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Revisions, packing, and historical bathing oddities
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Woot! I am done, done, done with the round of revisions that has eaten my brain in the last few weeks. Hooray!

Of course, now I feel shockingly empty...because what else am I supposed to do with my life now? Well, go back to Kat by Starlight, for one thing. (Double-hooray! I've been really missing it.) And even before that, since we're leaving for Sweden at 7am tomorrow morning, maybe I should, I dunno, start packing? Dig out our Swedish guidebooks? Maybe even try to learn a Swedish phrase or two? Eeep. Our Swedish vacation felt a long way off until I finished the revisions, surfaced, and remembered that - oh, yeah - we're leaving for another country tomorrow morning!

But I can't wait. I looked up the weather in Stockholm, and it's supposed to be sunny and 70-75 degrees every day of our trip - a big change from Leeds over the past several days! And although we haven't done any vacation planning this time 'round, even if we end up just spending the whole trip sitting in cafés in Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan), with side-trips to the winter palace (which was closed last time we visited) and to the wonderful science fiction-and-fantasy bookstore, I will be enormously happy. If we didn't have to drop Maya off at the dogsitters tonight (waaah!), I would be in total bliss.

We'll be in Stockholm from tomorrow until late Tuesday night, so I may not be able to post any more entries until next Wednesday. But in the meantime, check out this wonderful book being read out loud (in an abridged form) throughout this week on the BBC's Radio 4: Clean, by Katherine Ashenburg. The BBC summarizes it this way: "A peek behind the shower curtain of Western history gets to the grubby bottom of our shifting notions of what’s "clean" throughout the ages." I listened to this morning's segment and loved it - such fascinating historical shifts! Apparently, in Spain under Moorish occupation, the fact that the Moors were clean (and famous lovers of baths) meant that their Christian subjects decided in reaction that a good Christian must be dirty - so one of the things that could get you taken in by the Spanish Inquisition for religious heresy, later on, was if you looked suspiciously clean - clearly a sign that you were not a proper Christian! The whole program was full of wonderfully bizarre historical anecdotes like that one.

Each episode of the book is only 15 minutes long, read by Tamsin Greig (from my favorite BBC sitcom, Black Books), and you can listen to the episodes online no matter what country you live in, for up to 7 days after each broadcast. Definitely worth checking them out!

And now I'm off to start packing. Wish me luck!

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