Came home from Australia Sunday in part because I had a workshop to attend Tuesday-Wednesday, which means I once again did the “give three talks in three weeks on three continents” thing, which I had done once before–in fact, the last time I went to Singapore, two years ago. That time it was US-UK-Singapore, this time it was Singapore-Australia-UK. In either case, giving the third talk on that much jet lag is a b*tch. But it went okay and it’s over now and today I spent the day holed up in my flat editing the last half of my soon-to-be-released book. I had gotten quite a bit of it done while on the road, and sent in the first few sets of corrections from Singapore, but then my fun times in Oz interrupted me and I did not get back to it until now. So I told myself that if I cancelled the few meetings I had today and did nothing but that, it would be a day well spent. Hooray. Done. At 9 something pm with breaks during the day to check the cricket scores.
Most amusing thing about the workshop here at “home” was the delightful woman I met. She was a retired researcher in her 90s (!) who had spent time at Yale in the 40s and 50s (!) and then made her research career here in the UK. Anyone who knows me well at all will know that OF COURSE this was the person I would end up talking to. I am soooooo much about the chatting with older ladies. (In fact, it inspired me to call my own nonagenarian grandmother today in one of my editing breaks.) And she was delightful in the way that I find older ladies to be delightful. Full of stories about being a young and female researcher in the days when that was not so very common. Full of sympathy when I confessed that I’d had a tough time socially (bloggers aside, although I did not tell her that) since coming to the UK. She actually said, “I apologise to you on behalf of my country” which was so very sweet.
The funniest thing was when she all the sudden looked at me and said, “I cannot believe the way these girls today dress for a professional meeting.” I giggled, and said something about how I hoped she did not mean me. (I was in a black trouser suit with a demure top.) She said, “Yes, I knew I could say that to you because you were not one of them.” I cracked up. Yes, it’s summer, and as such, there was a fair bit of flesh on display by the females in the audience, even those presenting at the workshop. I told her that I didn’t think it would fly in the states, that it seemed to me to be a uniquely British thing. I was, of course, secretly delighted at having my opinions on the subject confirmed by a local.
Normal day in the office tomorrow, then the weekend to catch up on the rest of the laundry and other domestic chores. I’ve been so bad lately about getting groceries that I’ve even been getting used to drinking black coffee when I’m out of milk. This has GOT to stop. But, as usual, I cannot complain about my adventures, both here and abroad.