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.
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.