Well, not quite; but when the other choice is spending a couple hours in the giant waiting/shopping are in Terminal 3, it feels like a very nice place indeed.

I got out of my room around 6:15 this morning, after sleeping quite fitfully– I kept waking up every hour or so, thinking that it had to be 6.

Maybe I should have slept a little longer, as I did two stupid things: I dropped my camera while taking a picture (I always put the wrist strap on, except for this one time), and it looks like I’ve damaged its light sensor. Pictures are now coming out overexposed, but otherwise it seems to be working okay. However, having taken several thousand pictures with the camera, I’ve gotten good service out of it. Getting it serviced will be a pain, but obviously the thing to do.

Then, once I was in Heathrow, I realized that I hadn’t put my pocket knife in my checked luggage. I tossed it in the rubbish. Blast it. It’s actually an older one, so I’m not too shook up about it, but it was just a dumb thing to do, especially since I’d thought about moving it to my bath kit a couple times yesterday.

But, other than those couple bumps, things have been fine. I made it through check-in and security without incident, bought a couple last presents– impressively large chocolate bars for my kids, and Romania, a book about a modern-day Roman London for my wife– and am now sipping tonic water and writing e-mails to various people I’ve met over the last couple days. I also volunteered to give up my seat if we’re overbooked; I’m on the early flight to San Francisco, and for a couple hours’ time, I could get a couple more tickets. That would kind of balance the mishap with the camera.

I think this has been a very productive trip– or at least, I’ve met a number of people who are interested in working with the Institute, and a couple who I think would be good additions to our extended family of adjuncts. And spending time at the Martin Institute was pretty extraordinary.

[To the tune of Paul McCartney, “Juniors Farm,” from the album “All The Best”.]

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