Belfast

I don’t think i’m allowed to complain about the weather in London again.  It may be dark and dreary in London lately, and yes I may have worn a pair of wool trousers to work this week that in Canada don’t see the light of day between April and October.  But all of that pales in comparison to Belfast.

It’s actually damn cold here.   Jeans, wool jumper?  check.  Trench coat and umbrella? check.  Sopping wet feet and craving for a cup of tea?  check, check.

It’s a nice enough looking city though (what I can see from under my umbrella).  For now, we sit in a coffee shop try to dry off and wait for Jason’s friend to ring us.

From one storm to another

It didn’t really matter which side of the Atlantic you were on, either way you had a storm.
In Canada it was yet another dump of snow:

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(photo from Globe and Mail)

Meanwhile in UK it was gale force winds, flooding and one bad day for my poor umbrella.

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(photo from BBC, obviously I didn’t take this in London…)

Anyway, either way you had one bad storm to contend with.

Unless you’re my brother and sister in law, well then you had the joy of both!! A 24 hour delay in Montreal getting off the ground, and another delay in London as you try to make your way to Italy. I still can’t believe you even landed this morning!  The wind was insane.  I woke at 3am to the sound of my recycling bin doing laps down my block.  Hope you enjoyed all that time in the airports, see you next week!

It’s turned a bit cold

The BBC may say 9C, but it’s turned chilly here in London.  I’ve had to retire my spring trench coat for a bit, dust off the old winter wool coat and even have soup for lunch! I wasn’t alone on the soup idea, Itsu a Japanesse noodel house in Mayfair (a chain I think) was packed with chilly Londoners.  Mind you, some of the girls in line clearly don’t dress for the weather.  Skinny jeans and flat shoes with no socks?!  No wonder your teeth are chattering.  And judging by the fashion jeans, I’d say they work in one the shops on nearby Regent Street not Bond Street.  No, Bond Street girls probably wouldn’t be allowed to wear jeans.  With rents of $1,504 psf (latest figures!) you’d better believe they’re too posh for jeans!

Is it spring yet?

I’m getting sick of the darkenss at 4pm! It’s 4:45 right now and pitch dark out there.
And today it was pissing rain.
These are not the sorts of winter days I’m used to!

But it is fairly mild. Surely spring is just around the corner…

A Change of Season

You can pack away your tank tops (or vests as these crazy Brits call them). Summer seems to be over folks. Maybe I shouldn’t call it Summer since we never really had Summer. No, I arrived in March and suddenly the jet lag faded and Spring hit us with a warm smack upside our heads. I remember April lunches in the city parkette across from my work and the weekends with Jason trying each park on London’s leafy menu.
But it never really got warmer than that. I think we had Spr-ummer. Which is probably why I’m more aware of of this change of season.

It’s cold alright, early November in Toronto cold.

I don’t have much else to report. We might be moving soon, but I don’t want to share too much. We haven’t seen the lease yet and I don’t want to jinx it. We’ve come so close to renting a new place twice now, I can’t bare the thought of having to start the search all over again.

For now, I wait for my lease, pull on a jumper (that’s a sweater don’t yu know!) and watch the MOBO awards on BBC Three. How can such a powerful voice come from such a tiny shell of a body?? Amy Winehouse, put down the heroin and pick up a Banger in a Bap (..bap! see, I’m learning).

Back in the U.K.

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You know what I love about the British.. their sense of humour. It’s so dry and just plain amazing.

There are these two old British guys at work who sit upstairs, I used to sit near them and know them quite well. I ran into them at the end of my lunch. Now I have on a coat, a scarf, rosy red cheeks and a half broken umbrella and those two are just out in their regular suits. So I question them and they proceed to, as the British call it, take the piss out of me. Please picture this with molasses thick British old man accents:

me: No jackets?

Num 1: oh what? No, I wanted to get some fresh air..
Num 2: …yes, it’s just so dreadfully hot these days.
Num 1: … mm, yes, just stiffling actually.
Num 2: well, it is August, we must expect it.

me: oh yes, hardly. It’s freezing out today! And the rain makes it worse

Num 1: oh what? this? Just wait until November
me: Oh right, when it will be dark by lunch?

Num 2: No, that’s when the real rain starts.
Num 1: You’ll be happy it’s dark. You won’t be able to see the rain.
Num 2: hmm yes, only way you can bare it.

So amusing.

The Sun is Shining, so what are the cats doing?

Gorgeous weather today!! And yesterday too. Yesterday I went for a haircut, looked at a flat with Jason (it was meh), went to Nottinghill, had brunch (with cocktails!). Then had my cappucino and travel magazine weekend special. I even did a bit of shopping :) Dinner was on the bbq at home and in the evening Jason and I pub/patio crawled. An excellent Saturday.

Today is looking promising too. Look at this weather:

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Amazing. And none of this Canadian humidity either!

So… the question I’m sure on everyone’s mind, what are the cats doing?

Mips:

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His harness is hidden with his mad furriness.
Now, where is Tinrib? Oh that’s right… hiding!

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Precious.

At long last, Summer is here

As the government and insurance companies tally up the flood damage, we finally get a a snippit of sun.  Blue skies, sun in my eyes … (sigh) … I haven’t had a lunch break like this since April.  So much for June and July!

Today I slapped on some comfortable shoes and explored deeper into Belgravia, an area that is mostly residential and for some reason, under perpetual construction and renovation. Perhaps this is a case of keeping up with the Jones’, because every seeminly perfect looking house is being gutted and massively renovated. And it seems that each house requires a large team of construction workers who all love to take their lunches sitting on the curb in front of the multi million pound home they are working on (and by multi I mean 15…). It makes for an interesting walk for me. With every corner that I round I am faced with a street lined with learing men all crouched down at knee level, keen to make comments.

But mixed in between the gorgeous creamy white homes, pockets of retail exist. It’s quite hidden, so walking along these small streets is like walking through a quiet little village. A quiet super expensive village (think a loaf of fresh artisan bread for 4 pounds).

Still, how nice is this weather :

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No, we’re not under water

For all of you who keep asking, no, we’re not flooded. We’re well away from it as we were smart enough not to build our castle on a swamp. However last weekend we were in the Cotswolds and, while not the worst of the flooded areas, we definitely ran into some water. Here are some more pictures from our weekend.

We visited “The Slaughters”:

The Slaughters

Our hotel in Lower Slaughter was flooded:

Floded Hotel in Lower Slaughter

Here’s a picture of the reception as we were checking in:

Flooded Reception

Fortunately they were able to put us in their “cottages” that were up the hill.

Several parts of Lower Slaughter were flooded:

Flooding at the Lower Slaughter Mill

We wanted to do the “Wardens’ Way” hike to Upper Slaughter but the path was … under the weather:

Wardens’ Way Flooding

The Slaughters weren’t the worst hit in the area. We had to turn around a few times whilst driving through the Cotswolds:

Flooded Road

Flooded Road

Of course The Guardian found a much better “flood” sign picture than I did:

Guardian UK Flood Picture

But in the end we still had a great time in The Slaughters:

Upper and Lower Slaughter

Rain: Day 7

To be clear, it’s not a constant rain. No, it’s much more elusive than that. It’s a sporadic drizzle. It appears in brief fickle moments that require you to have an umbrella at all times. My new approach is to treat the umbrella like a fashion accessory. Like shoes, I should have many to coordinate with various outfits and moods. Yes, boys who read this, this is the inner workings of the female mind.

I purchased this cheerful printed stick umbrella today:

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Rain: Day 4 or is it 5?

Maybe it’s day 6. I’ve lost track.
This evening it starting to wear on me. But that’s because I arrived home with wet feet and wet trouser cuffs. And yet I see people walking without umbrellas! Londoners must have a built up tolerance. They also seem to think it’s ok to go out in this weather in unusual shoe choices. Today I spotted suede loafer, open toe sandals and loads of the converse runners (yes, they’re back in fashion apparently). It seems only the likes of Kate Moss will wear Wellies.
I think I’ll feel better about this rain if I expand my fashion choices with some coordinating umbrellas. Five days of my trusty black one is getting me down.

Back in the Uk

And we’re back.
It was a short and sad trip back to Canada for Jason’s grandfather’s funeral.
But we’re back in the Uk and we seem to have brought some snow with us. Although the BBC calls it snow, it’s not real snow. It’s more like thick rain.
I have some interviews lined up for the next few days, so with any luck i’ll have my job situation figured out soon.