31 October 2011


Ruby and I walked around looking for houses to trick or treat at. I was told to only go to ones that had Halloween decorations - which were few and far between. Walking through the mostly deserted streets, we saw a red fox running around, going into people's yards trick or treating.

The few people who came to our house looking for treats were very sheepish. They looked like they wanted to apologize for showing up.

27 October 2011


Every night for the past few nights there have been fireworks going off around our house. I can't see any lights; just hear constant loud explosions coming from all sides. Simon and I thought maybe the fireworks were for Guy Fawkes Day - which isn't until Nov 5th - and is a night where towns have bonfires where they burn Guy Fawkes in effigy (a dude who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605) as well as effigies of unpopular famous people. It used to be some sort of anti-Catholic holiday. But someone told me today that the fireworks are for Eid al-Adha - a Muslim holiday that has to do with Abraham almost sacrificing his son.

20 October 2011

Wendy again

The "nutter" across the street came over to see who was sitting in the Wimbledon Driving School car parked in front of my house. When she saw it was me she said "Hi Wendy!" and kept talking and talking. I pay for these lessons by the hour so I kept trying to get her to move along. After that, my driving instructor called me Wendy for the next 2 hours.

19 October 2011


A flu shot for Ivy cost me 190 pounds ($300 US). A chickenpox vaccination for her cost me 190 pounds. At least most of the other stuff has been free. Doctor visits within the National Health System are scheduled for 10 minutes or less. I get into the room and start speed-talking. (Not much different than seeing a NYC doctor on an HMO I guess).

10 October 2011


Haven't seen him around.
I found out today that there is a cute little squirrel that used to be seen all over London. It was smaller than a regular squirrel, had a white tummy and looked like the drawings in a Beatrix Potter story. It has been almost completely wiped out by the invasive American gray squirrel. Such pride!


This is a photo of a poppet.

Everyone calls Ruby "poppet". Someone told me Ivy was a pudding.

09 October 2011

Ruby says...

...she wants to play "piggy in the middle". Not "monkey". She says "waTer" instead of her Brooklyn "wa-der". She asked if she could "have a run around?" when she wanted to get out of the stroller.

Playing Chicken

I knew it would be strange driving on the wrong side of the road, sitting on the wrong side of the car, but that isn't the strangest part. Here people park on both sides of the road (with the cars facing both directions on both sides). That is strange enough, but then they also drive right in the middle of the street, straddling the white line that separates the 2 lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. The roads are 2-way roads, but they are too skinny to fit 2 small cars at once, so everyone drives in the center of the 2 lanes and pulls over when someone else comes down the street the other way. It is the most crazy system I've ever seen. If neither car pulls over, they just face each other in the middle of the road, until one driver reverses into a parking spot so the other can pass. Why the roads aren't one way streets, I do not know.

05 October 2011

Spider Season

There are spiders everywhere and huge webs everywhere. It looks like Brooklyn on Halloween, but the stuff is real. When I walk around outside I always feel webs touching my face. Before all these big juicy spiders appeared someone told me it was "spider season".