Sunday, 30 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

So much for my weekly blog. Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Here's a rundown of ours...

Dan and I had a lovely Christmas in London this year since we weren't able to make it to either of our parents' houses. It was nice to stay in a posh part of the city and hang out with other tourists though. Being the traditionalists we are, Christmas eve consisted of walking to Piccadilly Circus and eating at TGIFridays (!!). Christmas day we woke up and went to the service at St.James of Piccadilly. We seem to always go to high Anglican churches on Christmas day whenever we are in England. I think it's nice to be really formal on Christmas. Afterwards we walked around the city and enjoyed our wet Christmas.

Christmas dinner was at a funky little hole in the wall called Little Bay that served up a mean 5 course meal. I even lifted my vegetarian status for the day and had turkey as I thought I would be sad to have mushroom risotto as the main course of a Christmas dinner. We weren't the only ones homeless on Christmas day and dined with Aussies, students, and Brits not bothered to cook a roast dinner. As the restaurant was in Fulham and public transport was taking a holiday, we walked four miles from our hotel to dinner in solidarity with the original holy family. In laziness however we got a cab back.

It's nice to be in London when there are hardly any cars of people on the road. It makes it feel more like it is our city.

Well, belated Merry Christmas everybody. I hope you all enjoyed time with your loved ones. This year was great in London but I hope to be in Seattle next year to celebrate!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Giving Thanks

This is not what our dinner table looked like on Thursday by the way.

Here in the UK, Thanksgiving was business as usual. I did bring in some brownies to work to celebrate, but other than that no one seemed to notice. Thanksgiving is a pretty good holiday that Britain would be smart to adopt. It's the necessary buffer between autumn and 'Christmas season' that they currently don't have, allowing tinsel and decoration sales to seep all the way into October.

What I do wonder about Thanksgiving though is, if it's supposedly to celebrate the Pilgrims making it through the first winter, why do we celebrate it right at the onset of winter rather than when it's finished? Maybe it's to hearten us that, if America's forefathers armed with only buckles and muskets could make it through, then surely we'll be able to as well.

With this in mind, one thing I am especially thankful for this year is that I wasn't at the first Thanksgiving celebration. I would have been an awful Pilgrim: I hate boats, being cold, unnecessary violence, and don't really like pumpkin pie. This year, I am thankful that our flat, albeit tiny, is probably cozier than a 17th century log cabin.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

It's been a while...

Hello again world. My blogging is set to emerge from a 5 month hibernation, but this time with a new look, new zeal, and even a new url. This is due to the fact that, as many of you know, I am no longer in Birmingham, so 'adopted brummie' no longer felt appropriate. Partly because every single other slightly witty web address was already snatched up, I had to settle on this one that should transcend all postcodes and, highlight the fact that as the saying goes, you can take a girl out of Seattle but you can't take Seattle out of a girl.

So hear's to the new launch! I am planning on overcoming the fact that we are stuck in the 1990's and don't have broadband at home (let alone dial-up!) and attempt to post a new gem weekly.

This week is just a welcome and an update. We've been in London now for 2 months. It's a crazy and refined city, completely overpriced and overcrowded, and addictive. I've been in England long enough to feel more like a resident than a tourist, a foreign resident with an accent, but still a resident. I finally have the paperwork in my passport now to prove it too. After sitting a test about information most British people wouldn't even know, paying £950, providing 24 documents evenly spaced over the last 2 years to verify Dan and I's cohabitation, and 4 hours in the Immigration Services waiting room, I made the cut. I can stay here indefinitely if I choose.

And how could I resist to continue to stay in London, crammed with Dan in a tiny studio flat that costs as much to rent as a ranch in Texas? This is the smallest place we've ever stayed as well as the most expensive. I, and every Londoner, am getting completely ripped off. I just have to remind myself that I chose this, and in fact, paid £950 for this.

Things I do love about London however include: great diversity of people, reading on the bus for 2 hours a day during my commute, walking around and discovering new places, and just being somewhere different. I have a love hate relationship with being foreign. It can get old, but it is also stimulating and challenging, and for now, I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you're reading this, I probably miss you, unless you're in London, in which case, give me a shout. We hope to see everyone from Brum soon, so drop me a line.

Well, that's all for now. Better keep it short so I have something to write about next week! Please come back...
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