20080623

Relaxing in Bath

Last week, my boss yelled at me for not going out more and having fun while I'm in the UK.  Then he assigned a bunch of menial, time-consuming tasks that guaranteed I'd be working long hours and would therefore be too tired to go out and have fun for at least a couple weeks.

When the weekend rolled around, I worked half a day Saturday to catch up on routine menial tasks, then headed to the mall for a coffee grinder, french press and a couple usb broadband modems.  I spent the night trying to get one of the modems to work with my Mac -- the sales guy said the new dongles don't require Mac users to download drivers... then sold me one of the old modems that require it.  AND the files on Three's UK website were either not working or obsolete.  The tech support person told me to download the files on the Ireland website, then call back to obtain a code I'd need for installation.  Programmers like making life difficult for Mac users.

I made it a point to try and relax on Sunday.  I slept in until 8:00, ground the coffee beans I'd brought from home, made coffee, and actually sat down to drink it and eat a bowl of cereal.  I headed to Bath, wandered the streets a bit (I did the tour of the Roman baths the last time I was there), then signed on for the 2 hour spa package at Thermae Spa.

I changed, slipped into the pool, let the current carry me around, and thought about the tasks I need to do this week and the order in which I'd do them.  I realized I was thinking about work and tried to clear my mind and let it wander.  It meandered to my bank account and credit card transactions and how I need to check those to make sure everything is okay, because I have the wrong version of Quicken installed on my notebook and can't download that information.  Damn, that's not a good line of thought, either!

Okay, maybe it's because I have to work too hard to stay afloat in the water.  I headed upstairs and walked into the Lavender steam room.  Lavender's supposed to be calming.  I thought about how my job evolved into mostly unchallenging menial tasks and started to reevaluate my future.  While I do need to think about my path, it's also not something I should think of when I'm trying to relax.  Damn again.  I tried sitting, lying, deep breathing, but my brain wouldn't stop, and then I noticed others were looking at me strangely and scooting away from me.  I headed to the changing rooms, showered, dressed and was out of there with a half hour yet to go on my package.

On the streets again, this time in search of food, which allowed me to divert my attention for a time.  I had dinner at a little vegetarian restaurant, then headed back to the train station, stopping in a bookstore on the way to buy a book on English architectural styles to read while waiting for my train.  Even though I couldn't relax much, at least I was tense in a beautiful town.

Oh, I did treat the interns to dinner at the Bradley Stoke pub last Thursday.  They had bungee jumping for 50 pounds a pop.  I wasn't about to spend that much money to jump, but it was fun to watch.