March 16, 2005

Like a good ol' country lawyer, I'm hanging a sign on my door


Well, not really. At least, not fishing.

Nope, off to merry old England as of tomorrow morning. Just me, no wife, no kids, no car seats, no strollers, no diaper bags. Just me and a new book on the history of the Late Roman Empire I picked up last night in the bookstore. I will have 6 (or so) glorious economy class hours all to myself to read without interruption. I guarantee that this is the part of the trip my wife envies me the most for. I know that I have envied her that part when she has gone on business trips. Solitude. *sigh* I cannot wait for some solitude. Not too much, mind you, just a couple of hours.

Expected highlights of the trip to come:

*Dinner with Helen and Angus on Friday night! I am looking forward to this tremendously and am only sorry my wife cannot join us.

*A moment to pay my respects to the Laughing Cavalier (Franz Hals) at the Wallace Collection, where he lives. He is one of my all time favorite portraits:


I'm sure you can see why. Actually, permit me a slight digression. Among the things I love about this painting are the twinkle in his eye, like he is sharing a joke with us, not laughing at us and the gorgeous clothes he is wearing. I have read that Flemish painters in the 1600's, when this was painted, used to get their commissions from rich Flemish wool merchants and they were famous for providing stunning and luxurious fabrics to the rest of Europe. Such that, Flemish painters used their portraits, in part, as an advertisement for the Flemish fabric trade and painted these stunning clothes in these fabulous textures and colors -- rich brocade, deep velvets, heavy silks, etc. Next time you see a Flemish painted portrait of a well off woman, take a close look at the clothes. That depiction will knock you out. I promise.

*Lunch with my old fencing master! A very dear man, in his 70's now.

*Hanging out time with some of my bestest friends from law school, people who rented the other half of the house we lived in for 2 years.

*A visit to the National Portrait Gallery.

*A trip to the British Museum to see some treasured old pals: The Elgin Marbles; the Assyrian collection; the Magna Carta; and any other damn thing I want to see!

*A wedding on Sunday!

*Some time in the bookstores, getting my wife her perfume, maybe picking up a new tie or two if the exchange rate doesn't absolutely frighten me away first.

*and finally, walking around to my heart's content, taking pictures of the splendid buildings and just being happy about being in London.

When a man grows tired of London, etc.

Wish me a safe trip, if you would be so kind, and look for my reports next week.

Pax tibi!

Posted by Random Penseur at March 16, 2005 09:21 AM

Bon Voyage RP!!!!

Have a safe, FUN journey.

Tally Ho!

Posted by: Wicked H at March 16, 2005 09:28 AM

Quid pro quo! We leave for Greece on Friday, part of a group of 46 people. Best of luck to you, have a lovely time, and can't wait to read all about it when we get back!

Posted by: Mandalei at March 16, 2005 09:59 AM

sounds delightful!
enjoy every minute
travel safe

Posted by: standing naked at March 16, 2005 10:22 AM

Happy Londoning, RP. Here's hoping an incomplete brief doesn't land in your desk at 4:50 this afternoon.

Posted by: d at March 16, 2005 12:05 PM

in = on. Whatever... ;)

Posted by: d at March 16, 2005 12:06 PM

Tell Helen and Angus I said "hi"! Oh, and take lots of pictures of the Motherland while you're over there!

Btw, YOU had a fencing master? AWESOME! Another skill I regret never looks yet dangerous. They offer it at our health club; I really should look into it.

Enjoy and have fun. :-) Looking forward to your report; two of my fav bloggers meeting IRL. Wow!

Posted by: Amber at March 16, 2005 12:22 PM

Have a safe & enjoyable trip, RP! We'll miss you.

Posted by: GrammarQueen at March 16, 2005 12:38 PM

Wish I could tag along. I've always wanted to go to London with someone who knew their way around. As it stands right now, I'll be going to LaPlace, Louisiana instead. wahoo. Maybe next time.

Posted by: Howard at March 16, 2005 02:20 PM

Wishing you safe voyaging, a delightful trip and a happy return.

Posted by: Jim at March 16, 2005 04:20 PM

Here's wishing you a safe trip! May you come back with many happy memories! And cool stories!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at March 16, 2005 09:44 PM

First round's on you, right?

Hi Amber! *waves*

Posted by: Helen at March 17, 2005 04:24 AM

I echo each and every one of the previous sentiments -- and please do me the honor of hugging Helen's neck for me?

For your entire trip, I shall be writhing around in jealousy.

Posted by: Margi at March 17, 2005 04:41 PM

So jealous. Soooo jealous. Oh, jealous of the trip to England too. What was the title of the Roman history book? And was it any good?

Safe travels.

Posted by: JL at March 18, 2005 08:59 AM

Bon Voyage - and I hope you don't get that moron that always seems to plunk himself down next to me on flights - You know, the idiot that won't stop chattering incessantly?

Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2005 04:59 PM

I was about to envy you when I thought to myself: isn't London very wet towards the end of winter? Hope you enjoy the mueseum treasures and your friends. Hope you stay dry and return safely. Looking forward to reading your annecdotes.

Posted by: michele at March 19, 2005 09:00 PM

Michele, the weather has been so unbelievable. It's amazing. Sun, warm, people running around in shorts and miniskirts. We may never let our good luck charm RP leave!

Posted by: Helen at March 21, 2005 07:17 AM

Michele, the weather has been so unbelievable. It's amazing. Sun, warmth, people running around in shorts and miniskirts. We may never let our good luck charm RP leave!

Posted by: Helen at March 21, 2005 07:17 AM

Thanks for all the excellent comments. A full report will be forthcoming.

Posted by: RP at March 22, 2005 03:10 PM
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