Packing and wrapping up some last-minute chores before we fly to Ireland tomorrow morning.
Friends from Kentucky, Jamie & Carla, are arriving in London tonight, meeting us at Heathrow airport tomorrow morning, and flying to Ireland with us for my big birthday bash at Murphy's Pub in Killarney. In case you missed it in an earlier blog, my birthday is March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, I've never been to Ireland, I've never had a real Guinness Stout in an Irish pub, and I've never been 67 before. I plan to start remedying all those shortcomings, starting tomorrow, with help from Robin, Jamie, and Carla. I've been friends with Jamie since the 3rd grade, went to high school, church, and college with him for nearly 15 years. But I've never had a Guinness Stout with him. Especially not in Ireland. It's going to be epic.
I just wish James, my twin brother, could be here. And Emma Jean, my sister. And their families. And Jan & Willie. Shannon, Ces, Pat, Cliff, Julie, Dave, Roni... OK, I'm not leaving out more than 100 people, so I feel pretty good about that.
Last night another couple of friends from Kentucky showed up in London (what are the odds of that?) and trekked out to Uxbridge for the evening. Ross and Danby are on their way to a conference for computer programmers in Reading, north of here. Ross is one of the main presenters, speaking about Unicode. Don't ask, just be thankful you don't need to know what Unicode is. Ross created a page layout application called PageHand (he's since sold it to another developer) and he has a free Solitaire app, Eight Off, available on the iTunes App Store. Both Ross and Danby are involved in all aspects of theater work in Kentucky: acting, directing, vintage dancing, sound design, and heaven knows what else.
Ross and Danby have been a big part of fabulous Robert Burns Dinners in the past, a couple of which Robin and had the extreme pleasure of attending. If you haven't seen Ross recite Robert the Bruce's March to Bannockburn, or Danby recite Ode to a Haggis, you missed some grand and inspirational performances.
A reunion toast with Ross and Danby at The Metropolitan pub.
Today was class-day for Robin at Brunel University. There's always something happening on the main mall of the campus, such as above. I was scared to ask what this is about. I just know that it sooo does not remind me of Louisiana College, the Southern Baptist college that Jamie and I attended.
Robin and I stopped by a student exhibit of projects by PhD students. This is Sara from Iran. Her project is about investigating Friedreich's Ataxia (FRDA) molecular disease mechanisms. Shakespeare probably studied that in the Stratford grammar school. Heck, he probably taught it. He was a genius, you know.
An employee of the Mary Sidney Society, UK office, works late into the night.