I am in Roanoke, Virginia, because it is the home of Hollins University which is the home of the famous Children's Literature Program that I have heard so much about and have finally been invited to, which is a great honour. Moreover, I am not invited to teach on the program, but just be around in case some student wants to talk to me. I gave a talk yesterday at a student-run conference, and this morning I met some of the students - incredibly, ten o'clock on a Sunday morning. Their dedication to children's literature is beyond imagination: it's three in the afternoon now, and I have just come home.
Home is Barbie house - sorry, Barbee House, and I have a suite with two bedrooms and a lounge, a little pentry and access to a larger pentry on the ground floor. This morning I did something I had never done before: boiled an egg in a microwave. Apparently, Hollins' guests are not expected to be cooks. There is a micro and a coffee machine and a toaster, but no cooker. Yesterday when I was taken to get groceries I was reminded of the American proportions: you cannot get a pint of orange juice, it has to be a gallon. I am not sure I will consume a gallon of juice in a week. I did find a pint of milk. Everything in the store was lite and low fat and no fat. Nothing for us LCHF people. But then I have been stuffing myself with bagels the past five days.
It is not the first time I live on an American campus without a car. When I was in Amherst it took me three days to realise that I didn't want to be dependent on a colleague's wife to take me shopping, so I bought a car. The year before we lived in San Diego, I went there for a short visit and stayed in a campus guest house. At least they had a convenience store nearby, but the guest room had no desk.
This apartment here has no desk either. Presumably, I am supposed to work in the office. I have an office and a pigeonhole! I feel important.
It's unbearably hot, and much as I would like to go for a walk I don't think I am going to. So I'll make use of this privilege of being left to myself and perhaps catch up with my blog.