Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Two if by sea

Or, in my case, twenty-six, which is how many pieces arrived this morning in my sea shipment. Now I don’t have to drink wine from the bottle any more! Unless I just want to. Here’s a picture of the head of the moving crew:

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving II

In addition to the work-time feast on Thursday, a few of us got together for a full Thanksgiving meal on Saturday. The steps of the meal were very traditional.

A group of us tried to make the DVD player work:

We gathered for the meal:

And we assumed the inevitable post-meal pose:

I also moved into my new apartment that day. Hooray!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving, UK Style

Thanksgiving, as it turns out, is not a widely-celebrated holiday in the UK. But at work yesterday, we were greeted with a glass of wine

and were treated to a full meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and assorted other dishes, along with American-style decorations. Nice.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the bathroom doors, which had been relabeled “Guys” and “Gals.”

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Papers are signed!

I didn’t want to say anything until the papers were signed, given the bad experience before, but now... I’ve signed a lease, and I move in on Saturday! Email me if you want pictures of the place.

More quick news updates:
I have gotten a definite answer on the internet connection in the hotel—they’ll be reconnecting it the day after I leave. The short posts continue.

Last night I had dinner with with John (you can see his picture in the “Good weekend” post), who explained that the cricket score 253-3 was not England 253, Pakistan 3. It means that England has 253 and has lost 3 out of 10 men. Well, of course!

And finally, as of midnight last night, we can now drink 24 hours a day. You can tell everyone is as excited as I am about this—check out the BBC news photos: for example, this one and this one.

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Every time I turn on the television these days, cricket is on. Yesterday, when I turned the tv off, England was leading Pakistan by 253-3. Wow.

(And, supposedly, the hotel will try to restore internet service today).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Internet still down

Unfortunately, my internet connection is still down. I’m therefore forced to post surreptitiously from work. So the posts during these troubled times will be a little short.

Last night was a foggy night, and as I was walking along Fleet Street, I saw St. Paul’s Cathedral rising out of the mist. Sadly, the image loses a lot of its romance through poor picture quality, but this is the best I can offer:

The day didn’t end on that tragic note, luckily, as I was treated to dinner at my friend Nicole’s house. We even had mince pie:

Monday, November 21, 2005

Technical difficulties

Unfortunately, the internet connection has been down since Thursday in the hotel. I’ll post more soon. In the meantime, the weekend was fun, and involved a pub crawl to some of the high points of the Islington pub scene. More later.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Here’s a picture of my office:

It shares an important characteristic with my current housing:

In other news, later this month we’ll be able to drink 24 hours a day here! Wa-hoo!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

New phone

For one day, I had a very sleek, very fancy, very adult phone (and mine was black). But that just wasn’t meant to be. When I asked about the price of replacing it, I realized that I don’t really need a sleek, fancy, adult phone.

Instead, I asked about a good, cheap alternative that would still work reasonably well and would just allow me to communicate with others (and also take pictures). And now I have a new phone.

My new phone is purple, it lights up and vibrates in time with the ring tone that’s set, and when it goes into standby mode, Emo the Salamander blows me kisses.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Poor planning

Inspired by last night’s dinner, I thought I’d try a little cooking on my own.

I returned from the store, however, to discover that my only oven is a microwave.

At least I didn’t go for the 2-for-£4 special.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Good weekend

This was a good weekend. I saw sights, ate food, went out with people, and got fed by others. As a sample of my weekend, here are some pictures.

Yesterday I went to St. Paul’s, where there was a whole little carnival set up. It evidently had something to do with the Lord Mayor:

Earlier today I saw my friend John, and we had a pint and a snack:

And this evening, I was treated to a home-cooked meal. Here’s an action shot of food being furiously chopped:

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Vodafone giveth

I got a cell phone on Thursday! I haven’t had one since moving to London. On Friday, I went out with friends to a pub after work. At some point while we were in the pub, my phone was taken. So this is where I went on Saturday:

It was a glorious one day, though.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why I'm still alive

Today was day two at work. I'm afraid it's going to be hard to keep up the daily pictures. I'll do my best. As part of that effort, in fact, here is a picture of a very helpful piece of advice found all over London:

And I'm intrigued by the running commentary on man-purses.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Not so fast

So the apartment I was so pleased yesterday to have secured fell through. I'll keep looking, although Sebastian is sounding a little discouraged. Also, I started work today. And I didn't take a single picture. So there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A flat of one's own

So I went out again with Sebastian to look at apartments, and I took one of the original places I saw. One more step marked off the list. (If you're curious, e-mail me for pictures).

In other news, and in order to continue my pictorial updates, today I ate Mexican take-out. And I bought socks.

South Bank

I walked along the South Bank yesterday, which is where the London Eye is. It was a pleasant walk, but a quiet day overall. I'm looking at more apartments this afternoon, and I'll post more:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Feels like old times

Martin came back into town last night on his way back from Paris. He and Katherine and I went out to dinner, then back to her place:

Also, Katherine told me that the problem I had with my laundry earlier was a function of temperature, not the detergent. People here evidently like cooking their clothes. See, this is why it's good to have smart friends.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bonfire night

Yesterday was Bonfire Night in England, a celebration during which people actually burn effigies.

Katherine and I didn't burn anything, but on our way to the evening's festivities, we did walk by the Thames to see some of the fireworks displays:
Fireworks in the distance

(And here's a cool, if slightly crooked, picture of Tower Bridge):
Tower Bridge at night

Then we celebrated the rest of the holiday at a masquerade birthday party:
Katherine and Pasquale

Friday, November 04, 2005

What do they put in British detergent?

Today I started the slow return to real life:

I've done my own laundry, more or less successfully, for years. But today, although it'd been washed many times before, when put up against British detergent, my underwear evidently just gave up and surrendered itself as "not colour-fast"—something the box clearly warned against. Luckily, it was the only part of my clothing that had any problems. Go figure.

After that, I had a lovely walk through Notting Hill, and I went out to dinner with a friend, so all was not lost.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Apartment (er... flat) hunting

Today I went around looking at apartments. Although my earlier wanderings were useful, it's still impossible to tell where things are in relation to other things. And which neighborhoods would be fun. And which ones would be less fun. And which ones, if any, would be awful.

But there's nothing to do but keep looking. I am going around with Sebastian, who's a very nice relocation agent that many others seemed to like, too. I suppose there are much tougher ways to be doing this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Educational notes

Today I went to Piccadilly Circus

and met up with my friend Bernard in a little diner.

Then I wandered through Soho. The name "Soho", in contrast to New York's SoHo, comes from the term's use as a hunting cry, since the area was used by Henry VIII as a hunting ground in the 16th century. "Piccadilly" comes from the term "picadils," which were the stiff collars that were all the rage in the early 17th century.

Thank you, Lonely Planet.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Today I walked. And walked. And walked. I don't have many good photos from my walk, especially since it got dark at the end, but here are a couple of the neighborhoods I walked through:

This is the corner of Upper Street and Pentonville Road by the Angel tube station in Islington:

And this is just outside the Liverpool tube station:

This is an enlightening entry, isn't it?

I also walked down Brick Lane, in Shoreditch, and realized how Brick Lane in New York got its name. Brick Lane, the London street, is like East 6th Street in New York, except that it must be 12 times as long.

I'm now craving Indian food.

And happy birthday to me. Hmph.