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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.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2004 11:36 am (UTC)
Its just chucked it down over. Seems were getting the april showers into may as well.

May. 5th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
my calves ache, just slightly, from all the walking I've already done

This rings bells, for sure. Odd about the carp, though--and you'd think it'd be colder. It is here!
May. 6th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC)
Rumor has it that the grounds staff here culled the old giants. I rather like all the new, safe goldfish myself.

Many people in the Toronto contingent packed for somewhat cooler climes and are now regretting it. It really is warm here.
May. 6th, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC)
I was going to make a crack about all the hot air having gone some 76 miles north ... but it's jumped to 80 degrees here, so I guess I'm saved an extra five minutes in purgatory.

As I'm sure you realize, Canadians discuss the weather recreationally ...
May. 7th, 2004 03:12 pm (UTC)
I like the weather. I did my MA thesis on people talking about the weather in the Middle Ages.
May. 6th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC)
They did a serious pond de-carp (a year ago maybe?) so the throngs are no more.

De-oxygenated the water, they all died and floated to the surface where they were collected. There were so many the water level was unbelievably low after they were gone.

It was surreal.
May. 6th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
That gives me an even more disturbing visual image than I already had in my mind of carp culling. It ties in vaguely well with the nice paper I just went to on Norse whale hunting practices (most drift whales weren't - they were speared first and once dying or dead, then did the drifting.)

Did you see that the Medica society highlighted your session as one worth attending for their members?
May. 6th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
NO! But how lovely! They'll all leave after Winston's paper, of course, but very nice nonetheless. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )