Things I learned during my trip
1) In manuscripts lies my salvation. While I was looking at MSS., I was not fretting about a thousand other things. I was making progress. I had tangible (and attainable) research goals. I felt inspired and--dare I say it--kinda cool and halfway competent.
2) I have a metric crapload of manuscripts to examine for my dissertation project.
3) I need to travel to see manuscripts as much as I'm able this year.
4) I also need to apply for funding to travel to various libraries to see manuscripts this year.
5) How to Get Around in Big Ben Burg and The City of Bikes 'n' Spikes.
6) That I actually prefer Bikes 'n' Spikes Library to Big National Library because it has late opening hours and the librarians will let you look at all your MSS. at once--which makes for easy comparisons among MSS. Also because B 'n' S doesn't charge $2.00/ten minutes of email access.
7) That I need to take even more immune-system-boosting stuff the next time I travel.
8) That I need to tie things to myself in order to keep from leaving them on the trains.
I also got to know my adviser a bit better and stayed with two lovely B&B owners who run two lovely B&Bs at reasonable prices.
All in all, I think it was a leap forward. I'm actually somewhat encouraged.