|Nov. 11th, 2014 @ 06:17 pm Starting to say goodbye to Europe|
I'm deep in go-live, scoping, and working on my next project and having to pack up my apartment. Having to pack up my apartment is the big thing, really. That's what tells me that I'm moving back to New York, that I'm leaving London.
I've been living London since the first of February and living in Elektron Tower since the 1st of March. I'm going to miss it. It's not the worst place to live; the flat is bright and sunny with a view of the Thames. It's close to work and easy to get into more central parts of London.
Still, it's time to start saying goodbye to London and Europe, which is really the part that I want to address here. Not London itself though. I'll write more about that anon. No, these are a few memories of my times in Europe. I like Europe, I do, and one of the great things about being in London is that it's easy to get there, even for a weekend. And through fandom and filk I know a lot of people all over. I'm very fortunate in that so many of them were willing to show me around their cities and often host me in their homes while I was visiting from here in London. I hope that when I'm back in New York I get to return the favor and show all of the people mentioned below the beaches of Long Island, the hills and trails of the Hudson Highlands, and the streets of New York City. I hope that that they'll want to come. So, here are some treasured memories of Europe, in chronological order.
Clara (and Jay, but mostly Clara) showed be around Edinburgh and also Stirling Castle and I also go a bonus Jette (this was also where my passport went walkabout, but it was still a great time). I've been to Scotland for Interthingy in 2005, but this was my first time in the lovely city of Edinburgh. And yes, I want to go back!
I got to go back to Switzerland for the first time since I lived in Zürich in 2008. I got to visit & stay with Claudia, Hanspeter und ihre Kinder und Katzen. We went to Gruyères and ate amazing fondue and walked around Schwarzsee, both lovely places that I'd never been. I wish I'd had more time to hike around there. I did some amazing hiking when I lived in Switzerland. Why, yes, I want to go back there, too.
Selene (who I reconnected with at Loncon 3) invited me to come and stay with her and visit her adopted city of Lyon. I've never been before and we had a great time. It was a warm weekend when I was there, and sunny. There was beer and wine and tasty, tasty food and Roman ruins as well! She even put up with my idea of what to do in a city, which is walk for hours and hours and hours to see it all on foot. And there's still more of the city to see!
Adj came in to London for her birthday and to see Kate Bush, and we went off to Paris for the weekend (well, I was there the weekend. She stayed longer because she used to live there and had friends to visit). It was great to be back in the City of Light. I haven't been there since I lived in Zürich. We didn't see many of the big touristy sites, instead getting to places that I, at least, had never been, like Montmarte and Pigalle. Sharing a meal with a friend outdoors in a Paris café is one of the great joys in life.
Sofia, a Swedish fan I met for the first time at Worldcon, lives in Malmö and she also offered to put me up on her sofa for a weekend. (As with the visit to Switzerland, it involved cats jumping on me in the middle of the night, but that's not a bad thing) Too short a visit, as always, but I really enjoyed the time we had walking around Malmö and Copenhagen. I'm kind of amazed at home much I could read of Swedish and Danish filtered through my German. Understanding it, though? Not so much. (Although I might want to learn some Swedish by June...) It was my first time in both Sweden and Denmark and oh, yes, I want to go back to both places.
Finally, there was a weekend trip with the rest of the tech team to Dublin. This trip involved rather more alcohol than the other weekends (3 consultants go to Dublin, where one of the big tourist attractions is the Guinness Storehouse). And music. And laughter. And seeing the Book of Kells.
I'm going to miss Europe. Yes, it's far from my family (especially my boys), but I generally like the pace of life here (even in London, which is probably crazier than New York). Yeah, I'm a New Yorker, always will be, and no city will ever replace the Big Apple in my heart (not even London, which is a city I've loved deeply for years). I've really been very fortunate to get to come here for long periods not once but twice.
I'll be back in Europe, I'm sure, although I doubt I'll ever get another chance like this to be here for months on end. I'm helping the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid and I will TOTALLY be there if it wins, and I'm seriously considering going to Archipelacon (at least I've got a membership). Going would really be crazy, but...
So...it's a farewell to Europe. For now. And hopefully only for a little while.
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