Reconsider Everything

While walking through Green Park today on our way to take photos of Buckingham Palace, I heard a terrible commotion in the distance.  It sounded like someone giving a heated speech to a noisy and responsive crowd–like you see in old history films.  A detour down Piccadilly towards Piccadilly Arcade led us to the source of the disruption.  A very large crowd was marching, followed by many police (on foot, in several police vans, and on motorcycles), with a loudspeaker in the middle.  A man’s voice could be heard shouting and sometimes chanting things like “Gaza is a killing field”–and the crowd would repeat most of what he said.  Their bright orange signs read “ONLY KINLAFAH WILL LIBERATE PALESTINE”, “STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM”, and MUSLIM ARMIES MUST DEFEND GAZA”.  Although I was at first intrigued by the crowd and the police that allowed them their peaceful demonstration, my heart quickly began breaking at the sight.  As usual, I have no interest in a debate; I just feel great concern for the human lives for which these voices rang out and I am at the same time conflicted over the issue of violence to bring about peace.  Isn’t that like spanking your children because they hit someone?  I don’t mean to suggest that Gaza should not be allowed to defend itself, it just seems that these two peoples will not be satisfied with peace.  It appears that peace is not what either truly desires…

demonstration one

demonstration two

I didn’t wake up this morning hoping for something so big to blog about, nor do I consider myself to be knowledgeable enough to speak about this issue itself.  However, my brain translated this incident into a representative event.  Drew and I are living in a very big, very diverse, city.  We are closer to world events than we have ever been.  Our children may someday appreciate that we were witnesses to events like these and may learn an appreciation for our place in the global society from our example–that is, once we gain our own footing.  And I also ache for the children on the shoulders of the parents in that crowd, learning very deep anger, to support violence, and prejudice at such a young age.  I also must be thankful that we live in a place where we may all peacefully express our views on the Queen’s doorstep.

Before the deep thinking began, we slept late and headed to our neighborhood Pizza Express for lunch.  I was anxious to get photos of a quintessentially British site before you all got bored and Buckingham Palace seemed like the very best stop.

Buckingham Palace

new do at the palace

green park gate

After the camera ran out of juice and we explored the grounds, we headed toward the London Eye, Big Ben, and the houses of Parliament.  We’ll have to make that trip again with two batteries fully charged and more light left in the day.

After dinner we finally unpacked and started laundry.  Yes, my London housewife life is now back in full swing.

Yesterday was very pleasant, though bitter cold outside.  We slept late, got haircuts at ESHK, ate lunch, began planning for the website upgrades, walked to Islington, ate dinner at Yo! Sushi, and saw “The Spirit” at the Vue Cinema.  If you like films made in the style of graphic novels (that’s sort of like a more grown-up version of a comic book, mom), you might really like this movie.

drews new hair

website wall

website wall two

I am very excited about our new website.  And there is no better way to demonstrate excitement than by hanging brightly colored Post-Its.

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.