Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bank holiday

I do like a bank holiday. And even more than that, I like having them off from work, paid. Not too many years ago I’d work them because my boss told me. And there was no extra pay. And now that I think about it, no paid time off ever. Or health insurance.  Or retirement pay. Or really any benefit to me besides paying me for the 50 hours a week I worked.

My current job seems extremely civilized in these respects. So I think I’ll stay around. Cause having a Monday off, it allows me to do stuff like this at 9:30 in the morning:

It's an America sunglass kind of day.

It’s an America sunglass dancing kind of day.

And there’s little doubt that such shenanigans will continue for the rest of the day. And I’m not even drinking. That’s the scary bit. I’ve been sober now for 10 days. I feel like I’ve been sober 10 days too. My body is starting to feel normal. And I’ve probably lost a pound of weight owing to the lack of carbs I’ve not imbibed from beer over the last week and a half.

I’ve had a good weekend so far. With it chucking down with rain on Saturday, I stayed inside and watched football with intermittent spurts of Gavin and Stacey. Yesterday though I pulled myself out of my house to check out Epping Forest. It’s really really worth a visit and I highly recommend it. I literally walked aimlessly for about 5 hours and loved every bit of it. It was nice not having a clue where I was and to be out in a proper forest once again. I just don’t get into forest anymore, which hurts my brain and soul more than you’d think.

Epping

Epping

My only complaint is that I couldn’t get too far away from the rest of humanity. I was constantly surrounded by the sounds of cars whizzing by on nearby roads and a thousand billion planes flying over head. I miss that kind of deafening kind of quiet you get out in the middle of Central Oregon, hiking in the Ochocos. Or the sound of waves crashing on the beach in the Redwoods.

My mind has been wandering to the wild parts of the American West a lot recently. If I could, I’d take a week off work and go for an adventure in Oregon and California right this moment. With all the necessary trimmings of course: tent, sleeping bag, a few 6ers of local beer, a cooler full of food, firewood in the trunk, plenty of sunflower seeds and some really good company. Something similar to this scene:

Yeah, that'll do.

Yeah, that’ll do.

It’s the thing I miss most doing in the US by a country mile. Not that I even went camping all that much to be honest. Only a couple times a year. But it was enough. Now I feel a bit lost without it.

Any ways, I have to keep thinking about how much I love London and that I really, truly am happy and grateful for the opportunity to be here.  That sacrificing those experiences is worth being here. It is. Right? Yeah, I think it is. I hope it is.

With a bit of luck, I’ll be back doing those things before I know it….

Any ways, my friends, I’m going to sit in the garden and do some more dancing and perhaps a bit of reading now. I’ve got 70 pages left of 20,000 leagues under the sea. It’d be nice to finish Mr. Verne’s book before starting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. HP has interrupted me finishing 20,000 Leagues for the last 2 months. If you’re off today, enjoy the day. If you’re off next Monday, hope you’re doing something neat. And if you’re not off at all, sorry about your luck.  Bye kids.

 

Categories: Rando, travel, Walking | Leave a comment

Refocusing

Seems to happen this time of year, every year. I get the itch to go back to school. To learn something new. This year is certainly no different.  I’ve just spent the morning looking at online classes. I’m not sure why I’m bothering as I have no money, but they are worth a look for future reference. I think I’d like to do more environmentally stuff next like soil science. It would help me in my current job as it’s a bit of an enigma to me. I haven’t spent nearly enough time learning about it.

Any ways, as part of this re-focus is the giving up of alcohol. Believe it. As it’s happening for both financial and health reasons, it’s my main focus for the next 45 days (or as long as I can make it (I’ve already made it a day and a half!)). I went out with a bang on Thursday at the Great British Beer Festival. I had such a good time this year. If you can go, you should go! How can you pass up drinking mostly beer you’ve never had, eating spicy pork scratchings and wearing a funny hat? Life hardly gets better.

Beer and TWO bags of pork scratchings. Greedy, I know.

Beer and TWO bags of pork scratchings. Greedy, I know.

I never went to the GBBF when it was at Earl’s Court (an exhibition hall not to far away from this place). But I think Kensington Olympia is the place to have it. I heard some bad stories about Earl’s Court being a hot, stuffy, inhospitable place. Kensington Olympia is a beautiful Victorian exhibition hall. A really amazing space to be in.

Olympia

Olympia

I liked that this year they opened up an additional hall on the main floor. Last year, some of the drinks were upstairs. Actually, there could have been drinks upstairs, but I didn’t go up there this year. It seemed much nicer and with better seating this time around.

I had an ecclectic selection of drinks at the Festival. About 5 or 6 pints in total. The worst was Wild Hops by Harvey’s. Surprising as I usually really enjoy Harvey’s. My sentimental favorite was Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed IPA. I love Deschutes. I’m not sure the cask traveled that well from Oregon, but it was still excellent to have it. Maybe the Hobson’s Best Bitter was the best? Maybe it’s because it was the last thing I had and taste didn’t matter as much at that point.

So that was that. Now 45 more days of sobriety. I’ll be focusing on reading, writing and exercising. There’s so many books I want to read and I haven’t buckled down to do it. I blame the daily cycling.

I’m off now. Time to (possibly) go to the farmer’s market. I was going to volunteer today measuring trees, but there’s some horrible weather coming into town. Not sure it’s worth the physical effort to go all the way into town. Instead, I’ll read and enjoy the excellence that is Radio 6 on the weekends. Oh and I hear there may be some football on this afternoon. Yes! Have a great weekend folks.

Categories: Beer, London | Tags: | Leave a comment

Welcome to August

I’m looking forward to a busy end to 2013. It’s already kicked into high gear this week. It seems as though I’ve got events planned for nearly every weekend until the middle of November. No doubt I’m happy about being busy type, but how does this happen?

With all the nice weather and feeling more settled, less stressd and less depressed than I was this Spring, I haven’t had much to gripe about. For me that seems to mean less blog posts. I haven’t been traveling either, so not loads of pretty photos to post.

But I have some good news to report:
1. I’m going back stateside in October for my friend Ali’s wedding in New England. Ali and I have been friends for nearly 10 years now after our lovely study abroad time in London. I’m so happy to be able to go back and see her take her vows. And I get so see a load of my other friends from studying in London as well. Should be an excellent time. Oh and I guess I will see my family a bit too. I wish I could stay longer and go up to Maine for a couple days. It’d be nice to go to the coast and have a proper holiday. It’s only a week and is bound to be hectic.

2. I’ve done my work visa! Let’s hope for the best and get the UK government to agree with many people in the greater London area that I’m good company and should get to stay here longer.

3. Fulham are back home in London after playing some pre-season games abroad. They have 2 matches this week for pre-season and I’m going to both. Yey, football time is very close and this season the Premier League is wide open (in my opinion). Should be good.

I think that’s it. Below are some photos along the Regents Canal. I’ve been using it as my main transport route the last couple weeks as it’s the shortest and most pleasant way to get to where I’m working at the moment. Only will get to use it for the next couple days and then I’ll be off to a different area for work. I shall miss it.

Well, I’ll leave you with the photos. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the summer as much as I am. Cheers.

The quickly changing face of King's Cross. One of those buildings will be my office come next year.

The quickly changing face of King’s Cross. One of those buildings will be my office come next year.

The Canal and the Constitution.

The Canal and the Constitution.

Categories: Rando | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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