Anyway, this is just a fly-by post to confirm that I'm still here in spirit, but I'll mention that I did take a quick break from marking to go to a book launch in Cambridge last week, for this book (to which I contributed a chapter on counterfactual histories). Here I am with the editors, Clémentine and Maria (plus mutual friend Eve), looking perhaps a little gormless but friendly enough:
I had lunch with Clémentine the next day, and mentioned that my Air B'n'B was cheap and central but pretty basic - which was reflected in the price. In particular it was rather cold, but I'd read that in the online reviews beforehand and packed an extra vest, so that was okay. "That's the most British thing I've ever heard," she said, or words to that effect. On reflection, though, I'm not sure whether she meant:
a) I am cheap enough to book somewhere I know to be uncomfortably cold
b) I wear vests in cold weather (and socks with sandals in the heat, no doubt)
c) I am always prepared - dib dib!
d) I am admirably stoic
Possibly all four. It was a nice lunch, anyway - Clémentine and I always seem to click - but all too soon I had to trundle my overnight case through the fenland rain back to the station, and thence to a trainload of marking.
Going down for the third time...