Haha, you are the same age as me now.