back to the wall

This morning we are coming in to Tianjin, the port city for Beijing, 80 km.away. Tomorrow we will take an excursion to the Great Wall, the portion nearest the  cruise terminal. More tomorrow. Today is a catchup day for me.  I'm actually going to have my nails done! This is rare for me, not only because I like them short for typing but also because they do tend to meet my teeth when I'm thinking. Right now I'm not thinking enough so they are growing longer.

I swam again this morning. The wind was cool but the sun was trying to be nice. The predicted high is in the low 70s. 

My big personal news, received this morning after I finally nagged them, is Dundurn's rejection of my new book because "it doesn't fit their program".  They'll be sorry. I'm not feeling down exactly, because i have faith in my book and in me.  A bit resentful, perhaps, and a new resolve, because, of course, it's more work and effort to court a new resource. It's time-consuming but not daunting.I've always said that failure goes to my head.  A rejection is like waving a red flag at a bull: I snort and paw the ground and attack again.

But I'm having osso buco with gremolata for dinner tonight so life can't be all bad. Veal knuckle is vary hard to buy at home, a peasant's food now considered to be a rare delicacy, 

A whole slew of new people have joined the cruise for the next leg of the journey, so it's more faces and names to learn, and more case histories. My Alabama friend and I have dinner together every night and welcome two more at our table. We're both pretty good at keeping the conversation alive but I said to her as we left the dining room last night "That was uphill work, wasn't it?"and she agreed. But I'm learning a lot, about cruises, travel and people.

I must start doing thumbnail sketches of people I have met but I can't put those in my blog, of course.  As a playwright I have found that I usually understand more of what  people are saying than they know they are telling me. I listen to what they don't say.  Chekov did that - what a master of dialogue (and character) he is!  

My foot is feeling better. The tensor sleeve has helped a lot.  I should be good for the wall tomorrow. I might even take a picture.