Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Monday, 09 September 2002

England is about the way I remembered it.

Long before I came to England the first time I had worked with people who were English and with Americans who had lived in England for an extended period. Each had an overlapping but different set of things that surprised or puzzled Americans in England. Between them, they pretty much covered the things I've run into, so it's now just about what I've come to expect.

Except that I still move to the right when encountering people on a sidewalk or in a hallway. Probably a good thing that I didn't rent a car.

We got in late on Saturday after one of those rare flights that is on-time, smooth and not crowded. One of those mythical flights, I had thought, but it really was. Maybe people don't like that schedule, or maybe other people are avoiding travel this week, but it was great for the plane to be more than half empty. The fact that the flight took about half as long as just the first leg of the trip to Singapore didn't hurt either.

Sunday we tested equipment and got things set up to do some testing. We also walked over to make sure we could find product testing. We also made sure we knew how to walk to the facility where we'd be testing--and a good thing we did, because we went quite out of our way the first time. When we finally found the place and then walked straight back it was suprising just how close it really was.

We had lunch at a the Curry House Restaurant, which says it is a Nepalese restaurant (and I'm not trying to cast doubt on that claim, but it seemed pretty much the same as an Indian restaurant to me). That was really good food. I wouldn't mind eating there again.

For dinner we tried to go to a pub called Pavlov's Dog. My collegue has the idea that crowded restaurants are likely to be the best, and it had a good crowd. It might even be good, but we didn't get to find out. Just as we were ready to order, the cook went on break. We got beers and hung out for forty-five minutes or so, but when we tried to order again, they said that the kitchen was closed and wouldn't be reopening. I have no idea what happened. Maybe the cook quit. Still, it was an interesting place: full of young smokers sending text messages on their cell phones, loud music videos being shown on screens throughout the pub. We ended up eating very expensive food in the hotel restaurant. (We're on expense accounts, of course, but I think we'd have been happier with the pub food.)

Jet lag hasn't been a problem. I slept poorly Saturday night, but finally got some sleep toward morning and had cleverly not set an alarm, so I was able to make the most of it. Last night I got to sleep at a reasonable time (local time) and slept straight through until my alarm got me up just in time for breakfast. I didn't feel groggy all day.

Not much fiction-writing news, although I did have an idea on the plane and made a brief note. It's not so much a story idea as just a bit of characterization expressed in a nicely sfnal way. Since there's still some time this evening, maybe I'll fiddle around with something else. More likely, though, I'll just watch some TV and then go to bed early.


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