The conference is over at last! It was physically and mentally punishing, but I have learned a great deal. I could’ve done without the sensory assault, I should’ve managed it better, but it worked out well in the end and I will try to learn from this how to take my own sensory quirks more seriously and with greater respect. I have braved three days packed with mostly abstract verbal pontificating and vigorous exchanges of philosophical arguments, there were points where my brain felt burnt out from trying to concentrate on the buzzing swarm of words being hurled to and fro, but I am pleased with myself for persisting, and even gleaning a great deal of ideas from a perceptive realm outside of mine.

The journey continues.

After the conference, everyone gathered into smaller groups and configurations, making plans for the evening. All I wanted to do was to crash into bed. My final evening in Oxford, before I beetle off to Cardiff. My indefatigable greed told me I needed food before the big crash. I obeyed. I trotted downtown to Queen Street, and made a bee line for Marks and Sparks – where else? Again, once inside, I had to quell the urge to buy more than I needed. I didn’t quite succeed – for some unknown reason, I gravitated towards the breads and cakes section, and into my basket popped a pack of mini pancakes. But that was my only departure from the ‘strictly dinner’ theme. I love the 2 for 3 pounds mini meals, that meant I could have two different meals rather than one large one. I liked the spinach pasta with pine kernels the last time, so I picked up one of those again. Routine and familiarity, remember? But I decided not to be such a boring Aspie, and for the second item, I chose the orca pasta with roasted tomatoes. I also indulged in a pack of pancetta! I love the Italian hams, and cannot resist pancetta whenever available or affordable. I was quite disappointed with the spinach pasta this time around, it was swimming in oil, so I didn’t finish everything.

Fever has been hovering stubbornly. Headache too. The ulcers are throbbing right now and I wish I had access to ice. My throat is longing for a nice cold drink! I did crash into bed after filling my tum, but woke up 5 hours later. So here I am. I guess I should pack, shower, and crawl back into bed again?

I do miss my Lucy. But I don’t have such a huge ego that makes me want her to miss me too. I’d rather that I miss her than she me, because these emotions can be so much more overwhelming and scary for a doggy than for the human. She has no idea of time, if she misses me, she would not know that I shall be back. I can see from the photos sent to me by her lovely guardian that she is having a grand time with the two boys, Lenny and Ty. This mum is happy.

Keep going, Bunny!


4 thoughts on “pancetta!

  1. Hi Bunny!

    I remember attending a conference in Oxford some years ago, although it’s close enough to home that I commuted rather than staying in the city. The sessions were interesting, informative and enjoyable but I wasn’t comfortable with the social side that happened in the breaks and at lunch — I just stood off in a quiet corner by myself — and I’ve not attended one since.

    “swimming in oil”: urgh! I hate that. I can’t eat anything that feels oily in my mouth. For me that’s the worst thing about those prepackaged pasta meals: they use so much olive oil in the dressing. It’s hard when you’re away from home, on a budget and can’t eat in a restaurant for whatever reasons — I know I’d not cope with it when feeling exhausted — to find something appetizing that doesn’t require reheating. The number of times I’ve ended up eating unhealthy snack foods and feeling the worse for it afterwards…

    • Thanks for dropping by! Yes, the social dynamics is something I am terrible with, but I have been incredibly lucky in all the conferences I’ve attended, whether here in Oxford or elsewhere, to meet just the few handful of people who made it so much easier to navigate. In some ways, my cluelessness probably helps! 🙂 But the sensory assault can be overwhelming if inside a very noisy dining hall. As for prepacked food, I am ok with eating cold food, I even love the cold meats and cheeses, but the oil was a real put off! Nevertheless, I am a Marks & Spencer fan, and not having it in Sydney, I have been going quite crazy shopping in M&S !!!

      • One of the problems for me was that the majority of delegates were in groups from the same companies and stayed in those groups. Maybe if I attended with my own colleagues it would be better.

        There’s a huge M&S local to where I live and I have to ration my visits because I always go way over budget 🙂 My mum used to shop there often when I was growing up so on top of temptation there’s also the comfort factor.

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