holly

Loki in London, Day 1: Here We Go/Come/Whatever

The Big Day is finally here!  We are off to Merryie Olde England!  The bags are packed and loaded, various bodily fillings and emptyings have been accomplished, and the humans are setting off for the airport, which is located in the Big City to the South.  They’re planning to leave the car with the Knittery Friend, who has kindly offered to drive them to the airport.

It’s so sad, therefore, that between breakfast, the human female’s packing disability, leaving care instructions about the feline and the plants, and other assorted ditherings  and distractions (they did eventually find her passport, more’s the pity), they are at least an hour late.  The Knittery Friend has obligations of her own today and cannot now take them to the airport.  Oh, no!  What will they do?

Of course, I’m going to see that we all go.  I won’t let Sigyn miss out on this adventure, and the humans must tag along to pay for it all.  However, that doesn’t prevent me from arranging things so that now the humans have to drive themselves to the airport and leave their vehicle in a remote parking lot.  The Knittery Friend will retrieve it later.  She’ll be out of town herself when the humans return, so she has given them the code to the garage.  Ehehehehe–I’ve made sure it’s the wrong code.  Sowing mischief seeds to grow and blossom later!

Now we’re on the plane.  Settle in, Sigyn, it will be a long nine hours and change before we land.  Would you like to watch a movie?

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Who is that fellow?  He looks oddly familiar…

(Later.) Sigyn is a little confused by time zones.  I’ve tried to explain that as we travel eastward, it gets later and later faster and faster.  Now it’s tomorrow already and the cabin crew are bringing us breakfast.

breakfast

See, Sigyn–There’s the London skyline right on the box.  I wonder what’s inside?

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We’re headed to Britain. Why are we getting a French bread thingy?

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And California raisins?  This meal makes no sense.

(Later still.)  *Yawn.*  I think we all managed to sleep a bit, but certainly not comfortably.  Sigyn wanted to experience trans-Atlantic air travel.  As far as I’m concerned, she and I should have teleported and left the mortals cooped up in that flying sardine can on their own.

We have now landed, navigated the long  line  queue for customs, heaved the blivetous luggage off the carousel, navigated the Tube, and arrived at the hotel.  Time to explore the room!

The British are very good at some things.  Look, Sigyn–next to the clever electric kettle that can boil water in about thirty seconds!  Cookies!  But you’ll have to learn to call them “biscuits” instead or no one here will know what you’re talking about.

cookies

Yes, electric kettles and biscuits are good ideas.  But the plugs are huge and the outlets are weird.

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The humans have remembered to bring an adapter.  Too bad they didn’t notice that it won’t fit the female’s computer…

The human male has lost no time cluttering the desk with his “indispensable” stuff.

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I thought the point of travel was to GET AWAY from it all?  The female, meanwhile, has discovered that I made sure she failed to pack the black wool sweater she planned her wardrobe around, as well as the creepy gadget that keeps her from grinding her teeth at night.  Tsk tsk!  So forgetful!

Sigyn, while they settle in, let’s go explore the neighborhood.  It’s a fine spring day, Kensington is full of pretty buildings to look at, and I hear there are two pastry shops within five minutes’ walk.  We just need to remember to look right and then left when crossing the street, not the other way around.

Ehehehe!  I’m going to enjoy rubbing salt in the human female’s horticultural wounds, because gardening actually WORKS here. Sigyn has fallen under the spell of the fuchsias…

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…and this… this…this whatever-this-blue-flowered shrub is.

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But of course, given a choice, she will always go with holly.

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*Yawn*  Dearest, we have now been up for about thirty hours.  Don’t you think it’s time for some proper shut-eye?  Me, too.  Big day tomorrow–we need to rest up!

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A Forest Field Trip, Part II: In which Sigyn is predictable

I am sure that it would come as no surprise to anyone that the first thing Sigyn wants to do is sit in a holly tree. This one is at least different from the others she has dragged me into. It does not, at the moment, have any fruit. What it does have are rather large, extra-stiff-and-prickly leaves. Be careful, Dearest. It’s all fun until someone loses an eye.

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This soft, fluffy fern is much more pleasant to sit in. It is an odd fern, the only one in Texas that climbs like a vine. The human female says it is a nasty, exotic, invasive species from Asia. (She is not very tolerant of alien beings, myself included.) Well, *I* think it is lovely. Perhaps I will take home a cutting to plant in her yard.

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The humans are very busy with stakes and rolls of brightly colored flagging, counting and measuring trees and scribbling notes in notebooks. Sigyn and I are at leisure to examine some of the not-trees. This is bitter cress. Supposedly it is a relative of broccoli and cauliflower and kale. I nibbled a piece, and yes, it does have a rather peppery-cabbagey taste. Still, it is better for looking at than eating, especially since it seems to be attracting some little white butterflies. Sigyn, do leave off trying to catch one–what would you do with it if you caught it?

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The field trip has moved on, headed for the low-lying area that gives the area its name. The flora has changed a bit, and now it has a distinctly primeval look, as if dinosaurs would not be out of place. What are those short plants with the large, fan-like leaves?

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The human female has pronounced them to be sabal palmettos, squat little palm trees with their trunks mostly underground. Sigyn, you thought that oak leaf was big–look how large this frond is!

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