My eyes squeezed shut against the strain of reading the screen. When they opened again it was like emerging from a tunnel. I glanced around to get my bearings. Everyone else had left the dining room. I rolled my shoulders to counter act the keyboard hunch I’d been huddled in. Oof. Stiff. Absentmindedly I reached for my tea. My fingers grasped for the smooth sides of the mug. Curling it toward me, I paused, felt the bottom with my opposite hand and shrugged as I put it back down. It was cold.
Looking back at the screen I’d clearly been absorbed in for some time, there were ten different tabs open. The map of central London, the walking tour of the Dover cliffs, the Norman castle used in Age of Ultron, a theater schedule, and more.
Our trip is approaching quickly. While we have the bones of the vacation laid out, we’re still filling in the finer details. Like: If I’m in Dover for the day, can I see both the white cliffs and the Norman castle? And if I spend the whole day in Dover, what do I do with my luggage since I’m checking out of one lodging that morning and into another that night nearer to the airport? And depending on what I need to do with my luggage, how early can I catch an eastbound train in the morning? How late can I catch a return train? Then what will it take to collect my luggage and get to the hotel at the airport?
The lights in all the adjacent rooms are off. The house is quiet.
My brain isn’t.
I went down the rabbit hole and now my mind is buzzing with questions and connections. The train I’ll be taking from London is heading to Kent, just like Ada’s train in The War that Saved my Life. Also, the castle represents both a medieval fortress and a modern military base of operations for both WWI and WWII. To top that off, it was featured both in the relatively recent Avengers movie, and one of the earliest Doctor Who episodes.
It is a microcosm of England. Old. And new.