Monday, May 23, 2005

The long awaited Ryan's going back to Blighty post

It's official, well it's almost official, I'm going home soon. Next month will see me make my first trip outside of Yankland for 18 months. I'm really rather excited about it. I'll get to have proper Sunday roast and I'll get to drink proper English beer. Should be fun.

The reason for my trip back to Europe is to attend a conference in Greece. I've never been to Greece before, so my trip to the home of the Oracle will be a new experience for me. In fact I think it will be the first time that I'll have been somewhere where they don't use Roman letters. I suppose I'll just learn the words for beer and wine and struggle on by.

For anybody who's interested (a fairly limited selection I imagine) I'll be in the UK for about 36 hours from the 3rd June and then back again for an ill-determined amount of time from the 12th. My timing could have been a little better as on the 13th Mumsie goes to Norway to cruise around the fjords for a couple weeks. Also I have a sneaking suspicion that lots of my former MINOS colleagues are going to be in Minnesota for a meeting that week, which will be a tad annoying.

The reason I don't know how long I'll be home for is that while I'm back I have to sort myself out with a new American visa. I'm a little nervous about the whole visa situation, after Ian McShane's intervention. I'm sure my forthcoming trials and tribulations in the visa arena will find themselves retold here.

In other news, I indulged in a spot of culture last night. It was a friend's birthday (well, almost... almost their birthday that is, as opposed to them being almost a friend) and a group of us went down to the Ohio Theatre to see the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. We got a Beethoven piano concerto (number 5, I believe) and a Rachmaninoff symphony. Both were really rather good. The conductor was this tiny little Japanese man who spent a lot of his time jumping up and down, he was very animated and seemed to be enjoying himself. I'd never been to the Ohio Theatre before, and I was quite pleased to discover that the inside is like a giant Aladdin's lamp. 'Twas all very shiny and gaudy and excessively ornately lovely.

In yet more news, I accidentally cut all my hair off today (if I get a photo I might post it here, as I look fairly bloody ridiculous). When I say I accidentally cut all my hair off I am, sadly, not joking or exaggerating. These days I tend to use my $12 (I think) clippers to cut my hair, there is a saying involving a silk purse and a sow's ear that springs to mind. Today it all went a bit wrong. Twice I managed to cut away a huge swathe of hair when I only meant to cut a little bit. At the end I was left with very little hair and very much scalp. On the plus side I can probably pass for a neo-Nazi or football hooligan quite easily now.

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