Tonight is the start of another long weekend. It is a beautiful evening -- sunny and warm. I took the long way home today. I walked up Duke Street, east on Oxford to James/Thayer/Marylebone High Street up until Paddington and then up Gloucester to home. The pubs were packed and their patrons filled the sidewalks so much so that I had to go on to the street to continue my walk. I enjoyed seeing so many people out and about, but I got a bit sad knowing that I am here by myself and going to be returning to an empty flat. If I were more like my husband, I would walk in to some pub and strike up a conversation and make new friends. That's just not me.
On my way home I went into Daunt Books and browsed for a while. I bought two books, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu The Turkish Embassy Letters, and the winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Prize, The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber. Yesterday I was excited to find Cherie Blair's autobiography in paperback, Speaking for Myself which I have looked for in the states but never found. Diane Rehm conducted an interview with her in 2008/09 time frame when the book was first published, and I've waited for the paperback version, to no avail back home. I think I have enough reading material for the next three weeks.
Today proved interesting. I began my training in American Citizen Services of the Consular section. Learning their system will be a challenge. The process is not very intuitive for me. But by the end of the day, I was able to work on some simple tasks without supervision. The guys that I shadowed today are really good. I got to observe them saying to parents, "Congratulations, you have met the requirements to transmit citizenship and your child is now recognized as an American citizen." Powerful and meaningful. I don't think giving that news would get old.
I think Kew Gardens is on tap for tomorrow. The forecast is for sun and warmth. And since it might rain on Sunday and Monday, I should get my outside time in sooner rather than later. The Victoria and Albert might be my destination on Sunday. Monday I will be sticking around the neighborhood as I have my ear doctor appointment after lunch.
If Selim and Nedim were here, we would be having family cuddle time on the couch, watching soccer. There are many games on tonight. I've got the Bulgaria/England match on now. I'm missing the shout outs in Turkish, the warm little body next to me, sprawled in the middle of the couch, pushing Nedim and I off to the sides.