I’m home again. And in a very weird emotional kind of quiet place.

I’m amazingly glad to be back with the Lovely and Talented Judith, who is, indeed, the love of my life – to say nothing of being the other half of me.

Still, I’m very sad to be away from the rest of my family.

Dad is doing great, and even came out to Heathrow (about an hour journey, via #188 bus to Holborn then Piccadilly Line to Terminal Four) with my Mom and my sister, to see me off.

The flight back was uneventfully superb. I had a great seat, with lots of leg room (there was no seat ahead of me), and nobody sitting beside me. Seat 29 A on a British Airways 747-400, for those of you who keep track of such things. Twelve-and-a-half thousand extra Frequent Flier miles well-spent, to get bumped up to “Super Duper Non-Cattle Economy Class,” or whatever BA calls it.

So I watched Shrek II (again – LOVE Puss In Boots), then slept. And slept. AND slept. Hard. As per usual, I had picked up a Cheddar and Pickle sandwich and some Salt and Vinegar crisps from Pret a Manger to substitute for the innocuous meal served by BA (a regular routine that gives me great comfort the way some regular routines should).

But again, yes, I’m in a weird, quiet kind of mood. Listening to the Finn Brother’s increasingly brilliant (to my mind, anyway) “Everyone Is Here” album. It takes some getting used to, but once it hits you, it hits you hard. Or at least that’s how it struck me: very beautiful, moody and somber, in an autumnal way. I think it will be THE album I listen to, this fall.

As is my wont, I miss London dreadfully. So to torture myself further, I’m reading Peter Ackroyd’s stunning “London: The Biography.” How good is it? It’s a book ONE of these days I’ll pass on with pride to Ken Hite, confident in the knowledge he’ll become as gleefully lost in its alley-like, criss-crossed structure as I am. My only regret is that there aren’t enough maps in it for those of us who can occasionally – occasionally – confuse Smithfields with Spittalfields, or Aldgate with Aldwych.

At the same time, I’m very, very happy to be back home, with Judith, the cats, and Wolfgang J. Gerbil. I cycled in to downtown Madison yesterday morning with Judith when she went to work, and cycled back in the afternoon to pick her up. 32 miles, all told. In between, I came up with a neat idea for a cartoon, and made some Arabiata tomato sauce for some gorgeous squash and zucchini we got from the farm.

It was a good day.

The mail that had collected while I was in London, like the flight back, was uneventfully superb. No great checks awaiting my return, though I now finally have “Munchkin Blender” in my hands. Still no sign of “Just A Geek,” however, I fear. Anyone got that? How did the drawings turn out?

Most touching, mail-wise, though, was a postcard sent from GenCon by some con attendees (hi, guys!), saying that they missed me. It was a lovely gesture, and one that I really appreciated dearly.

So, to summarize: it’s raining in Madison, and grey, and the Finn Brothers are playing over and over on my iTunes.

I’m in a quiet, weird kind of mood.

To quote Paul Weller: “And I enjoy sometimes feeling this way…”

John

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