Monthly Archives: September 2011

Unconscious protest?

On a train. In London. Destination....unknown. Mostly because I can't remember.

Seriously, since finishing up my dissertation, I have thought little about writing in any form.  I think my brain temporarily gave up on writing.  Even sending postcards has been a painful process. But seeing that it has now been a full month since the hand in date, I think I may have turned a corner. Today I’ve written a few postcards, emailed a few people and done some other important writing.  And now, here I am on the old blog.  And now you’re all the beneficiaries of my renewed love of the written word.

Has it been about a month since writing?  Whew.  Seems ages ago.  I’ve been busy on the weekends, either out doing fun things in the city or doing fun things like drinking at the pub.  I’ve got some nice pictures to share with you as well. Nearly every weekend (except for this one) I’ve hopped on my bike and gone on a long cycle in the city.  Homer has enjoyed getting to know the roads

Homer taking in the Thames in Battersea Park

of the city. As have I.  Most of our travels have been in the West and the south West as they are the easiest to access and I know them the best.  This includes Kensington, Putney, Fulham, Wandsworth and out through Richmond and Kew.

I went to Kew Gardens a few weeks ago for the bank holiday Monday.  I cycled there early in the morning and man, am I glad I did so.  I enjoyed being there for a few hours as it was quite a nice day.  Apparently the rest of London thought so as well.  By the time I left Kew was absolutely PACKED with people.  And it’s at those moments when I no longer like living in a big city.  I vacated immediately and pedaled back home.  The ride was really nice though as I got to ride along the Thames path for a mile or two in each direction.  Most of the Thames path through the city is either off limits to cyclists or doesn’t actually go along the Thames at all.  So to finally be on a

Posing in a nice big Magnolia tree.

stretch where it was bike friendly was really nice.  I’ve looked at a map since and it seems as though anything West of London will allow for cyclists along the path.  One of these weekends I will cycle it out to Reading to see my old classmate.  Hopefully soon, before weather turns too unpleasant for long rides.

Besides Kew, I’ve gone to Borough market for some delicious local produce. That was last weekend and it couldn’t have been better.  The prices for food are cheaper than what I pay at the supermarket, so it’s worth rallying on a Saturday morning and heading there to do some shopping.  And the prepared food there is absolutely delicious and very affordable as well. Last week I had a nice chicken masala, a shot of wheatgrass juice and a apple/pear/mint juice drink all for £10.  All of it fresh, so you can’t go wrong.  If you’re planning to come to London, don’t miss Saturday borough market.  It’s a bit touristy, but if you can put up with a massive crowd of Americans taking a billion pictures, it’s worth it.  I just remembered there’s a stall there called “beef curtains”  selling hand cured meats and such.  Well, of course there were people taking pictures of the sign and giggling.  A mother and her maybe 11 year old son were walking by when I was.  The boy said “why are people taking pictures of that?” and the mother proceeded to bust up laughing.  I also did.  She kind of said “errrrmmm welll……”  not really giving a straight answer to the young lad.  He’ll learn in time.  A classic moment and I am sure one that that mother will remember for

A sunny start to the Fulham v. Blackburn game at the Cottage

forever.  Bless.

This past week I was able to attend to Fulham matches.  One vs Blackburn last Sunday and then one on Thursday vs. FC Twente.  Of course when ever I go to a game, Fulham can not win.  That tradition continued this week as Fulham ended both games in a 1-1 draw.  The game on Sunday was so nice at the start.  A beautiful day to be taking in some football.  Accordingly, I couldn’t imagine it raining.  But by the start of the 2nd half, the storm clouds rolled in and it began to drizzle.  Then rain.  And by the time the game was over it was pouring.  I was caught doing an 8 mile bike ride home in the rain with no rain gear. School girl error as they would say here.  Luckily it stopped about half way through, I dried out from fierce pedaling.  But then it decided to rain my last 2 miles of riding, leaving me soaked as I got back to my house.  Thanks rain, for being completely unpredictable.  I should know better at this point of living here that it is rarely safe enough to leave the house sans full rain gear.  Though that being said, the rain usually comes in the evenings, leaving me safe at work most of the time.  But I must be careful if I pedal to the pub at night.

No better venue than Craven Cottage for football!

After a couple late nights this week at the pub on Tuesday and Wednesday, I rallied to attend that late night match at the Cottage on Thursday.   This one stayed dry, but it Fall was definitely making sure we knew it was on the way as it was pretty chilly.  A wonderful night though, with the moon rising over the cottage as the game progressed.  I found it amusing to be sitting next to a few men who obviously came straight from work.  They were still in suits and had briefcases in hand.  A much different feel for sports over here than you get in the states.  People don’t necessarily get decked out in gear supporting their team.  In fact I’d say it’s the exception.  But once the weather starts getting more chilly, more football scarves will pop up amongst the supporters.  I don’t yet have a scarf but should probably look into getting one soon as I was pretty chilly on Thursday.

So needless to say, I’ve become a manic football supporter.  It was inevitable with a move to London and being able to easily bike to see Fulham whenever my bank account allows me to!

Besides that I’ve decided to do some volunteering with a tree organization here in the city.  I went to some training on Tuesday and Wednesday for it.  Although I was probably way over qualified to be getting training, it was still nice to have a review.  On Wednesday we had a field trip to a tree nursery where my former classmate Keith works.  He’s kind of a big deal and was actually leading the training that day.  I learned about this concept called “urban forestry.” Totally

trees!

fascinating.  Really, I didn’t need to go to it, but I wanted to check up on Keith and see the tree nursery I heard so much about over the last year.  It was really impressive.  They have about 150,000 trees on site.  And they are containerized.  It’s really a huge operation.

Yeah.  That’s been most of what has been going on here in the last month.  I hope to really get into volunteering a lot in the next couple months.  Keep cycling loads.  I’m looking forward to all my visitors scheduled to be here over the next couple months.  And I hopefully will be in the mood to write more again.  It is nice to share my life with you in the written form.

And I end this with the beautiful sight of the Michael Jackson tribute statue all lit up at night at Craven Cottage.  I had no idea MJ was a boxer before I saw this statue.  Good night, all.

RIP Michael

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