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Places I have stayed overnight away from home this year. * = more than one stay, non-consecutively.

Catford, London
Hebden Bridge, W Yorks
Hindringham, Norfolk*
Chiswick, London*
Billingshurst, W Sussex*
Tamworth, Staffs
Newquay, Cornwall
Wrexham, Wales
Islington, London
Los Angeles, CA, USA
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA*
Big Sur, CA, USA
Birmingham, West Midlands
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So back from a snowy Birmingham to a snowy Outer London. The new house is very nice - better than the other ones she's looked at. About the same size of mine but a better layout even if rather oddly the kitchen / dining room leads sideways on to the living room which in turn has the staircase in it (behind a door at the back) - makes me wonder what the original layout was if it was different. This is Kings Heath and a pleasant place it is too. Went into Birmingham proper to go to the German Market which is along New Street and into Victoria Square. Had the usual discussion as to why I don't want to go and live there (because everyone else I know, pretty much, is in London). Put up pictures - do not feel smug that I know the proper procedure for putting in a picture hook and she doesn't, although I am apparently unsocialised for not washing my hands before I start cooking. Does everyone? My hands would usually be clean anyway, if they were dirty I would have washed them. But we got on fine actually.

Did some writing also using the eee, which was good. And read some KJ Parker - I think I was getting confused with KJ Bishop - I've read 'The Etched City' and for some reason associate it with reading on the bus going down Kings Road. However KJ Parker is someone else.

Back from New Street today - chaos felt implied though in fact although the train I was booked on was cancelled, there was an earlier train delayed to the start time of 'my' train and they accepted tickets on that (they'd have to as my specific-train ticket was for a service that wasn't operating). 'Implied' chaos because in fact I got home at the time I was supposed to according to the timetable.
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So that's an eleven hour flight on one of Virgin Atlantic's A340-600s. That was a very long time - yes there is a back-of-seat screen and headphones so I watched some TV and listened to some music but also wrote another chapter of the NaNovel which is now up to 28014 words.
Then US border controls take hours to queue up for - they take the fingerprints and photo of every passenger. Border official was dubious about my passport photo which although it was taken only 8 years ago doesn't look much like me. Still, am in - in the US for the first time ever.
LA airport (LAX) - globalisation hits home as the Star$ucks is of course exactly like a Star$ucks back home. Still, iced coffee. I am now staying in the La Quinta hotel near the airport. Basic but ok. Supper was salmon with balsamic salad. Looking forward to breakfast. There is even a proper coffee filter jug in the room - a step up (or sideways) from a kettle and teabags.
Tomorrow, off northwards, and final destination (the day after that) Big Sur.


Feb. 25th, 2009 08:58 pm
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- the flats I used to live in on Carrer de les Sitges are still there and have a record shop on the ground floor
- we stayed in a flat on a busy street near Entenca that luckily got less traffic at midnight
- the ten-trip tickets on the Metro can be used by multiple persons (what a good idea!)
- I seem to have volunteered to redesign a bed and breakfast's website (though it isn't bad at present, at least no Pointless Flash)
- revisiting old haunts it was almost like I hadn't been away
- I mostly spoke Spanish though managed Catalan on occasion
- my camera didn't survive the trip but may be repairable and at least broke on the last day, so I have pictures of the Rambla, the Sagrada Familia, the covered market, etc.
- drank a lot of coffee and not much alcohol
- the new airport building is very long when you don't have much time to get to the departure gate.


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