Happy birthday to me! I have a bad tendency to get moody, introspective and a little depressed on my birthday, so I usually try to make plans to avoid that. Last year, I was at WorldCon and got serenaded in public twice (once by Larry Niven) and then had dinner with my agent after moderating two panels. I can't top that this year, but I am going to brunch with friends and then to see the latest Terminator movie at the dollar theater, probably followed by ice cream. The dance store is near the movie theater, so I may get wild and crazy and get a second leotard and maybe even one of those gauzy dance skirts, since I'm going into my second year of ballet. I think I'll also hit Borders while I'm there. There was already a 40 percent off coupon for the week, but then they sent me a 15 percent off birthday coupon. I wonder if I can use them both at once on two separate items. I'm suddenly craving a good chick lit book. I haven't read one in ages, and they're awfully rare. The few that are still being published are by the big names who survived the glut and bust, so they're in hardback. But I have heard of one that sounds like my thing, so I'll have to see if they have it.
I got a bit of an early birthday present yesterday when I got yet another peaceful swimming session. The storms the night before had strewn delicate pink and white crepe myrtle blossoms in the water, and the effect was rather spa-like. Or maybe like the forest pond where the fairy princess is swimming when the knight who's been lost in the woods appears. Or maybe it's the lagoon where the mermaid swims. The one annoying thing is that the mailboxes are by the pool, and one of my neighbors stopped to say hi and chat as he went by to get his mail, and he totally broke the fairy princess mermaid magic (since he definitely wasn't a knight lost in the woods).
Not that I have a vivid imagination, or anything. (And can one become too old to daydream about being a fairy princess swimming in a flower-strewn forest pond?)
So, on to the virtual vicarious vacation. We're still in England in October 2000, but these shots aren't from any particular day and aren't in any order. They're just some random pictures I thought were interesting.
First, Doctor Who fans might recognize this building in Warwick, as it played an Elizabethian London street in the episode "The Shakespeare Code." When I saw the video diary for the shooting of that episode on the DVD and they showed that they were in Warwick and how they were dressing the medieval buildings to create the street scene, I realized I'd been there.
Then, I've got a couple of nice, scenic shots that aren't of any tourist attraction but that just show the country. On my first day in England, while I was walking off jet lag, I captured an utterly idyllic moment on the Thames, somewhere between Iffley and Oxford.
And then there's the Cotswolds countryside. The walking paths cut across farms, which took me aback at first (I kept thinking, "If I tried this in Texas, I'd get shot."), but I am a former farm girl, so once I realized I wouldn't get in trouble, I rather enjoyed getting entirely away from the roads and really being out in the country. This whole area was just breathtakingly lovely.