Ketchup and Mustard

Not really any mustard. Mostly ketchup, because like a failure I haven't written all summer.

So, in no particular order:

My mum visited! It was lovely. We saw shows, bought clothes and books, and got tattoos. You know, all the usual stuff.

I wrote my portfolio. Not, I'm sorry to say, my best work. Between various vacations and so forth, I left it quite late, and had a lot of trouble approaching the assignment. Still, it's in, it's done, and I am basking in my weeks of nothing-to-do until it's time to move to my fall dorm.

I visited Char, Ella, and their gorgeous new baby, whom I will call Topsy. So cute, my friends! It seems bizarre that people my age are parents, but they are, and Char and Ella are quite good ones. We saw Hadrian's Wall and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

And Sharkytart came to visit! Sharkytart and I went to high school together ages and ages ago, and have been living in different countries (or at least different states) pretty much ever since. But we stay in really good touch now, and she came out for nearly a month. We did London, and Amsterdam (there is a hilarious story there about our inability to get stoned therein), and came back so I could do my Troilus Redux. And then we stayed with Poppasmart for a few days and went to a castle and wandered around all day wearing Robin Hood hats. You see why these people are my friends.

All in all, a wonderfully relaxing and supportive summer. I got to spend a lot of time with friends, something I haven't done enough since I moved to this side of the pond. I went to fun places and saw many good shows (the Globe's Troilus and As You Like It were both marvelous this year). And through it all I of course read a great many books and watched a fair bit of TV. For TV, I must recommend Castle to all those who haven't seen it; it cracks me up on a regular basis. As for books, I've been on quite the mystery kick (thanks, MOM) and made it through the Sebastian St. Cyr books, the Lady Julia Grey books, the first two Roderick Alleyn books, and today I finished the first Dame Frevisse book. Also the Earthsea quartet, and The Time Traveler's Wife, and a couple more Peter Wimseys. And some other stuff that I don't remember. Quick reviews: Sebastian St. Cyr (by C.S. Harris) gets an A for plot and a C for writing, averaging to a B; Lady Julia Gray (Deanna Raybourn), also a B; Roderick Alleyn (Ngaio Marsh) C+; Dame Frevisse (Margaret Frazer) A-; Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin) B+; Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffeneger) the same; Peter Wimsey (Dorothy Sayers) A-. The movie of Time Traveler's Wife gets a C-, though; that was not nearly as good as the book.

And that is what I did this summer. On the whole, delightfully refreshing, even if England couldn't work up a good day of sun since the end of May.