Yesterday’s day off involved several enjoyable things: the frictionless first-time use of my phone as a Clipper card to enter and exit BART stations; an hour or so talking with a friend about summer travel to Berlin and Barcelona and Stockholm; a serendipitous run-in with a blogging acquaintance; a few minutes sunning myself in a park and watching free coffee dispensed from a productivity software company’s pop-up truck; visits to and brief conversations within the San Francisco public library’s main branch (with someone who’d visited London during and apparently for the Jubilee, as well as the Isle of Wight and other unspecified southern England locations) and the Berkeley public library’s central branch for renewed accounts and freshly minted cards; the sneaking sense or awareness of time-off as something distant, not merely experienced or unwillingly dreamed about; and lastly, the view from certain hills’ backsides of stratus clouds slipping and clinging to the tops, unevenly spackling the ceiling overhead with patches of grey before giving way to a brilliant orange glow along the horizon just before sunset.

Around midday today, I overheard a woman at a table in the cafe section of a chain bookstore. She had a British accent, and she was talking to a man sitting with her about the royals. She remembered having the day off from work in 1952, when George VI died, and she sounded a little rueful about how long she felt Prince Charles has had to wait.