Sunday morning cafe

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I get lost in words — on the page, spoken by others around me, the new ones that swirl with the old ones in my head.

Smells, sweet and savory, waft in my direction and then move swiftly away.

The occasional eye contact with a stranger; reading someone’s lips while pretending to listen intently to whatever is(n’t) streaming through my silent headphones; the random utterance or facial gesture that reminds me of my grandmother (she would’ve turned 90 yesterday).

Über concentrated forms of distraction.

Incarnations of bread and water.

Avoiding people/dogs while acting like I’m not bothered by (scared of) them.

Mind wandering, thoughts out of nowhere; a long standing dilemma eases naturally as if the answer was present all along; at peace with where I am.

This must be what church is like.

It’s too hot

This was about to turn into a rant about heat, humidity, and the horribly oppressive weather the east coast has been suffering for the past several days…

But instead, I’ll just share a few pics from the weeks I spent in the bosom of the cooler climes of the UK (which is going through its own warm-up at the moment).

From the lovely, blustery, picturesque walk that K took us on in the Peak District, near Sheffield:

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A view of the Tate Liverpool, where I took in the Chagall exhibit:

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And a view of the pier from inside the museum:

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A beautiful sandstone temple erected in Wembley (including a couple of closeups of the carvings; all pieces shipped from India and assembled on site):

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Taking a wrong turn on our attempt to walk back from Wembley:

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And then rejoicing at the sight of the #7 bus:

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Finally, a slice of the heavens on the way back home:

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A tale of two Wimbledons

Wimbledon — Take 1

Tuesday, Wimbledon Day 2. The travelers are weary, but spirited. Picadilly from Russell Square to District Line to Wimbledon transfer from Earl’s Court. The travelers are surrounded by even more spirited event-goers: faces painted, outfits coordinated, paraphernalia adorning the body.

Southfields Station. The masses alight here, briskly making their way toward the Way Out and down the road to the correct entrance. The one where those without tickets go.

Volunteers greet the newest queuers with a smile and a hand pointing then in the right direction. Crowds of people organized into an orderly line that moves slowly, steadily. Around a tent while a woman sells copies of The Guardian with a complimentary sample of sunscreen.

Suddenly the story becomes clearer. The crowds are Massive. Many thousands have already been queuing for hours.

The green flag marks the end of the line… way, way, way, way, way, way in the corner of the field. A volunteer hands out numbers to mark each arrival’s place in line, no matter how late. The time is 10:15. The situation does not look good.

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10K people ahead of us. Outlook not so good.

40 minutes pass. The travelers decide to ditch the effort and return the next day. But, not ones to waste a journey, they walk back, all 9.1 miles, from Wimbledon to Russell Square — via Wandsworth, Battersea, the Chelsea Bridge, Pimlico, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and Holborn.

Whew.

Wimbledon — Take 2
A story in pictures

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Arrived at 6:15a and already 3K+ people ahead of us!
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Wimbledon crowds
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He may be a champion, but he favors an ostrich, no?
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Djokovic goofing around…err, practicing (in the light blue)
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The changing of the ball girls and boys
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Sloane Stephens (USA)
RajivRamAndAwesomeLineswoman
My favorite and uber precise lineswoman during the Rajeev Ram – Juan Monaco match
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Requisite Strawberries and Cream
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Fans watch Roger Federer on the big screen from Henman Hill (colloquially renamed Murray Mound)