Ugh, I feel like I'm going to barf. I've had a great weekend. Mischa visited yesterday and we hung out with Sarah, and I realized that the two of them constitute my first and only qualified visitors at Oxford thus far. (That's not why I'm going to barf, it's just a relevant part of the story.) Emma was technically the first, but she arrived post-Croatia with just enough time for a drink, a chat in the hallway with Erika and Abby, a glorified nap, and a mini-brunch before flying back to New York. The Republican who I had the brief thing with during my junior year of college was going to be the second when he passed through Oxford for an afternoon, but then he missed the train and accidentally stood me up at the station for an unexpectedly manic-depressive morning two days before my exams. (I was very emotionally and hormonally imbalanced around that time. The upside is that I was totally right, and something clicked and he's not a Republican anymore.) Barring those asterisks and the fact that Sarah's actually doing research, this was a milestone.
So Sarah and I hit up Wimbledon, and Mischa was in London and very, very kindly sacrificed a day to bum around Oxford with yours truly. It was a magical week of pseudovacations. Mischa and I went to the French Market on Gloucester Green, got vegetarian pies and minty peas at Pie Minister, soaked up the sun and walked around Christ Church Meadow, then met up with Sarah at the KA and went out for Lebanese on the Cowley Road. (And then Mischa had to go back to London and I had to meet my neighbors, who are 8th and 9th grade girls who appear to be determined to keep me from getting a shower before noon for the rest of July.)
And then I had a leisurely brunch in St. Peter's with Sindiso this morning and debated whether a ban on Disney while raising children would also impair their sense of fun and play, and then I went off to the Cowley Festival, which was AWESOME. I had already eaten lunch, but all of the restaurants had stalls outside and I saw sticky rice with coconuts and I was like, well, if you insist. I walked down the length of the road, stopping only to listen to a woman folk out on a guitar and to this shockingly good rock band composed entirely of what appeared to be twelve year olds. I ran into one of my students, who deserves extra credit points for being so cool, and then they had a farmer's market and there was a West Indian pastry stand, and I asked what was in one of the cakes, and the woman said it was raisins and coconuts. It turns out that the actual answer was butter, with a slight sprinkling of raisins and coconuts to taste. I should have paced myself when I picked it up and it occurred to me that I could throw it through a window if I passed any anti-globalization riots on the way back, but I just ate it. I'd say that was the turning point, but then I went to the gym, and had to stop running on the treadmill because my insides hurt. And then I inexplicably went to dinner and the woman was like, I made trifle! and I was like, great, I've never had trifle! and that was what I'd call a mistake.
And that's why I had such a great weekend that I might throw up, except I think there's a girl in my shower.