Category Archives: Weather

The BBC and This Blog

I wake up pretty early now. Too early for work. But too late to go to they gym. I’m trying to change that. (You might say that what I should have been doing with that time was writing this blog.) But until then, I actually, for the first time in my life, have time to watch the news in the morning before I go to work. So I find myself watching the BBC every morning and am, over and over, impressed. There’s a lot happening here right now with the BBC. It seems that there was a former much-loved presenter, three decades ago, who did some bad stuff to kids. And now everyone is crying a “crisis of confidence” in the BBC. Oh, how they have no idea HOW GOOD THEY HAVE IT.

I’ve talked with my mom a few times about the news here. She has come to the (only half joking) conclusion that because the BBC is—technically—owned and operated by the government, that it is most definitely propaganda. (N.B.: They are run entirely independently.) While there is certainly programming on the channel that I think is meant to soften public gripes (e.g. the Tube documentary that clearly intended to introduce whining commuters to the soft, lovely personalities behind the control room doors so they’d ease the heck up), the news is not in this category. I feel lucky to watch REAL news every morning; news with a global focus, and with fair, but pointed questions, where everyone comes away looking mostly happy with how the interview went. There doesn’t seem to be any unspoken prize for making your guest feel the most uncomfortable; no pat on the back and “job well done” for making someone cry on air. To be clear, this kind of stuff most definitely exists in the country on other stations and other programs—so this is not a statement about this country’s superior culture. But the BBC, man, that is just good, solid reporting. And they even manage to balance some personality with it, so it’s actually enjoyable to watch. And Chris and I really love our weather person. Her name is Karen. She has nice hair and is always happy about this shit weather. Ya gotta give her credit for that.

I, personally, am feeling no crisis of confidence in the BBC. But perhaps that’s just that I have the context of what the news can be, and how poorly the world’s events can be reported on. Perhaps it’s that I studied journalism in a time just before this sensationalist, wannabe mud-raker style took over, and I have an idealist’s view of what the news should be and know that the BBC pretty much nails that.

Sorry this post didn’t have pictures of Europe in it, guys.


Some Thoughts on England.

It goes from pouring rain to super sunny so quickly, that it pretty much always feels like you’re at a water park. Sun so bright you’re squinting, while walking through puddles everywhere.

If I still tweeted, this would have made much more sense there.

I get knocked down, but I get up again.

This post title brought to you by the late Chumbawumba. Did you guys all seriously know they were a band until two days ago, still? And they apparently broke up? And now the internetz is going crazy over it.

So, wow, I pretty much let almost an entire month go by without writing here, which is real bad news, but to be fair, the following things have been happening:

1) I have been watching The Bachelorette.

2) I have been reading Game of Thrones.

3) I have been planning trips to Lake Como and Milan (next weekend), Paris (in August, to celebrate ten years of annoying the crap out of each other), Munich in October (yes, exactly what you’re thinking), and Greece in September.

4) We actually kind of have friends now and we’ve been going out a lot. Weird!

5) The weather has been absolute shit. Again. I woke up this morning and there was sun shining into the living room and I felt shock.

6) We’ve been putting together new IKEA furniture.

So what this all means is that A) I have lots of photos to upload and will do so shortly, and B) I think we can finally do a whole house tour!

One last really important thing, is that we finally had all of our shoes delivered to us, which was great. Not that I generally have much use for gold Michael Kors heels, but it’s nice to know they’re there if I want them. But it was also really fun because it was like opening presents! Aside from some knitting, and the shoes, we didn’t expect anything else. So when four boxes showed up, I was sort of worried. But it turns out they were almost entirely packed with things we had meant to arrive here, and didn’t realize were missing. (Which I’d guessed was going to happen, because there was pretty much ZERO way they could have screwed anything up because our house was organized so perfectly for the movers.) So we got our “pretty” laundry basket, for one. Some little mini golf set of Chris’s. Β And, possibly the biggest thing that was screwing with my head without me even realizing it: three dish towels. I cannot tell you how baffled I have been about how quickly we’ve been running through dish towels. And I could not figure out why. Turns out it’s cause we only had half of them, and we have been so unsettled I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE THAT. I know what you’re all thinking right now, and no, I am not ashamed that I felt off-kilter because I was missing dish towels, or that I am publicly explaining it.

I swear things have been more exciting and fun than this makes it sound.

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What an exciting week. We went to the Royal Albert Hall for the first time. I got a serious sunburn in Hyde Park on Saturday because we have been having PHENOMENAL weather (as a reward for all the rain, I am certain). I started reading A GAME OF THRONES, for the love of God! And now we’re awaiting the arrival of Chan tomorrow morning, getting ready to leave for Norway on Thursday, and celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday. I get that you guys might not totally understand what exactly that means for the city I live in. And these photos don’t even scratch the surface of what is happening around me, but they are a taste of the patriotic hysteria that is surrounding us:

THERE IS BUNTING EVERYWHERE. I have died and gone to Cutesy English Heaven.

Friday night we went out with one of Chris’s colleagues and it was super fun. We went to a “90s” night at an indie bar and everyone knew every word to every Hot Hot Heat song and it was like we had been transported to some alternate universe. (I put it in quotes because they were a bit generous with their “decade” standards.) But seriously, English people are rad and when they get drunk, it’s kind of something special. Beyond what you can imagine, really. Large groups of typically very conservative people who drink their weight in under two hours and then become an entirely different group of people. Not like in New York where at a “90s” night, everyone would just be standing around trying their best to look cool and playing with their hipster glasses and mustaches without daring to move anything but their right heel and lower right calf. NO, this was a room full of strangers hugging each other, jumping around, spilling booze on each other, and singing at the top of their lungs to songs most people I know have never even heard of. Most. Fun. Ever. Arrived home somewhere in the realm of 3:30 AM.

We did not go here, but it was next door, and because I am sort of a twelve-year-old, I laughed:

I will leave you now with one final bit of Curious-Englishness:

Trouser leggings?

(Yes, that’s Twiggy in the background.)

Who Built the Ark? Noah! Noah!

Something important for you to know about me is that the summer between fifth and sixth grades, I went to a summer camp in Rhode Island that was—strictly speaking—an “Episcopal” summer camp. (I know, I can’t believe Elaine allowed that either. It was only for a week.) We attended services every single morning, and they had wine after communion, and I was so nervous I drank it every day because I didn’t know what else to do, and it was a turning point in my life when on the way home, I told my mom, and she said “You could have just skipped it if you didn’t want to do it!” (Mind = blown.) I learned to dive in a lake and made a friend from Foster-Gloucester who I thought of every snow day* from there on after, and I also learned lots of Christian songs, like “Who Built the Ark?” and something else called “Arky, Arky.” And, I’m just gonna be honest at this point and say that for the past 15 years I’ve merged what I remember of these two songs into one song and was shocked to find out (just now in my efforts to post video for you) that they were actually two different songs. Please, enjoy:

I tell you about this because every time it rains for an extended period of time, I cannot help but sing these songs(/this song) in my head. And let me tell ya, I’ve been singing these a lot over the past few days, because: It has rained for something like 16 straight days here. And I don’t mean just a little sprinkle. I mean full-on, pouring rain, on and off, all day, for two weeks straight. And it will be blindingly sunny for ten minutes at a time between the bouts of downpour—absolutely bi-polar weather. Up until two weeks ago, we’d had exactly ONE day with real rain since we’d arrived here, and it had been absolutely beautiful otherwise. Chris and I had convinced ourselves (oh, how obnoxious we are!) that English people “just like to complain” and that it was a Greenland/Iceland thing where they try to trick people into staying off their turf. Turns out, they were not lying, and we’re just assholes. I understand now why English people all run outside at the slightest hint of sunshine. I am doing everything I can to book a sunny vacation because I am SO SAD.

I actually stood up against our tall radiator yesterday, closed my eyes, and pretended I was on a beach. I need to go get some Vitamin D supplements. It is getting real real here, my friends.

That said, this is actually really good news for the country, which is in drought right now. They say that even with all of this crazy rain, they’re not ready to lift the water bans they have in some areas.

In other, more fun news: We’re headed to The Great Brixton Bake-Off tomorrow in an attempt to get back to our foodie roots. Chris and I have been doing a decent job at populating the Rolodex of restaurants and other food-related establishments, but it’s shaky ground and I feel SO WEIRD not being in-the-know in my home city’s food scene. Last night we hit up The Old Fire Station, a pub in the ‘hood that gets a couple of gold stars in the Hussavello book.

A week from today, we’ll be back in the states for a week! By the time we get back we’ll have almost been living here for FOUR MONTHS. I can’t believe how quickly time is passing here.

*This joke will make sense to .004% of you. From Wikipedia: “Ponaganset is notable in RI because it averages a disproportionate number of winter weather-related cancellations each year. The cancellations are, in part, because the towns of Foster and Glocester have higher elevations than the rest of Rhode Island and are located in the unofficial ‘snow belt.'”

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