Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It takes 2 hours to get from London to Brussels.  One to Paris.  If you can get over the fact that you are travelling at high speed beneath the English Channel, the Eurostar train is a great, easy and fast way to access Continental Europe.

It was actually a surprise holiday that Neil took me on, and I didn't find out where we were going until the day before.  This prevented any planning, which was actually a great way to go for the weekend.  We spent it walking around (although not necessarily knowing what we were looking at), enjoying the sun, enjoying each other, beer, food and football (ahem, soccer).  (GO USA!)

Here are some photos of a wonderful weekend in the Belgian sun.  I'll spare you the history lesson.

Manneken Pis: Has been a fixture in Brussels since 1618 or 1619.  They like to dress him in costumes.  Last time I was there I believe it was a devil of sorts.  Now a waiter.

This bar serves over 2,000 types of beer.  A few of the samplings: strawberry, cherry, banana, apple

Enjoying some apple juice, I mean beer.

I've heard of a handle bar mustache, but perhaps not a beer stein handle bar mustache.

The main square.

Sustenance for the football (ahem, soccer) game.

Belgian booty.  Beer and chocolate, chocolate and beer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day Tripping

England is a pretty small country.  About the size of Michigan, in fact.  And so while it doesn't make it so great being crammed in here with 60 million other people, it does make taking day trips to some beautiful and historic places very possible.

So possible, in fact, that a friend and I headed to Cambridge for the day.

A few fun facts:

-Last year in 2009 Cambridge celebrated it's 800th year as a University.  One of the oldest olleges is Clare College, named after a woman who had been disallowed from attending the university as she was a "lady of disrepute".  A few rich (and dead) husbands later, she made a large donation.  I guess money has been speaking for a very long time.

-The following is the site of the first bridge over the River Cam.  Hence: CamBridge

-It is illegal for anyone except for the Queen (and a few select members of King's College at Cambridge) to eat swan meat, for the commoners the offence is tantamount to treason.  They are all by default property of the Queen.  How often she eats them I'm not sure (and what if she wanted to share a meal?  They are pretty big...)  

- Prince Charles attended Cambridge.  King's College to be specific (fitting, no?).  One of the national newspapers reported on his bodyguard, who, having sat through all of the lectures, also sat the final exam.  He scored better than the future King.  It's not what you know, people, it's who you know.

-Punting.  A fancy word whose etymology I don't know (and am too lazy to look up) but assume is just "boating" because Cambridge likes to think they're smarter than everyone else.  So yes, punting is a fancy word for boating on the River Cam.  The boats are all 23' long with 4 rows of seats, made of wood and have a flat bottom.  They were designed specifically for the river as it is very shallow and traditional boats wouldn't pass through it.  They are maneuvered down the river gondola-style, but instead of paddling they push the long stick along the stony bottom.  Most rivers had muddy bottoms.  The Cam, however, was filled with stones by enterprising merchants who refused to pay travel taxes to the University for travelling on their land.  As the river is shallow and public domain, that is where they chose to travel.

-Here are just a few more photos of the various bridges, colleges and greenery.

                                           The Bridge of Sighs. 

                                                     Henry VIII. 

Really beautiful until you realise those gray things in the back are graves.

   My friend Sarah and I as we enjoyed a cloudy day on the river Cam.

-How quintessentially English is this guy?!  He looks like he is straight out of a movie.  I know no real English people that dress like this.  But I do give him a lot of style points!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Little Things

It's the little things in life.

 Like screens on windows.  Or knowing which way to look when crossing the street.  (And the existence of stop signs.  And the innate knowledge that the oncoming car WILL stop for you).  Not to mention easy access to macaroni and cheese.

The little things.  That really do make life easy.  That make it routine.  Comfortable.

That resolutely do not exist in the UK.

Okay, I get that mac and cheese isn't a gourmet delicacy spread to new worlds with great pomp and circumstance.  I understand that Britain had roads, and things driving on them, whether motorised or not, long before the US was even a country.  I give in and I give up on those.  (And with spelling.  See above "motorised".  And with word choice.  I can only take asking for a "roundtrip" bus ticket so many times only to be reprimanded with "it's return ticket here miss")

But seriously.  No window screens?  It begs a simple question -- WHY?  Do you like flies and spiders and centipedes and all likes of creepy crawlies having unabated access to your homes?  Do you prefer that it makes it that much easier for someone to rob you blind should you forget to close a window?  And people, the windows are open.  It's summer.  Air conditioning is about as prevalent as window screens and I have one word for you - humidity.

But cheers to a sunny day in the UK.  But I do ask, politely, but yet again, for the men to put their shirts back on.  And for the women to do the same.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Q: Who Wears Short Shorts? A: Not me. But every other woman in England.

Howdy Folks!

Can you believe it is 27 degrees here today?!  Wait, what?  27?  In summer?
Oh, Celsius, you tricky dog, you.  That means 80?!  (Or 300 Kelvin, if you're into that kind of thing)  No wonder the snowpants and down jacket seemed a little excessive (and sweaty) the other day.  But one never can tell on the tube.  They see the likes of everything.  And I mean everything.

Why David, that new hair-style is just fetching.

It's been hot and cloudless the past few days.  And just to prove that cultural differences don't always run deep, the British too, shed their clothes at the first ray of sunshine.  I don't think I've seen a man with his shirt on for four days.  I am also almost nearly blind from the glare of white, white legs that are in short, short shorts.  Eight months is a long time people.   Self tanner.  Or trousers.

To enjoy the beautiful weather like a proper tourist, I went on a "Royal London Walk". Below is a photo of at least a few reasonably dressed (and by that I mean well-covered) people.

I'm off to tackle part of a creative writing project I've procured for myself.  Because surely watching TV is research.

That's all I've got for now, folks.  
Catch you on the flip side.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm a Rambling (Wo)Man

Here in England apparently walking for the sake of walking isn't enough.  It is called "Rambling".  And ramble I did this weekend.


The above is an image of the Stevenage Outer Orbital Path.  On which I went walking with Neil and some friends this weekend.  We passed a few proper ramblers (rucksacks, maps and all), but I'm going to venture we ambled more than rambled as we "kind of knew which direction we were headed" and found the car muchas gracias to GPS.  Working off the Mexican feast from Saturday night and the mega American-style breakfast Sunday morning we worked our way through six miles of sunny, green English countryside.  Add the hay-fever inducing fields of rape (ugly name, beautiful scenery), some seriously quaint churches and thatched-roof houses and it truly was any movie or the imagery from a Jane Austen novel.


Datchworth Church


In other English news, there is a new Prime Minister and a new government.  (Although it sounds strange to say new government.  Like it is finally democratic or something - really it just means they had an election).  There was some hullabaloo about the whole thing as the Conservatives (Tories-who, are quite liberal and progressive by my American standards) won the majority of seats but not enough to form an absolute majority, thus enabling them to drive through any legislation they want.  So, instead of calling another election (yes, they can call an election whenever they want over here) in a few months and hoping to secure the magic 326 seats in Parliament the Conservatives have formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats (who only secured 52 MP seats in the election), and the two have pledged to govern together.  I for one, find this to be a most pleasing solution to a major political "problem".  This forces the nutters in either party to the margins, where they usually belong, and at the end of the day I feel the policies and interests of the government cover more people in the country.  One big hot-button issue for all the parties is immigration.  And by that I mean they are all vowing to curb it, cut it and cease it.  We'll see how this plays out for all students hoping to get visas in the near future (meaning, me).  This melange of parties in power also encourages, nay, requires DEBATE.  This, for reasons unbeknownst to me, is a four-letter word in British politics. 

My favo(u)rite election poster, courtesy of the UKIP (UK Independence Party):

Needless to say, they did not sod the lot.  In fact, they got two for the price of one.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo, the English Way

which, means...doing nothing.  And reading about all the delicious Mexican food my friends and family back in the States are planning on consuming back in the States (thanks, Facebook!).

It's strange being in a country where not only do they not recognize or celebrate the holidays that have made up your life (think, Labor and Memorial Day, MLK Jr., etc.), but that there are holidays of which they have no idea of their existence (they don't bother to name their holidays other than Christmas, Boxing Day and Easter - they're all just known as Bank Holiday - and there are a lot of them).  Take Cinco de Mayo for example.  While not an official holiday in either the US or Mexico it is generally recognized (if incorrectly as the Mexican Independence day) and celebrated.  Cue the tacos and beer (I'll take a Dos Equis, por favor).

The state flag of Puebla, Mexico

Neil and I celebrated his inaugural Cinco de Mayo whilst in Madison, albeit a few days early, with plenty of Mexican-style BBQ (seriously, corn tortillas on the grill, you haven't lived until you've tried it), several salsas, guacamole, margaritas and dos equis.  Not to mention great friends, beautiful weather and even a little Spanish-speaking.  It was a beautiful evening, and it was interesting to watch someone celebrate a holiday that they didn't know existed until a few days earlier.  It just goes to show that good friends, good food, good conversation and a few dirty jokes transcend cultures and borders and I thoroughly recommend it as a formal foreign relations policy.  Seriously.  Add a little booze and I'm positive this whole Middle-East thing could be worked out in no time.

Seriously, droooooollllll

I've scoured the British countryside (well, okay the grocery stores where I live) in the attempts to find decent (because that is all you can ask for here) Mexican ingredients, and luckily I've discovered a few secrets.  The first is that at the Borough Market in London there is a stall that sells real, honest-to-goodness Mexican ingredients that are so delicious that I don't even mind paying for them what I would pay for the entire Mexican grocery at home.  If I find the inspiration any time soon, I'll post a recipe for pulled pork (made in the slow cooker!) Mexican style that is delicious, easy, and most importantly - able to be assembled with ingredients found in English shops.  Yum yum.  You'll just have to come back at a later date to check out my blog (again!) to see if it's been updated.  Check out the recipes section.

When some friends come up for the weekend I'm planning a Mexican feast and I can't wait.  So instead of an on-the-day Cinco de Mayo celebration this year, I'll be celebrating it twice, on both sides of the pond.  Once a little early and once a little late.  Once with some folks from Mexico and once with some folks who have never heard of the holiday, but both times with good food, good friends and good fun.

Hasta pronto,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weathering in Wisco

Howdy folks!
As most of you know (because I've seen you! yay!) I am safely back in the land of beer and cheese and enjoying every moment of it.  I couldn't believe when I landed it was 80 degrees (of course a few days later it snowed...)

It was a long and mostly uneventful flight, save the man seated next to me who played every conceivable air instrument whilst listening to deafening loud music.  And not even good music.  Beastie Boys and Janet Jackson.  And some other things I asked him to turn down.  Twice.  (Yes, twice.  I paid a lot of money to attempt to sleep in the most uncomfortable position ever.  Bad music is not going to stop me!)  And the crying babies.  But just in the airport, and T to the G not on the plane.  It felt great to finally get in the car for the last stretch home, windows down, (good) music up, and some freshly baked oatmeal cookies baked by my beautiful Mother!  (And btw, they were seriously amazing.  I just might be kind enough to share the recipe with you on the recipe page :-)                     


There was supposed to be a photo of delicious
looking oatmeal cookies here, but I guess
learning how to use the iPhoto program
will come with time and practice...

I've been a busy girl, and couldn't be happier that I've had the opportunity to see so many of the people I know and love over the past week and a half!  I've put a good few miles on the car (oh driving, how I love thee), and a good dent too (I swear not my fault!  I got hit in a parking lot!).  It's nice to be back in the country for awhile - peace, quiet, where one can see the stars and share a good meal outside on April 1st (and it was an April Fool's day trick...like I said...a week later - SNOW!)  I've completely neglected any studying and reading I should start doing for the summer and autumn, but have completed some "required" school work by purchasing a brand new MacBook!  (From which I bring you this lovely message!)

There was supposed to another
photo here that I took with my
lovely new MacBook.  I guess
that too, will come in time...

So, in closing, I just want to say, Wisconsin, I do love you.  And although I didn't miss you one iota this winter, I do miss the people you house, and it's so great to be back.  (Now that I've sucked up, can I ask you please to stop pollinating as I seem to have contracted allergies for the first time in my life...k thanks)

Friday, March 26, 2010

And If I Click My Heels Three Times...

Does that mean I won't have to endure the 6 a.m. public transportation trip to Heathrow airport, followed by a nine hour flight back to Chicago, and then another two hour bus ride to Janesville, and then an hour drive back home...????

But travelling aside, I'll be back home on Tuesday!  And with weather reports in the high 50's, snow melted and grills out, I have safely dodged a midwestern winter.  With a total accumulation here in South East England this winter of about 5 inches (which, at 2 inches at a time, managed to shut down the entire city of London and it's surroundings for two days - it was almost comical), and the coldest winter in 35 years maxing out at -2 degrees Fahrenheit, well, it wasn't so bad.  Not bad at all.

In the past weeks I have attended open days at three different law schools in London, and have made my decision to attend City University London law school.  It's an entire blog to itself (and indeed a book or three), how the legal system is different here in the UK.  The bottom line is that instead of having a general "attorney" category where everyone is granted the same rights of audience within the court system, in the UK (and some Commonwealth countries), they divide their ranks into Barrister and Solicitor.  A solicitor has right of audience with clients (read: they can be contacted directly by clients and interview them), but are not allowed to represent these clients in court.  If a client needs to go to court or needs more specialized advice, the Solicitor contacts a Barrister, who only then can work directly with the client and who would be able to represent the client in court.  Obviously that is a very simplistic distinction, and what is even more relevant to me at this point is that the training and education qualifictions are different for each, and as I have chosen the Barrister route (really, what is being a lawyer if you don't get paid to argue in front of people?!), it is much harder.  I guess that means I'll be in for a few years of little sleep, lots of reading and even more stress.  Ah, bliss.


And since I have been promised that come September I will barely have time to eat and sleep, Neil and I are on a quest to do many fun and interesting things before D-Day.  Tonight we're off to the National Theatre to see Terry Pratchett's 'Nation' and as a nice send-off, will spend the weekend working on the yard and garden.  I'll post photos soon (read: as soon as student loan funds come through and Kim can afford a new laptop).

Well I'm off to gussy up for a night out on the town.  See most of you in a few days!!!!  xoxo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Law in the City and a Country Garden

Hello one and all!

Welcome back and please excuse my absence - there has been an unprecedented 11 days (yes, ELEVEN!) of sunshine!  And this wonderful lack of rain also means plenty of work to do in the yard, and Neil and I have been busy getting it ready for a complete overhaul. So far we've burned lots of branches (and the leftover wood panels from some sort of edifice just left in the yard by the previous occupants), made some trips to the dump to get rid of leaves and other random stuff found amongst the grass (I think this has been the wasteland for children's toys that had the misfortune to find their way over the fence...think The Sandlot...).  But much progress has been made and I can't wait to get those veggies planted!

Meet my newest companion...

I'd show you the photo I took of my now well-weathered wellies, however my computer is broken.  Ugh.  Oh, and after one long and chilly day of work, I came in and made myself a cup of tea.  Seriously.  I did it without even thinking.  Assimilating much??


However, the biggest and most exciting news I have to report is that I've been accepted into the GDL/CPE programme at City University, BPP and Nottingham/Kaplan law schools!

Now the difficult decision process...

Fetching wig, no?

Well peeps, I'm off to do some really exciting things like more yard work and taxes.  I'll catch up soon!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How English Am I Now?! And Some Other Favo(u)rite Photos

Here is a short but sweet montage of some of my fave photos here in England

Big Ben, or more properly known as the Great Clock of Westminster.  (The Great Bell, located inside the tower is actually the proper Big Ben).  While this is sort of a stock photo, it serves to remind me just how, at my fingertips, is a city so rich in history, in culture, in architecture, art...you name it.  And that is an opportunity that should be acknowledged.

I took this one last spring at Kensington Garden (adjacent to Kensington Palace, where, if I am not mistaken, Princess Di lived after separating from Prince Charles (who, by the way reports that he will go by one of his middle names - George - when he ascends the throne.  But if I were him, I would go with another one of his middle names - Arthur.  Because, there has never actually been a crowned king of the United Kingdom by the name of Arthur.  But I digress...)  This photo serves as an inspiration for my ongoing/forthcoming/oh-my-god-how-am-I-ever-going-to-get-this-done garden project.

Tee hee.

Though the red telephone booth is an iconic image in the minds of people the world over, they are slowly removing them from the landscape, save a few touristy areas.  Weathered, but still standing (although it seems with a little lean) this phone booth is located in approximately the middle of nowhere, has made the cut.  Methinks it is because they have completely forgotten about it.

How English am I now?!  My newest purchase, for the previously mentioned gardening project.  And let's be honest - rainy day (also known as every day) use. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's Occurrin'? A Wanna-be Welsh Foodie For A Day

Update:  I made the St. David's day feast a few days early so that Mr. Neil could enjoy it along with me (working late this upcoming week, boo).  As predicted, I couldn't bring myself to buy or make seaweed (not to knock it, I mean who doesn't love some good sushi seaweed?!)  But the chicken and leek pie was AMAZING.  I used a little less cream than called for, a little less cheese than called for (and couldn't find caerphilly, so used soft goat's cheese), and given the chance again, I'd make it in separate serving vessels for each person eating (this probably should have fed 3 - 4, but in my house it fed just the two of us...oops).  But other than that, even the prunes, which I was a little skeptical about, fit in the dish perfectly.  And I forgot to take a photo because I was so ready to eat.  Hope you can enjoy it soon too!

Monday, March 1st is St. David's Day.  The patron saint of Wales, David (or Dewi Sant in Welsh), was born around the year 500 and unlike other patron saints of the British Isles, was a native of Wales.  He died on March 1, probably in the year 589 in Pembrokeshire, Wales.  (Thanks, Wikipedia!)  He was a teacher and preacher and worked to spread Christianity through Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.

Living an austere life without booze or meat, his symbol is the leek, and that's where we come in.

Always one to celebrate for the simplest of reasons, I find that despite my complete lack of Welsh heritage, it's time to start a St. David's day tradition in my house.  So, bring on the day's menu  (well, the night's menu, because I don't know anyone who can be bothered to make a fry-up on a Monday morning).

Up first, the British pie.  (And who doesn't love something that involves puff pastry? - Nobody, that's the answer)  Also, I got this recipe from a British site, so please excuse the inconsistency with measurements.

Chicken, Leek, Prune and Caerphilly Cheese Pie

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit

1 lb/500g ready rolled puff pastry
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 boned chicken thighs, cubed
7 oz/200g leeks, sliced, white part only
2 Tbsp. flour
150 mL dry white wine
1 pint chicken stock
200 mL + 1 Tbsp. double cream
2 tsp. English mustard
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 1/2 oz/100g prunes, halved
5 1/2 oz/150g Caerphilly (Welsh) cheese, crumbled
2 oz/55g mixed chopped tarragon and parsley
1 egg yolk

1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter and oil, then fry the onions and garlic until they start to colour, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and cook for further 5 minutes until chicken is sealed

3. Add the leeks and flour, stirring continually until well combined

4. Add wine and chicken stock slowly until sauce has thickened.

5.  Add the cream and mustard.  Then season.

6.  Take off heat and stir in prunes, cheese and herbs.

7.  Place the pie filing into a medium pie dish.

8.  Mix egg yolk and 1 Tbsp cream together and brush around pie dish.  Cover with pastry and cut around sides with a knife.  Brush remaining egg mix over pie.

9.  Poke a couple small holes in top of pastry

10.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let's hope it looks something like this:

The next recipe, a true Welsh original, is made with SEAWEED.  Yes, you read that correctly, seaweed.  I really doubt I'll be able to bring myself to make this one...

Laver Cakes
4 oz/100g fresh or canned laverbread (seaweed!)
1 oz/25g medium or fine oatmeal
2 tsp bacon fat or lard

1.  In a mixing bowl, mix laverbread and oatmeal

2.  Divide into 2-inch round, 3/4-inch thick patties.

3.  Heat fat in heavy frying pan (hot, but not burning)

4.  Fry quickly, 2 to 3 minutes each side



I think I might throw some chips (ahem, fries) in the oven just to be on the safe side(dish).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

14:00 Is Not 4-o'clock And 9 Other (British) Life Lessons

An Incomplete List of Life Lessons Here in Blighty

1.  Known as "military time" across the pond, we don't use it, nor do we understand it.  "Meet meet at fifteen hundred hours only works if you are actually in the military."  Or if you're European.  To get "actual time" from a military time reading, subtract 12.  Or, if you're not mathematically inclined subtract 2 and drop the first digit.  (14:00 - 12 = 2 pm. or 14:00 - 2 (forget the 1) = 2) Simples.

2.  Standing in line (aka queueing - yes, that's right, it is apparently part of their citizenship test!) is a big deal.  Just don't budge.  We all learned this in elementary school. 

3. The road signs are in miles, the temperature is in Celsius.  Recipes measure in metric, but yesterday when I bought some timber (DIY goddess, remember?!), it was in feet and inches.  Apparently consistency is a little too much to ask for, so you'd best brush up on your 9th grade science (1 in. = 2.54 cm!) before a visit.

4.  Don't take anything anyone says seriously.  Easier said than done, as I've taken many a-joke very personally.  British "humour" is what I would call snarky, rather than funny.  But alas, it's a "joke" nonetheless.  And if you don't adapt, joke's on you.

5.  Don't like bread?  (Stupid question...more like, don't eat bread although you're tempted every minute of every day?)  Too bad.  Everyone eats it, all the time.  Plus chips (ahem...fries) and crisps (ahem...chips), It's a carbivore's paradise, and Dr. Atkin's nightmare.


6.  If you like to get excited about things, don't expect any natives to join in your enthusiasm.  A demeanor of calm, cool and collected must be maintained at all times, really funny things to be smirked at and the end of the world to be met with "well, figures".  Like to display your enthusiasm via the volume of your voice?  Be prepared for stares.  And by stares I mean if-looks-could-kill-dagger-stares.

7.  Don't eat the "Mexican".  I promise you disappointment.

8.  Drink the beer.  And the cider.  I promise you the exact opposite of disappointment.

9.  As much as the Britons whinge (ahem...whine) about the weather, it really isn't that bad.  The press will have you thinking that after two inches of snow you will be stranded for weeks, after four days of sun a drought is nigh, but really, for those of us that have truly lived through weather (read: tornadoes, floods, deep-freezes, actual droughts, etc, etc) the weather is actually fantastic.  It really didn't get below freezing the entire winter.  And the snow melts the day after it falls, hence there is green year-round.  Beautiful.

10.  British people like you as an American, yet have an undisputed dislike for "Americans".  Because, if you can spell your own name and put together a sentence you are smarter than the rest of the "Americans".  They picture us all as regular George Bushes.  I won't mention Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Thomas Edison and all those I know and love who are not, in any way, George Bush.

How to Be British

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancake Day, the English Mardi Gras (please try to contain your excitement)

Hello friends and family,

I'm back.  Both in Blighty and the blogosphere.  And despite my reputation as arguably the worst blogger in said sphere, I'm going to give it another go.  Ahead, my musings on England, and English pancakes.

On most days here, I learn something new about England.  Today I learned, via the blogosphere, that it is "Pancake Day", or more accurately, Shrove Tuesday.  It is the English version of Mardi Gras  - there is even a Pancake Race, if anyone fancies a sprint, decorative headgear and throwing pancakes.  Say what parades, beads and general debauchery?


Something learned early on is that English pancakes are not the delicious puffy savoury/sweet loveliness that one expects from an American kitchen.  They are dense, thin, crepe-like, and sold packaged in supermarkets.  And I won't even start on the "maple syrup" or the "bacon".  Needless to say I am not making pancakes, or throwing them, on this Pancake Day.  I will bide my time until I go to Perkins with Mom, order the eggs benedict and steal a bit of her pancake breakfast.  Or, if you're more inclined than I, you can make apple pancakes and home fries and be sure to invite me over for the morning fiesta.

As I sit here (or rather, lie here) writing about, and therefore drooling over, said delicious goodness, the Olympics are in full swing.  The screen is replete with hard-bodied men and women (hello skin tight suits!), pushing themselves to the pinnacle of athletic performance.  I've found that Great Britain (as they force them to compete as one nation, rather than Scotland, England and Wales, as they much prefer to do), is generally rubbish at most Olympic sports, especially winter ones, as winter as we mid-westerners know it does not exist here.  (I mean, their best hope for a medal is in curling.  Superior and world-class athletic prowess?  Maybe not).  Therefore the peoples of Great Britain, care very little for the Olympic games and poor Neil has been bored out of his skull as I make him watch cross country skiing or figure skating.  But he's been a trooper, as I've had to sit through "Steven Seagal: Lawman" for him.  I'm not kidding.  I've actually watched it.  Lawman aside, it is one definite perk of my jobless state that I get a two-week long date with the Olympics.  Couch-sitting preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London (their response to my request to make this an official sport still in transit), for which I do hope the Great British people will get at least a tad more excited.

Well, I'm back to training as I wait to hear back from the IOC.  And perhaps some cookie baking.
Peace out.