He he. Well, the English have arrived and true to from, they've already got me drunk.
After a normal Saturday of coffee with neighbors and cleaning the house, I went down to the airport to meet Neil Robinson, coming in to Atlanta for Dragon*Con, along with his wife Barbara and sons Liam and Owen. I was waiting in the arrival area an hour after their arrival before we found each other; they'd been delayed by customs and then slipped by me at some point to get their luggage. It was a great relief to find them, as the ternsion involved in meeting somebody you don't know at the aiport is high! ("Is it him? Or him? Hmm, maybe I blinked and I missed them?")
Once they arrived I escorted them up to MARTA and took care of them all using a stash of tokens some neighbor friend gave me a while back because he didn't think he'd need them. The boys were so wide awake and hyper on the train, it was rather amusing. Neil and Barbara and I were rather more subdued. Once we got Downtown, I took them down to the Holiday Inn they're staying, through the hot, humid, stinky Atlanta air. There was some fuss with their room but it was worked out and I helped them up and they got a bit settled. I gave them a "visitor packet" of all these newspapers, tourist brochures, contact info and maps I had collected. In return I got nice gifts from Marks & Spencers -- a gift pack of all sorts of lavendar soaps & skin creams, plus a giant tin of Scottish shortbread! Mmmmm!
Next up, in the typically English fashion, was drinks at the bar. Or rather, drinks FROM the bar but drunk outside by the pool since the kids weren't allowed in the bar. (Hmmm, now that's a stupid little rule.) We drank water and Coke and for neil, some Bass Ale. The kids were running around manically, just on the edge of collapsing, and finally they got hungry and we went inside for dinner.
They had a meal voucher and took me in on it for dinner, which was fab -- third free restaurant meal I've had in two days! The servings were ENORMOUS and more to the point, Neil ordered a whole bottle of Chardonnay and he and I proceeded to finish it off. The boys finally got sleepy and Barbara went off to put them to bed. Neil and I drank and talked a while, continuing on further when Caleb and Daniel arrived. Finally Neil himself began to flag and we said cheers and agreed to meet up tomorrow.
I must say, I ate and drank myself absolutely sick at that hotel. I think it wasn't how much I ate (chowder, small salad and fried catfish with fries) but how much I drank (Coke, 2-3 waters, 3+ glasses of wine). On the walk back home I was thinking I might puke or something. My stomach is better now, not nearly so sour and pukey. The headache I woke up with this morning still persists, despite the wine.
On a related note, I'm about 80% through this book A History of Orgies
and just finished reading about the 18th century flagellant/orgy societies in England. There's been a lot of really eyebrow-raising stuff in that book but oh MY, those old English gentry types got onto some sick & crazy shit in the 1700s. There's a long piece on this one estate which was created as a sort of pervertted getaway and I really wish I could go back in time since the 18th century was awfully tacky anyway and seeing "lewd" interior design from that period sounds divine. Another highlight of that section was the explanation for the term "wig club": These groups had a "sacred" object, a wig made out of the pubic hair of a famous person's (or their own) mistress! They venerated such objects and added on to them over time, putting them on for ceremonial occasions. LOL.
Once I finish the book I'm going to type up some of the highlights and post them to this LJ... Priceless bits of perverted history!
And finally on a totally unrelated note... I've just read a NYT review of Bjork's upccoming album Medulla and it sounds INCREDIBLE. I should put a flag on my calendar reminding me to rush out Aug. 31 (or realistically, after Dragon*Con) and buy it!