We returned from Scotland last night after a long day of travel. The kids and I were shutting down from exhaustion, while Ewan stayed optimistic, pointing out how bright the sky still was as we drove home from the airport around seven o'clock. But I always feel energized the day after returning from Europe. We all woke at six and I finished my run before eight. I'm pretty sure I gained four pounds over there, with Mary's good cooking and a couple late-night visits to the Clyde Bar to listen to broad Scottish accents.
Yesterday I sat next to Mike, a charming chemist, on the flight from London to Chicago. He runs Eli Lily's diabetes research arm. "I have two words for you: diet and exercise," he said after I pressed him to talk about his work. I asked because the other day I heard the statistic that among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010. Um, that's a lot. So I ran this morning, then followed that up with a BLT with a soft-boiled egg for breakfast. Okay, there was no L but the B was turkey bacon, and the bread was wheat.
Then again, I've requested French dip sandwiches for dinner (it's my birthday tomorrow), so I will have to run again.
Iona is upstairs learning "Here Comes the Sun" on the guitar with Jim and Lake Washington is glittering with reflected sunshine.
We had a great time in Scotland. I'm learning that dealing well with jet lag is part management (Nytol, Benadryl, gin) and part acceptance. I'm learning to say no most days when offered wine with lunch, and that helps some. Mary and Iain were amazing hosts as always. I love hearing the family lore, looking at Iain's photos and family movies and spending time (too short) with Ewan's parents and sister's family, including three-year-old Mia and five-year-old Finlay. Mia will probably take over the world, Finlay will charm the pants off it, Iona will dreamily paint it and Han will entertain it. It's nice to be certain of your children's future, if only for five jet-lagged minutes.
The bonus of our trip was that we got to see Ewan's fun sailing friends and their children the first couple days we were there.
Tomorrow I turn forty-four. I'm going to spend the day writing, with luck and the help of our much-loved babysitter. I've been having a tough time buckling down on my second draft of this book, but tomorrow I'll be ready to put some scratches on paper. I don't have a choice, as it's burning a hole inside me.
Ready, set, go.