A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

After my mother’s birthday and convocation celebrations on November 1st, we were in full travel mode, leaving for London on November 4th. The first couple of days in London were spent at the King’s Cross Hub where our amazing LISTedTECH board of directors wrapped up the year and made ambitious plans for the year ahead.

I have to admit that I didn’t fully feel my usual ‘happy Europe mood’ even though the team pub-crawled through the oldest London pubs sampling ale and gin by the bucket full or so it seemed. I was partly waiting for my parents-in-law (PILs 🙂 ) to safely arrive in London, but I think I was also feeling the November blahs. I thought my new routine would alleviate these awful change of season feelings, but I simply could not shake them off. By chance, even though my PILs’ plane was delayed several hours and the first day’s scheduled activities went down the drain, the sun came out (even if only for brief moments) on our first day of real outings and our visit of the city has only gotten better by the day.

From walking on Regent street to them visiting St. Paul’s while I attended a British school’s jazz concert, going to the Tower of London and getting the Ravenmaster himself (a funny and quite charismatic guy) guide us through the vast complex (oh, and he signed my copy of his book!!), attending sung vespers at Westminster and then walking up and down Strand and Fleet streets, ending at the Globe and quickly stopping at Tate Modern, the November blahs are slowly dissipating as I am seeing the city through the neophyte eyes of my PILs.

I’m also reading a couple of good books (Nine Perfect Strangers & The Ravenmaster, of course) and writing many postcards as always. My actual writing is on hold, however. Publishing a book has never been part of my life goals per se. Writing is and I think always will be. A book just sort of got put together regarding the story of our travels around the world and then I incorporated into it my own story. Maybe I should not have added my own background story to our travels or maybe I should not have written a book at all, but I have learned an important lesson and that is that one should never ask friends and/or colleagues to read one’s work. Nothing good can come of it! Whatever comments you receive (and that is if you receive comments at all), you will never be happy. They will invariably make you feel awful since you will always analyze what they say in the most negative and defeatist way and that’s if they don’t come right out and say “hey, nice writing but who in the world would even want to read this?”

But writing aside, and if I still have your attention haha, off we are to Stonehenge tomorrow. I may not be writing a book about it, but I will certainly try to internalize the spiritual vibes floating around and hopefully be able to keep some with me to ward off those possible future vexing comments on my writing 🙂

After 17 days in rainy season Japan, here we are in an Asian resort with sun and sand at our feet; not to mention actual beds!! But, as always, after a couple of days, once we have sampled all the activities and gone to the pool a few times, we get bored. I am an avid reader so one would think I would love to sit on the beach or by the pool to read, but here are the problems with doing this: 1) need to find a shady spot, 2) even in shady spot, I burn, 3) need to find lots of potable water (coconut is great, but can be pricey and really, there just isn’t space for this large fruit on my small lounge chair), 4) need to find close toilet (and this is a whole other problem when one has a fitted one-piece suit, especially one that tucks in certain less aesthetic body parts), and not to forget, 5) sand everywhere!!!

So, you can imagine that after a couple of days, I’m ready to move on. This time, I tried to stretch my activities on the resort by having a lengthy body massage (in a proper spa room) the first day, meeting some employees of Justin’s on the second day (in a mall where we also went early to see a movie!), going to the gym with my son the third day and fifth day, taking two-hours dinners in a different restaurant every night and also taking long detours wherever we need to go. And, even though I am working for a few hours every day as well as reading books, I have never seen so many cooking episodes on TLC. I can truly say that I am fully ready to go home, red skin and all.

But don’t get me wrong, the resort is quite nice and they do offer many activities, I am just not one to go snorkeling, boating or fishing. And leaving the resort can be a bit scary. It did remind us of certain parts of India and our 14 km taxi ride took over an over in overcrowded, unkept roads. I probably would not come back here unless I was traveling to a destination in close proximity to Cebu, but if I were to come back, this resort is the perfect getaway… for a few days. And I must say that Filipinos are very charming and welcoming; this, I will actually miss!