Tuesday: After napping and editing and revising my defense presentation, we ate dinner at Phil's, our local barbecue place from back when. The same waiter was there and we caught up with him. We weren't hungry enough to finish our meals. I thought it was because we'd been eating so much; C. thought it was because we aren't used to North American-sized portions anymore.
Wednesday: defense, dim sum with most of my committee, failed trip to SGS to file paperwork, a nap, and then a lovely evening at the pub with a host of people, including forthright, curtana, pittenweem, K.C. and D., A.A., ballincollig, H.L. and C., the_engineer, moon_custafer, green_trilobite, ireactions, henchminion, J.F., L.B., aerinah, snowdrifted, and carmen_sandiego.
Thursday: After breakfast, I went back to sleep, tired not only from the previous day but from fighting off a cold. Wonderful lunch at The Red Tea Box (on Queen) with one of their monthly bento boxes; played Settlers of Catan with aerinah and C.; went over to pittenweem's to chat, collect accumulated mail, my harp and harp box, and to laugh at Bailey for jumping up on my harp box, which was now open at the top and empty, and thus falling into it; a late, sumptuous, celebratory dinner at Splendido which would have been even more exciting if I wasn't slightly congested and thus missed out on some of the flavors.
Friday: In the morning, we visited curtana, forthright, and young A, before going to Indochine (just east of Yonge, north of Bloor) for lunch. The afternoon was our last real chance for Christmas shopping and otherwise being organized. In the evening, we went to pittenweem's voice recital, where she did a gorgeous rendition of "How could I know" from The Secret Garden and a extraordinary visiting coloratura wow'ed us all with her vocal confidence, despite her general tendency not to pronounce consonants. Afterwards, we (J.L., K.C. and D., and pittenweem) all went out for tasty Ethiopean food while I was distracted by all the Ethiopian dance videos playing on the projection screen in front of me. (Such striking use of the head and upper arms!)
Saturday: Brunch at Mitzi's with the_engineer (the pancake was topped with eggnog custard); quick round of shopping and gift wrapping and posting of a package; a long, talkative lunch at J.K.'s, with her husband R. doing the cooking - he's very talented that way; a quick fly-by visit with C.V. at the Eaton Centre with her friend D.; and then dinner at the Peruvian College Street restaurant El Bodegon with B.P. Everyone visited on Saturday (with the exception of the_engineer) is associated with my home department and lives LJ-free lives. In the rest of the evening, I returned double0hilly's borrowed Fruits Basket volumes 8 and 9 (Kureno intrigues; but Rin! I am disturbed...), and we packed, a task make complicated only by the addition of a harp (with harp box) and a Playmobil castle to baggage.
Sunday: After too few hours of sleep, we pried ourselves out of bed and flew back to London, arriving in time to go to sleep again.
We also learned the important of always packing scissors when travelling.