Just back from London last night, the highlight reel from which includes a day poking around bookstores and boutiques in Oxford, the irresistible boots that brought my shopping to a screeching but delightful halt; amazing meals, such as an ethiopian burrito (ok, wrap) and a pumpkin-squash empanada, both at Spitalfields market; insanely delicious indian food; crispy aromatic duck, which combines the best features of pulled pork, fried chicken, and summer rolls; and an impromptu meal at the new best restaurant in London/England/UK called Le Cafe Anglais. It's French-English fusion, and despite my best efforts, I don't think my name for it--"channel chow"--is going to stick. Oh, and the tromp across Kensington Park balancing a big bike box on our heads with football players stopping their game to shout "just ride it!" and an older gentleman offering a low, wistful "fahntahstic" when we told him that yes, it has a bike in it--a gary fisher mountain bike--that I'll be taking back to the States with me thanks to KM's unbelievable generosity. I've also got some cadbury treats for my seminar today, which I will offer in exchange for their reminding me what we are in fact discussing, since I read all the material before I left.
Oh, and if you ever have the chance to fly Virgin Atlantic, by all means, take it.
[UPDATE]: by request, here are is an iphone photo of the boots; click to enlarge if you like that sort of thing. (It's actually hard to take photos of one's own boots.)