Friday 29 October 2004

all systems go

I need to report that all household technical difficulties mentioned in earlier logs are FIXED!

Mark just read back through entries past and demanded I report that he fixed to working order:
  • the digital TV
  • the stereo (with its many components)
  • land-line phone service

And we now have 24/7 internet wireless connectivity. Thank the lord. I was too much of a regular at the internet cafes in town.

So Mark's capabilities/pride are restored. And we have an additional 5 channels of nothing to watch.

Dapper in the stripy suit. Posted by Hello

Night out in London. Posted by Hello

Monday 25 October 2004

Will probably be mad that I'm posting his photo. Gray Saturday, walking the streets.  Posted by Hello

A tribute to so many good Marys and my alma mater.  Posted by Hello

The many colleges in Cambridge. Posted by Hello

Thursday 21 October 2004

out of order

I am probably braking with convention to post pics from my farewell soiree a month after I've been gone, but just realised (realized -- still can't do the English spelling w/o letting people know it is odd for me) that I never posted the rest of the pictures and people were asking after them.

the underbates. the batewoods Posted by Hello

my favourite quinns Posted by Hello

somehow this captures you sassy duo Posted by Hello

mary mary quite contrary Posted by Hello

The railroad tracks, which I live on the other side of.  Posted by Hello

Saris for sale on Mill Road. Posted by Hello

I keep thinking this says 'Shoplifting' everytime I pass it. (which is everyday) Posted by Hello

Not everyday is gray here...  Posted by Hello

They have the BIGGEST spiders I have ever seen here. Charlotte here was in our garden. (Note the long grass, we have to find out who cuts it for us...) Posted by Hello

The "wheelie bin" we had to buy for the rubbish collection. (I put the stickers on it... so it doesn't get pinched.) Posted by Hello

Tuesday 19 October 2004

wrong side of the tracks

I have just realised (realized) that there really is a wrong side of the tracks. And we live on it.

The girls all look cheesed off and are smoking. And have children with them that I pray are their siblings. A lot of eyeliner. And they tell you to piss off sooner than the time on their watch.

I like it.

It is oddly freeing. I feel like the proverbial fly, and am invisible and able to just watch and take it all in. Because it isn't really about me. I still feel like I am on an anthropological trip to infiltrate with the locals and study behaviour and note social mores.

And no one looks like me. I am a brown hair/ brown girl in a sea of pale. I (still) feel healthy and vibrant. The student population around me seem like they need showers and clothes that tuck in properly. And some sunshine.

On the other side of the tracks, which I am just starting to explore, people look hearty but kind. I can't walk 2 blocks without an adorable cafe beckoning. Gardens flourish and the greens are green.

I am going to like walking in silence between the 2 worlds. Feeling at ease in both. But not quite at home.

Monday 18 October 2004

Night clouds

First night in the house by myself last night, as M was away in Munich for work. After 100 years of apartment living, I am a big sissy. I am so used to having only ONE way into the house, and a 24-hour front door (albeit a lame, sleeping one) person to keep harm away.

Now I am in a real town house with and up and a down and a front door and a back door and first floor windows. (Yes, I too mental inventory of ways people could get in.)

Every creak was danger. Every noise clearly an intruder. But, big surprise, I awoke alive and well. That'll learn me.

Still waiting for our BT land line and our internet service. And for some reason the stereo (with the multi-components) will not work. Or the digital TV service. And I live with an engineer. It has been a silent but happy home. We are making weekly pilgrimages to England's answer to Home Depot. Let me say, I miss Target. They have Home Base and B&Q and Focus, but none of them really hold a candle to Target or a good old Lowes.

People are DIY (do it yerself) CRAZY here. And they call it D-I-Y. Which is kinda queer. We get 5 TV channels and at any given time 3 of them will have house -related shows on. Decorating, gardens, selling, cleaning, swapping, holiday homes, nightmares, dream homes, AUGH!

I want the digital TV to work.

Speaking of work, I must get me somma that. Especially with such fine examples of grammar I just displayed. Seriously, I could easily just make soup and eat small candybars and empty the dishwasher and make sure we have clean towels for a few more weeks, but I think one might think I was being lazy.

I lost my resume. In the transition to my new computer, I copied? Deleted? Lost? the soft copy of the CV and I feel it to be especially symbolic. Starting over with no background. Anyhoo- if any of you readers (and you know who you are) have a soft copy from within the last 3 years, can you sent to me? I feel naked and soft without it. And, frankly, un-employable.

Bill O'Reilley sex scandal?

Fingers crossed for Kerry.
Wisconsin people- can you rally? I was amazed to see we are still on the fence leaning 'that' way.

Mill Road. The street that takes us everywhere. The Connecticut Avenue of Cambridge. Posted by Hello

Friday 15 October 2004

Friday in Cambridge

Plum cake and a pot of tea at 2 p.m.

I am sitting in the place that made me want to move here. The Picture House. Independent film with a cafe/bar that makes crepes. And... they have wireless access! So I have been taking to plunking myself into one of the low-slung, well-loved couches and spending the afternoons online, looking out the window onto St Andews Street.

News flash -- I rode the bus today, £1 25 p... I still have to look hard at the change in my hand before I can pick out what coins are what. (The dang 10p look like quarters!)

And hard to believe, but M & I have NOT gone to our local pub yet. Tonight is the night! The Brook, aptly named as it sits on Brook Road. I have to reaquire (a word?) a taste for brewskis. And make sure not to call them brewskis.

Next week is the start of Job Getting. Some part-time gig to keep us in expensive cheese and the occasional night out. Funny, NOT working is really all that it is cracked up to be. I've really really enjoyed (and not even thought of) work -- past or present. Yes, people, it is a wonderful thing to go about a few errands and explore for the day.

I am also cooking! And watching the first runs of What Not To Wear. (love them)
And making lists with M about all the things we want to do/places to see in Cambridge, London and other parts of England.

And getting ready for coaching! Been enjoying the generous offers for sample session clients and getting excited to start the process. (That is PROcess to you.)

Hearing about the final debate here... BBC has very clean coverage of all things Washington. I enjoy the unattached view, as I know I'd be ill if I was there. Let's face it -- he had HIS inner demon not on his shoulder, but square in the middle of his back, whispering.

Please send me mail. The postman comes on his bike first thing in the morning and hearing the plop of an American piece of mail is thrilling.

Wednesday 13 October 2004

fashion report

- no one is wearing ponchos
- those awful slouchy moon boots that Kate Hudson wore last year are all the rage
- students seem exceptionally grungy (am I just old -- don't answer that)
- trousers are both too long and dragging on the floor or tucked in aforementioned boots
- long, stripy scarves are still in

- mod 60s boots are hot
- bold pin-striped suits in London
- pink shirts

In addition, nice grandmas ride bikes in skirts and kerchiefs

Tuesday 12 October 2004

My fun-kay new house key Posted by Hello

Real live mail slot (I guess we have these in the US, but I never have) Posted by Hello

Spot the British food stuffs Posted by Hello

bounty and kitchen view Posted by Hello

Saturday 9 October 2004

in the right place

I write from the biz center of Initial Style Conference Center -- in West London where my class is being held near Regent Street. I am 1.5 days in and know I have found my people. No Americans -- English, Swiss, Scotish, French and Canadian and yet I sense the same vein of people-ness and curiousity about how people connect and move.

Is wonderful.

London kicks ass of course and I felt AWFULLY cool on the train from Cambridge and then the tube this morning all by myself, like I am a regular.

Will be looking for volunteers for coaching clients!!! Please let me know (for real) if you want to start phone sessions. (you call me is the cost you pay)

Much more later. How was the Chaney v Edwards, a.k.a evil v good debate?

Things I have learned:
ta= thanks
don't call things cute -- people do not like it

Tuesday 5 October 2004

Chief Immigration Officer: A Person You Don't Think You'll Meet

The eagle has landed and has 9 minutes left on the 'internet zone's' computer to try to describe my last 24 hours.

Let me sum up.
I almost didn't get IN the (and I use this quite by design) bloody country.

STUPID Carol packed her papers. And shipped them to herself.
So when discussing "Why are you here in the UK" with the immigation officer lady in her headscarf, I ignorantly and wisconsinly told her the truth that "I am here to take part-time classes, but was rejected for a student visa." After all, that was true and it was 2 a.m. in my brain and body, after getting off the plane. I was bleery brained and slow. And convinced that getting in was no biggie.

Needless to say. that put me in a whole other category of scrutiny. I went to the "other" line -- the one where you wonder what those people DID!

I was questioned.
Mark was questioned. (from the other side of course.)
Why do you not have any paper work with you? ( my answer that I was dumb did not go over well.)
Why do you have so many bags, madam, if you are coming back in 5 months?
Why did you ship 5 boxes to yourself?
Why do you have some many things?
Why do the cards from your friends anf family say goodbye to you?
Why did you not come over on a fiancee visa if you are here to be with your boyfriend? (I am sure Mark liked answering THAT one)
What proof do you have that you are going to leave the UK?
What is a life coach?

I realise this all is starting to look bad. They searched all 6 of my bags. I was truly embarassed for all my clothes and the fact that I packed cotton balls.

I waited.

They asked more questions. When my officer told me she has to present this case to the Chief Immigration Officer. That is when I started to blubber. And perhaps when she started to feel sorry for the pitiful ignorant American girl.

So I waited with my bags and my soggy kleenex. They had my passpert, my cards, my little notebook from my purse. I was naked. Mark presumably on the other side of the vast wall of baggage and customs, pacing and getting anxious as the time ticked away.

My headscarf lady (I had coined her) appeared and motioned me forward with my bags. A good sign.

I was going to be granted entry. And the angels at my Coaches Institute convinced her that indeed I really did need a visa to work too.

I am in.
I have a WORKING visa. (a total bonus -- this is what I was rejected for!)
I am in shock.

I take my crap and hightail it outta there and cross the customs line. Mark is there at the end of the line. I ran into his arms and cried.

Feels like I earned the right to be here.

Saturday 2 October 2004