Got my stuff to Leytonstone in good order, though it was a one hour tube journey and as I walked up and down a seeming endless series of staircases during my many transfers I cursed the laws that allowed so much public transportation to be built without handicapped accessibility. The three of us headed immediately to the zoo, making a brief stop by a cafe called "The Honest Sausage," where endless jokes abounded. Then we strolled around in the chilly, overcast weather ("with occasional flurries of school children"), looking at okapi, pygmy hippos, meerkats, and interesting little nocturnal animals from Madagascar. To our GREAT surprise we ran across spikeylady in the nocturnal animal house, so we managed to catch up with her at the end of the day and spent an hour finishing our strolling together.
Tonight was my great taco making expedition. I realized that part of the reason I like cooking for people when I'm travelling is that it makes me feel like I'm "part of the conversation," as it were. First, I'm contributing to the household; second, I'm acting like a normal person; third, I feel like I'm in control of the environment (rather than just being a mooch); fourth, it makes people really happy. So cooking puts me in a really good headspace, and I got a very good reception from my tacos tonight (and managed not to say,"No, no, NOW you add the lettuce, the beef should go in first!"). So ... yay for cooking while travelling.
Tomorrow: the adventure continues as I go to the Jurassic Coast in search of plesiosaurs! Updates as possible.