LXXXVII: Naughty or Nice?

I've told you, John, it isn't a fair question. What if you are being naughty so as to advance the side of nice? And yes, I do believe the end justifies the means.

Unquestionably naughty.
In any case, we're doing this now. You know, holidays and decorating, and (apparently) hats.

This is before the children got hold of it.
And here is the "after."
(We escaped to the mantel.)

And then, of course, we must deal with the fact she has a birthday coming up and people are beginning to give her things. Like a new bag:

And boots:

And . . . board games?


LXXXVI: The Case of the Ambulant Patients

You may remember some weeks back she bought thread. I didn't much care for the looks of it, or what it might portend. But as time went on and nothing more happened, I began to believe we might be spared . . .

Alas, no.

Because then she brought out these:

Needles. Of varying sizes, but all of them sharp. Oh yes.

I was excluded from the worst of it. Turned out my coat just needed a bit of mending. John, on the other hand, required help with his male pattern baldness. His hair, you will be glad to learn, is now securely fixed to his head.

And Jim . . . Well, his head had fallen off. I would have been fine with it remaining separated from his shoulders, but she opted to go through with the surgery. It was a success. Unfortunately.

Then, today, once she'd decided we were satisfactorily recuperated, we were dragged back to this place. Apparently she's determined (or the children are) to make it an annual visit.

We visited Robinson Crusoe's island

And the Crooked Man's house

And rode the Jolly Trolly

. . . with the girl

John discovered how quite contrary
Mistress Mary really can be

And I found Bluebell
(Yes, John, I know it's Peter Rabbit; I was . . . No, never mind,
it's not funny if I have to explain it.)

And afterward: A drink.
The outing counts as a success considering John's hair and Jim's head stayed on.


LXXXV: Escape Velocity & Gravity

I managed somehow to avoid being taken to the pumpkin patch this year. They did things like eat shaved ice, pan for gemstones, feed sheep, and of course pick pumpkins, and I remained blissfully home.

Just look at them. Getting dirty and having fun. It's terrible.

Of course this meant I could not escape whatever outing might come next. Which turned out to be the cinema.

I was sort of hoping whoever that is on the poster would eat her, but no such luck. Instead, ninety minutes of a space drama. But at least there was really good food after.

Proof I was there, and also that a flash
might've been handy.
No pictures of the food; it was gone too quickly. Place is called Lokanta, and is quite nice. If she goes again, I might consent to another excursion.


LXXXIV: Good-bye L.A.

It was not a complete loss of a trip. Though John and Jim remained at the hotel, she took me out for a night with friends.

Drinks at Mixology
And fondue at the Farmer's Market, and a stop at the bookstore, and dessert at Cheesecake Factory.

And a parting photo
But she brought home souvenirs from Monsieur Marcel as well:

The chocolate is "Marshmallow Swirl," which John says almost makes up for having been left at the hotel. (Almost.)


LXXXIII: City of Devils

She's brought us to Los Angeles. Not that we'll see much of it. No, we will instead languish in the hotel room while she attends her conference.

Oh, but first there was:

This dog's name was Biscuit. He kept trying to come over to us, but his owner wouldn't allow it. Probably just as well. (No, John, I was not terrified of the dog.) Biscuit finally gave up when the plane arrived. Evidently it was far more interesting than we were.

Now we are here:

Room 503
It's a small room, but it does have a balcony . . .

. . . With an exceptional view of the building across the way. She won't let us out there because she thinks we'll fall (or maybe jump).

For perspective:

King bed, though. Plenty of room for us all. Except she always steals the sheets.


LXXXII: Building Permit

The bridge is getting a bit more . . . Something . . . (Compare to the previous post.)

Did I do any of it? When she wasn't looking? Well, I have been a tad bored lately . . . Though we do have that trip to L.A. coming up. Should probably prepare myself for that . . .


LXXXI: An Utter Lack of Progress

When it comes to building, she is worse than any Public Works project. So far this is all she's managed of the Tower Bridge:

She says it's because she has so many other projects—writing projects, that is. She goes from one right into the next with hardly any . . .

What's that, John? Like me and my cases? Yes, but I don't have a Tower Bridge to construct. What? For Christmas?

. . . Well, yes, maybe I would like that.


LXXX: Sex & Candy (No, Not Really)

John and I are still awaiting . . . Well, I don't want to talk about it. Sufficient to say we were unable to go out. Which means, of course, Jim had free rein.

They went into Burlingame because The American has a taste for expensive undergarments.

John is extremely sorry to have missed this.

(I understand Jim's presence in the changing room startled one of the sales clerks. Though, honestly, Jim's presence anywhere startles, well, just about everyone.)

There was a bookstore visit, too, I'm told, but I have no evidence of such.

Then there was lunch:

And it appears Jim has started recruiting henchmen . . .

Utterly deranged . . .

He's cheap, I suppose, willing to work for the price of a sandwich. Or probably just some candy. We'll need to watch out for that one . . .


LXXIX: Following the Threads . . .

She brought these home:

Yes, John, that is us. And by our feet? That's what she brought home.


I find myself somewhat perturbed. Though, based on color, I'd say John has more cause for concern than I.


LXXVIII: More "Music" (If That's What You Call It)

I managed to avoid having to attend a concert featuring Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty by instead sending Jim as part of his punishment for . . . something . . .

Better him than me being handled by the boy.

Not even sure what a "goo goo doll" is . . .

This meant, however, I was unable to escape having to attend the next outing, which consisted of a man named Gavin DeGraw and bands known as The Script and Train. (We've seen that last one before. A number of times.)

Oh, but before we get into that . . . First we went for tea and dim sum. Specifically it was the pork buns The American was looking for. Because she'd had a dream about them the night before.

"Gallifreyan" pork buns and tea. (Long story.)
And then we of course had to eat something sweet. For no good reason.

Remains of a cupcake.
I'd say I was examining the scene of the crime—that of the disappearing cupcake—but seeing as John appears to be using his scarf as a napkin . . . Well, and I had half. It was tasty.

Then we walked down to the America's Cup area. The concert was to be played in the Pavilion there, but since we still had a lot of time, we stopped in at the sports bar. The American has a new favorite drink now, thanks to the attentive bartender (Brian) with the blue eyes and Australian accent. (What's that, John? No, I am most certainly not jealous. Yes, even though we stayed in her bag the entire time.)

Anyway, unable to pick something from the drinks menu, The American told Brian she wanted something sweet. (Yes, John, you might have detected some derision there.) He asked her alcohol preference, which I feel he should have been able to deduce would be rum, then made her something called a "Caribbean Buck." She took her time nursing it, I must say. And then went on to have a Coca-Cola and some pork belly sliders. *sniff*

Finally, after lingering so long, we went (a) to shop and buy an America's Cup shirt featuring the British flag (grudging approval), and (b) into the Pavilion to settle for the concert (but only after buying a hoodie and a t-shirt). We had good seats, sixth row. She's very spoiled, you know.

Notice my attempt to escape . . .
John, meanwhile is quite content.
And then noise and lights happened. She wrote about it here. And if you follow my Twitter, you will have read some of my thoughts as it happened. There was the one guy, then the skinny Irish boys, then Train (again) . . . A long night, and not even the kind I enjoy.

What's that, John? What kind of long nights do I enjoy? I think you know the answer to that.


LXXVII: America's Pastime

I was subjected to this yesterday:

Well, first this:

Not sure what's wrong with the boy here
And then:

What you get when you let the boy use the camera
And to make it all the worse:

Yes, that is candy floss
And John had the gall to be jealous of all this. By all means, John, next time you may go in my stead.


LXXVI: The Last Day

Our last full day in London started with a stroll down to Seven Dials for some shopping before heading on to Highgate.

More pens than last time.

John was excited to find, as he put it,
"a head bigger than" mine.
She is inordinately fond of statues and monuments . . .

It occurs to me upon review she may simply be inordinately fond of angels.

Our final meal was at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Once again, I somehow failed to merit a seat at the table, but was given a consolation prize at the end of the night.

The following morning we packed up and flew away.