Summer, so far.

YorkThis is York. I was in York with a friend who was visiting us from the US this month; it’s the third time I’ve been to York, partially because I will take any excuse, any excuse at all, to eat at J Baker’s Bistro. This place is definitely a destination restaurant, and while there are tons and tons of reasons to travel to York, it would be difficult for me to convince myself to eat somewhere else. So, so good. And reasonable. And right next to an excellent used bookstore. See? perfect!

This time I was also with a friend game enough to go to the Jorvik Viking Centre.  It’s full of animatronic Vikings, ancient medallions, and…authentic smells. Luckily, the friend I was with is a middle school admin and so is used to people breaking down into giggles at funny smells.  Also, she’s willing to giggle along. We hiked to the top of Clifford’s Tower for a gorgeous view of the town. And then wandered around the shops and various other historic type landmarks. It was great fun, and my Jorvik entrance is good for twelve months, so I have yet another excuse to go back!

Before York, though, I was at conferences in Hertfordshire and Portugal (first one…fine, second one…more fun, but exhausting). Both of them were…warm.  The weather here (up until this week) has been…well, unusual.  Super warm, a bit muggy, and not a drop of rain in sight. It was eerie, although I think I was the only one who had been programmed by her upbringing to get very twitchy at the mention of “lack of rainfall” and a “possible drought”; everyone else mostly seemed okay with the idea of a very dry summer!

I was also lucky enough to get invited to a Simon and Schuster “bloggers” event.  We watched a short presentation and got to listen to a roundtable discussion about publishing from a few of the Simon and Schuster editors and others. It was actually quite cool. Of course, we also got…free books! AND a bag to put them in.  A high-quality bag, I must mention, because it managed to cart home the 15+ books I grabbed without showing any sign of strain.  To top it off, I finally got to meet the guys who run Bookgeeks, AND I popped into the British Library on my way over.  Total success, I think.

Next, we’re off to Sri Lanka and phase two of my work project kicks off.  August and September are already looking very, very busy.