Last night was lovely. Our babysitter was game for the two little ones, and Sydney and I ran off to get a bite before our concert. Since we didn’t have enough time for a sit-down dinner, and all of the sandwich shops were closed, we went to Marks & Spencer (an upscale grocery) and bought a salad, a sandwich, a pile of cherries, and three desserts to eat on a bench along the Christ Church meadow. We laughed at ourselves for, once again, buying too much food, but we managed to polish it off.
The concert was great: I was really happy to hear Mozart’s clarinet concerto, one of my favorite pieces of music, and we also got to hear Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto. The concert was in the Sheldonian, one of Oxford’s iconic buildings. But, to be honest, we were just thrilled to be anywhere where we could hear good music and not be interrupted by little shrieks or cries. We were an easy audience 🙂
This afternoon I polished off my dissertation and ordered hard copies to send to my advisors. Much as I loved being able to make a mammoth final push through the material, helping the major pieces fit together, I am thrilled to now turn my attention to other things. As is the rest of my family.
I’ve taken notes from Grandma Penner, who is great at remembering to bring small, intriguing items to distract Katherine in church or on trains, planes, and automobiles, and I’ve been hoarding some things in the past few weeks. Her owl backpack is currently filled with a small box with raisins, some of her favorite oat crackers, a water bottle, a bottle of crayons, a coloring/sticker book, a game of magnetic checkers, some new books, and I’m keeping back some other bottles-with-small-items (buttons, straws, elastic bracelets, cereal, etc.) to dole out as needed. Tomorrow I’ll hunt up some good snacks, preferably ones that take a long time to eat and that Katherine can consume without help from me. One thing I didn’t anticipate on this trip was needing to pack a lot of entertainment for Nathaniel, but I think I’ll have to put some effort into that one. He’s gotten very interested in touching, eating, and lunging for items recently, and I think I may have my hands full keeping him occupied! I also have big lists made to help me remember the important things: passports, tickets, wallet, diapers, wipes, etc., since I don’t trust my current mental abilities farther than I can throw the double-decker buses that are so popular around here.