It's spring here. Flowers densely blanket the trees in deep purples and white. The air is warm - too warm for sweaters, warm enough for sandals and short sleeves. I walked over the bridge across the pond earlier this afternoon, over the thronging koi, glowing in the sunlight. I hadn't remembered there were so many golden koi here. All my memory had provided me with from all my past years here were a dense, seething horde of grey-black fishy carp giants. This year, the disturbing fish of my memory are no where in sight. Instead, more reasonable sizes of golden orange koi, with plenty of room between each other, hover in the sunwarmed water.
The swans are nesting of course. They always are when the Congress is on. One lay on its nest, obscuring the eggs or hatchlings under it, both atop a mountain of nesting material. The other swan lay nearby, all tucked into itself. A small bird plucked at a stray piece of swan down and flew away with its booty.
I've never arrived so early in the day at the beginning of a Medieval Congress. Neither had anyone else on the first shuttle bus of the day from the airport. I was the only one on the bus who'd been here before, the only one to answer the bus driver's questions and keep him (hopefully) from getting out the map again to look at it while driving. Drivers who read maps while driving, as this one did, are a pet peeve of mine.
Registration wasn't ready - no surprise, when we'd arrived before 11, and the program hadn't called for registration to be open before noon. Our busload sat and chatted for a while, half in English, the other half in a European language I didn't know - it had the odd familiar word to it, but with consonant clusters I associated with Russia or the Czech Republic. And so I was the first person at the registration table - closely followed by the rest of the busload - when registration did begin, only twenty minutes later. (I give juniperus
credit, whether or no she deserves it.) The only real downside to registering was finding out that I'd been given a room as far away from where the breakfast I've prepaid for will be served as possible.
Already, my calves ache, just slightly, from all the walking I've already done, and the congress isn't really much underway yet. I'll do much more walking in the next several days, and the exercise, and all the lovely weather (albeit with thunderstorms forecast) will be good for me.
Tonight I'll be social. For now, I'll enjoy the sunlight and then go back to work on a publishable bit of writing which I hope to have ready for Friday.