Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July! (kind of)

Happy 4th of July everyone! Please enjoy your day off and long weekend while I am slaving away at work. As much as the European culture is fantastic for the number of vacation days they get, I'm afraid their holidays have something to be desired. They only have 8 holidays (called bank holidays) compared to our 12. Unfortunately, I feel the pain both ways. I'm on U.S. vacation and U.K. holiday. So - less vacation then everyone around me and less holidays than I'm used to getting. It's a cruel, cruel world... :o)

To start off, I am pleased to report the television is now operational. The landlord had to come by with his 'aerial man' only to discover that the flat was wired correctly but they forgot to plug it into the main line. A pretty good turnaround - this only took 3 days. At the same time, I got a wireless router on Monday which I took home and could not connect to. So it was back to work for more configuration and on Tuesday I am now free to move about the flat. Only 2 days for the router - I'm getting better. Alas, just when I think I have all my technical challenges conquered, my U.K. cell phone is on the fritz. The guys at work kept making fun of me that I would get locked out of it only to be unable to unlock it for me. Turns out I have a bad SIM card. Not sure how to count this technical set back - I'll keep it at 14 days and counting since it is not fully operational. I will admit, I cannot wait when I'm finally done with all the setup so that I might actually get to sit back and relax for a while!

On Wednesday evening, I joined my first ride with the Berkshire Triathlon Squad. I pulled out the camera phone for this shot. It was a good ride where I could barely hang on. I have no idea where we went as I was too busy trying to concentrate on keeping up and not running over things. It was fun - but I'm looking forward to figuring out the route myself so that I can enjoy it more. The beauty of the ride however, is that it ends at a local pub right by my flat. Here you can see the bikes parked against the back of the bier garden.

And here is the beer garden. I think I'm really going to like this group if the pub is part of the ride!

Lastly, I thought I would show you a picture of the rear 'garden'. I've learned that I do not have a yard, I have a garden. I do not do yard work, I do garden work. I aslo learned that when the police officer says 'stay on the pavement!' they are NOT referring to you walking in the road. Pavement is what they call the sidewalk here. I think she thought I was deaf and here I thought I was listening to her.

Anyway, I was including this picture of the rear garden after I mowed it on Tuesday in anticipation of the heavy showers that were approaching. I was very excited to show before and after shots - one with sun, one with rain. Luckily, it only rained during the day while I was at work so no good shots. This is probably nothing new for you readers from the Midwest, but for those of you in dry California, I thought the rain would be a good contrast. Maybe next time... and with that, everyone enjoy your long weekend. I'm off to work....

No comments: