I am back in Sherwood Cottage, and happily. All that had been for me to do to this point is done; grading is over and one conference is closed out. I can now focus on such things as the book chapter and other Tales after Tolkien materials, as well as on doing my freelance work for my family. (I was reasonably good about money at the conference, but a trip into another time zone and across many degrees of latitude has costs that cannot be avoided. I am thinking of setting up a donations site of some kind, just to see if people will give me money and how much. I am, after all, a successor of the greatest Geoffrey's Clerk.)
This is only the second summer that I have had off from the classroom since I started graduate school nearly eight years past. The last one was in 2012, after I completed my doctorate, and I thought that I had earned a bit of time off. (Probably true, actually, but probably not so much as I ended up taking.) This time, I do not have any such extravagances planned; I am not bound for the University of Cambridge (although I wish I were) or Dublin or London (ibid.), nor am I doing much to bounce around the country and see various parts of my family. One or two trips, yes, but not the month-long excursions that happened that summer, and one of those is for another conference rather than to visit family (although there are some family friends nearby whom we might see).
For the most part, though, I will be home or close to it. And I do no see myself getting out terribly much; there is plenty to do at Sherwood Cottage, to be sure. I have my writing, and I have tutorials to give. Ms. 8 needs more attention and will begin to need more explicit guidance. (I am gratified that those at the conference to whom I showed her pictures approve of the girl. I would have hated to have had to hurt them.) And I probably ought to take greater pains to take care of myself than I have been; I have gotten only minimal exercise (walking, mostly) and I cannot allow the situation to continue. The trip reminded me that while I am not old, I am not as young as I have been, and my physical indolence has not helped me stay so. (As much as I ever have been, which I know is debatable.)
How fortunate I am, then, that I have the kind of free time I have during the couple months of summer. How fortunate, too, that some of what I do may actually bring in a bit of money for me and mine; much of what I do is done fairly cheaply, but not all of it, and the summer heat prompts certain considerations (although it might be interesting to see how people could stand to live before air conditioning--the comparison might well be illuminating).