Surreal Life Begins Again

I. Am. A flat hunting maniac (having been recently promoted from “flat finding enthusiast”; thank you kindly – but do hold your applause). Now those things they have said to me about Londoners pouring their hearts into choosing property is beginning to make sense… It is an emotional thing to choose the right little space to hang your clothes and your head at night, let alone choose the right neighborhood. Barbican has been my home for just over a year, but a sinking sensation in my gut tells me I am cheating on the City of London proper in viewing a flat south of the river. Yes, I said south. South, south, south, south, south. So there. And it’s southeast to boot. Please excuse me while I vigorously wash my mouth out with soap.

The west side is greener and may well be cleaner, but the east side calls to my inner artist. Besides, my search has barely even extended outside zone 1! Stick any post code you want on it – I must argue that SE1 is absolutely borderline central. Don’t judge.

And there are properties on the north side of the river that I am booked to see as well. Lovely, sweet, good sized, nice places. Close to the canals and the Vue Cinema… Trust me, I am torn. In such a good way.

It’s not just the neighborhoods that tear at my heartstrings. Those dang neighborhood pubs loom on the map – beacons of big piles of mash and mushy peas on lazy Sundays, over a game of Jenga on an uneven planked table with friends all around… Really. I said it. It’s a big factor. But bigger than that is the tug-of-war between the well planned out conversion and the spiffy new purpose built.

Ultimately, I am sure I will know the one. Can you pick it out of the line-up?

Contestant number one is ten minutes walk from Borough Market.
Great Suffolk Street
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number two is impressive with the loft style- warehouse conversion vibe.
Cardigan Street
photo courtesy Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward

Contestant number three certainly entices in the could-be-a-warehouse-refurbishment department.
St John Street
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number four is charming and quaint.
New North Road
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number five comes in strong with a view.
Lever Street
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number six just looks so cozy.
Halton Road
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number seven seems to belong on an episode of Dr. Who. Enough said.
Baalbec Road
photo courtesy Chesterton Humbert

Contestant number eight does not fail to impress in any way.
Ecclesbourne Road
photo courtesy Foxtons

Contest number nine makes me swoon with the waterside balcony.
New Wharf Road
photo courtesy Foxtons

[Commence with applause.] These contestants really are quite a delight, wouldn’t you say?!

We have been lax in updating the website, but you miss it anyway don’t you?

The Caveman is Among Us

 

defendingthecaveman

Defending the Caveman, the one man show starring well loved Australian comedian Mark Little, is a witty exploration of gender roles and social opinion.  Upon entering the theatre you are welcomed into Mark’s slightly cave-ish living room, complete with cave paintings and Flintstones style furniture.  Mark’s spear is ready at hand–beside the remote.

As Mark entered the stage it was hard to tell if he was a character in the show or the host about to announce the show–and I got feeling he didn’t like his shirt.  Although opening night may have started slowly, the audience soon grew comfortable with a stage show that crossed over into stand up comedy.  Mark found a groove and got comfortable.  Moments later laughter erupted as we started to identify with the scenarios plaguing Mark and his wife Cath.  Hunters vs. gathers and negotiation vs. cooperation were common themes.  Writer Rob Becker has obviously done his homework on the subject; the humor is based in anthropological study, the philosophy of gender, and real day to day life.

It’s a great laugh.  It’s easy to relate to.  And there is never a better time to laugh about what makes us different than right now.

Seeing this play reminded me of something I had read recently.  Isn’t that funny how you come across something new and then you start seeing it everywhere?!  My favorite philosopher, Ken Wilber, has some great things to say about gender roles and feminism.

“…we can learn to value the differences between the male and female value spheres.  Those differences, even according to the radical feminists, appear to be here for good — but we can learn to value them with more equal emphasis.  How to do so is one of things we might want to talk about.”  

(1996, A Brief History of Everything)
ken wilber

 

Leaving Nashvegas

The collection of mail on our doorstep is a testament to the great length of time we were afforded with family and friends.

Mail pile

We didn’t come close to seeing everyone on the list, but we wore ourselves out trying.  Since our last post we saw two more beautiful (and growing) children and their parents and I was able to connect with an Aunt and Uncle from Lincoln County.  Even though it was firstly a vacation, we still had loose relocation ends to tie up and there will be more to follow–for quite some time, I suspect. I am thankful for the room and board we received as well as the warm welcome. It was great to be in a familiar place among familiar faces. Although leaving a second time was harder than the first, it is nice to be back in our frozen flat; these little radiators will take some time to warm the place back to a normal temperature. Thank God for blankets and hair dryers.

Blog topics are a jumble in my brain today and I apologize for the somewhat random order or lack thereof… Mainly, you need to know that Continental Airlines treated us like gold. A string of unfortunate events was in store for us on our trip home, but the staff seemed to do everything they could to provide the best service possible. Our first flight out of Nashville was anticipated to be cancelled due to terrible weather in New Jersey so the Continental staff had already flagged us for another flight prior to our arrival to the airport. We left later than anticipated but in plenty of time for our international flight out of Newark, which was only delayed by thirty minutes. Of course, once the plane had pulled away from the gate we were called back because several people who removed themselves from the plane may have left luggage on board and this is a huge security no-no. Once we were clear, we were in the air. The flight was estimated at 5 hours and 55 minutes; I am not sure if this was due to flying with the Jetstream rather than against or that we were flying at night with less air traffic. I can assure you that storms over the ocean are bumpy. Whoa and Dang, Gina.

Top Five Reasons to Fly Continental:

  • More options for special meals, vegan meals available on most flights
  • You can sleep through the landing
  • Professional crew members
  • On demand entertainment with a wide range of choices and your own screen
  • One pass membership points (please share your miles with us if you’ll never use them)

We had no trouble with re-entry and breathed sigh of relief once we had collected our last bag from the baggage claim area. The journey home on the tube was long. Fortunately, after the stairs we had to battle to get to our station, we only had to roll our stuff about a block and half to our flat. I was thankful, again, that we chose the flat with the lift. A trip to the grocery store, a shower, dinner, and snuggling completed the night. Poor Drew went to work today. I would like to say that I dusted, did a load of laundry, landed a job, and unpacked our suitcases. Unfortunately, that would be a big fat lie. I did manage to make appointments to have our wigs busted tomorrow, go to the bank, go the grocery, wash dishes, cook dinner, wash dinner dishes, clean the tea pot, water the plants, answer an email, surf job openings, watch an episode of Ugly Betty and My Name is Earl, and write a blog entry. Lucky you.

When you tuned into the news this morning, I wonder if you heard the same headlines; what we got was this:

     

It’s all disturbing, don’t get me wrong, but I am quite conflicted about the Designer Baby. The prospects of saving future generations of women from breast and cervical cancer are beautiful ideas, but manual, purposeful genetic selection is more than unnerving. I do not have any interest in starting a debate but I do desperately hope for some clarity. At what point do we consider how this choice ripples the ocean? Gattaca anyone?

(Speaking of everything, I am officially a fan of Ken Wilbur. This man inspires me and I am just getting started. If you are the least bit interested in philosophy, written in layspeak, please get a copy of A Brief History of Everything. I am working through it and feel the need to keep pen and paper very close as I read.)

While we were out this evening, we found that we were under a gorgeous London moon. It really is great to be here.

Charterhouse

And on winter nights like these, we do have a freezer. I am not sure what this little box outside our flat door is for, but it hides dessert rather well until after dinner.

Freezer

What are we doing now? Well, we are enjoying some quality time on the internet, I am having a cup of tea, and we shall snuggle again soon. Please don’t forget us. 2009 is a great year to visit London.