Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Helps When The Field is Small

Okay, so my posts are getting lame these days. They will get better. Really. I've got some new trips planned this summer and some tourist-y things on the agenda so hopefully you'll get to see a bit more of Britain and Europe. In the mean time, here's what I did this weekend.

There was a local duathlon in the area so I signed up with a few of my teammates. The race was a 5K cross country run (it was muddy), 20K bike and 5K run again. It was a bit cold at the start, for some reason the clouds and wind were not friendly. Luckily it cleared up. Here we are before the start of the ladies and veterans start (veterans = masters, old people)

Me running - not quite sure what is going on with my legs. Looking a little funky, eh?

Me biking. Yes, I'm climbing a hill but why do I have my hands over the brakes? Will I need to suddenly slow down in the middle of climb?

At the finish. Michael (in red) finished 6th overall. He's quite a fast little bugger. I, on the other hand, finished 6th in the Women's race. It helps when there are only 46 women in the race. :o)
By the way, I'm in the U.S. for the week for work so no UK updates for a few days.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Have done work related activities for the last 21 straight days. Here's the biggest loser in all that.

Gotta love the Tucker monster. He is happy to see me every day regardless of my day. Where else do you get such unconditional love?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quiz Time

Since much revolves around the pub in my life, I thought I'd share that it is not just my devient tendencies that draw Tucker and I out on numerous evenings.

In Britain, Trivia Night is huge here. Some of you may play this in big American cities. Often called Pub Quiz or Quiz Night. Here in the UK, it seems almost every pub hosts an evening of friendly competition among the tables. At our Tuesday trivia night, it always starts with a one page identification (like 70's pictures of people - pictured above - or in previous games - movie posters or outlines of countries) and then 6 rounds of questions.

I'm happy to say that our team, The Dog Is the Clever One - named because of course Tucker comes with us - has two second place finishes and one first place. Needless to say, I contribute nothing. Well, I buy a round of pints or two. I think that's why I'm invited along.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It is a 4 day weekend here in the UK for Easter. For once, I've decided to stay home and do a little mental and physical spring cleaning. I've been going going going too much lately and this break came at a much needed time. I've spent the weekend doing long runs, long rides, long walks with Tucker and just relaxing. I'm excited to say I think I'm finally on top of life - bills are paid, ironing is done, lightbulbs are changed, windshield wiper fluid filled and all those niggling little things are taken care of. I've even had a chance to catch up on all my recorded episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

So, I'm going to take this peace and sense of being clean and hopefully keep it with me as the work monster consumes the next few months of my life. Happy Easter everyone and don't forget to breathe.. or buy yourselves some tulips...they make me smile. :o)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cultural Differences

Statistically, the highest failure rate for expat assignments are for individuals moving from the U.S. to England. It seems that since the language is relatively the same (and I do mean relatively), Americans assume that everything will be the same as it is back home. If you were sent to France, you would learn the language, immerse yourself in the culture and celebrate the differences. But when you go to England, you just drop yourself in and sadly, often complain about why things are different.

Case in point: it took me a few trips to the petrol/gas station to figure out why my hands always smell like gas. Here in jolly old England, they don't have the little barrier thingys that keep the fuel from running down the handle when you put the nozzle back in.

So instead, you have to search for the disposable gloves before fueling up. And if they are out, no luck. Gas hands all day. Not a huge deal but in my head, every time I go I think "why can't it just be the same? do they want gas on their hands all day??!?"

Don't even get me started on the English version of Tivo, the difference in paper sizes, why they use a dashed line to both divide the road and split lanes or why they don't swab your arm with alcohol before drawing blood.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Teeny Tiny

Saw this car while I was in Italy and had to take a picture. It is only about as big as the crosswalk. If you can tell for scale, it is way smaller than then hatchback in the background. It's like a little Lego car.