So I am pretty sure this blog is over.
Mostly. I have a few things I need to do for closure. (Why did I never blog about Barcelona? Jonah and Simon should have their latest letters. Is it overkill to make a slide show of London?)
I am so tempted to say “Thank you for reading.” But it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to say.
What I want to say really is that I never could have imagined what it would be like to interact with some of the people who read this blog. You have taught me things about this country I didn’t know or had wrong. You made me feel connected by virtue of similar opinions, experiences, and/or reactions to things. Or you challenged me in a way that was good. You turned me on to other things. You made me laugh out loud at your search terms. You humbled me with them too. You made feel like our family is cared for. Some of you were our fans. Some of you kept me on my toes. Some of you – and you probably know who you are – were people who easily would have slipped out of the grasp of my everyday life (tangential acquaintances, light-hearted friendships forged by shared experiences which were no longer shared, etc.) but because of some mutual fondness we had for this exact forum and the story being told, we totally heart each other now. I cherish that, I really do.
Blogging is a very funny thing. Beside it being mostly a 1-sided conversation (which may be a contradiction), there was always a small voice in the back of my mind (FOR FIVE WHOLE YEARS) that while living an experience in the moment was concurrently considering whether it should be blogged and if yes, formulating in what manner and whether a picture was needed or a reminder jotted down. I guess maybe it’s a little like being a very, very, very lowly and non-contributing-to-society talentless journalist. You’re always sort of “on”, living life while processing which parts should be turned into anecdotes or screeds.
I think I will miss that and I won’t miss it. It’s also worth mentioning I am total crap at formatting and uploading pictures and I can’t even write a paragraph without getting distracted and combing the internet for the most inane celebrity “news” available for public consumption. In other words, I am technologically slow and easily distracted. This means that this blog takes me a lot of time.
I’m ready to be a better mom (or at least a mediocre mom with a different time suck) and well, anyway
this blog was the part where we move to london.
And we don’t live there anymore.
In my head there is the part where we move back to brooklyn. In my head.
Four years ago on this very date two things happened:
- We landed in London, England to begin a whole new life here.
- I started this blog to write about #1.
I am pleased the blog is at least half-alive and still fairly true to original purpose. I am even more pleased that we still live in London, and still love it.
Since the age of 18 I have been pretty good at segmenting my life into neat little chunks defined by differing places of residence, differing venues for higher education or full-time employment and dramatic life-changing events as markers into new eras (marriage, birth of a child). I always wonder what would happen if I stayed in one place, at one job and with the same exact people forever and ever. I know that’s sort of what responsible, well-adjusted, consistent and calm people are supposed to do. And probably to what I am supposed to be aspiring. But I have no current personal frame of reference for it. I like referring to parts of my life like titles of various art installations. Oh yes, I had short hair during The Law School Years. I went out the most during our Brooklyn Period. I finally started to enjoy cooking during Our London Life.
London is the first time that I can ruminate on a chapter as it’s happening, rather than simply in retrospect. And for no other reason than it still Completely Blows My Mind That We Live Here. Buy that from a gallery and hang it on your wall. You might see it in a museum one day.
Happy four years, my free, amateur, Just Another WordPress blog. Happy four years, L o n d o n.
(Also, Simon is seven months old today. (He wanted in on the action.))
slacker blogger (that’s me)
sandra/sandy/sonjey (mother-in-law has been visiting for the past week and that’s why I’m a slacker blogger)
and also for
simon the smiler!
I might actually post soon about all our busy days and this London life, but for now here is a very recent pic of the littlest man. Peninna, the avid blog follower and very-nice-package-sender (peanut butter Snickers!), is responsible for naming our son Simon so it is perfectly perfect that she sent him this little outfit.
Filed under blogging, simon
Thursday was my last day of work before maternity leave. Maternity leave in the UK can be up to a year and many women leave it open-ended what their return date will be. I am one of those many women. So, there is no clock ticking at the moment. But the last few days of last week were, as our friend David would say, just like camping. In tents.
But anyway, I’m gone now, suckas! Not surprisingly, the colleagues at work were wonderful and generous with my leaving presentation and kind words and gifts for me and bebe. The British do this type of thing very well and I say that with great respect. And I will miss work. I am weird like that. Here are at least the top ten things I will miss, in no particular order:
- Sitting in front of a computer all day. Easier than cleaning spaghetti off the wall.
- The supply closet.
- Printing in high quality colo(u)r.
- My little team I work with. They are funny and kind. And friends. And we definitely swap daily life trivia, which is nice.
- The subsidized canteen salad bar. From here on out, I will have major vitamin deficiencies.
- A reason to shower daily.
- Flexing my brain muscle.
- Pret so close by.
- My officemate and friend. He’s funny and kind and who knew. Sometimes you have to share an office.
- Subsidized Starbucks on the 3rd floor.
Friday night our friends Matt & Trish very wonderfully stayed over to mind Jonah while Bryan and I had a teeny anner getaway with dinner in Soho and a hotel in Hoxton. We slept in until 8:22. That’s right, 8:22am. Unreal.
Saturday we celebrated the birthday of our friend Pau at Go-Karting in North London. Jonah is beyond obsessed with cars these days and we knew it would be so much fun for him to watch. I am proud to say Bryan came in third both rounds. He thinks he should have been second. I was thinking about the specific athleticism of guys like Bryan while I was watching him race around the track. Guys like that are always good at things like ping pong, darts, Go-Kart, cannonball contests and xbox. I think it’s totally hot.
Last night we attended another friend’s birthday at a rented out movie theatre for a screening of Hangover II. Totally worth getting a babysitter and I am in full agreement with how creative our friends here are with birthdays. You only live once, right? And even if not, you’re going to come back as a cockroach or something. And I don’t think they celebrate birthdays.
Also, we’re looking at flats, falling for flats, losing flats. It adds a spice to our days. Like a spice that tastes terrible.
Otherwise now I visit a familiar friend: maternity leave. Maybe I will even blog some.
I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged in a week. In my head, I was posting daily. You can read my thoughts, right?
My mom left this past Thursday. It is always hard to see her go because wouldn’t it be so much better if she lived near by? This place would definitely stay more frequently vacuumed, for one thing. But anyway, we loved seeing her and Jonah had a great time.
Then we had the busiest weekend ever. Which was made only slightly more logistically challenging by the protests in London. Don’t ask me what they were about. I will only be able to say things like “um, pensions?” and “there were fires”. I only read Google News Entertainment and the protests didn’t make that news feed. But apparently the protests were a Really Big Deal and there were definitely tube stations shut and cabs kept refusing to take us places. It was also the Oxford – Cambridge boat race on the Thames which is also a Really Big Deal. And coincidentally all our Saturday travels took us to the Thames.
What is everyone so mad about?
First we had a lovely brunch with others at friends’ in Barnes. Barnes is an adorable little waterside village-y suburb of London in Richmond, which I think is part of Surrey. It’s Southwest. Supposedly. I don’t know these things. But it is nice to get out of central London. And their home is lovely. They live like grown-ups! And in perfect British fashion, the thousands who lined the river to watch the famous boat race with outdoor barbecues going and sponsored promotions by Corona, were freezing in their winter coats. Just your typical outdoor event in misery.
That night a friend’s surprise 30th birthday was held on a scenic boat cruise along the Thames. There were lots of people there from all over and the guest of honor was actually surprised. I even danced to the DJ which might have been hard for everyone there to watch. There is nothing cool or pleasant about a pregnant woman dancing. Luckily I didn’t have to witness it myself. But London at night is really beautiful, and I like to be reminded of that. I have always loved these aerial shots of London at night.
Yesterday we met a group for Sunday roast at one of mine and Bryan’s favorite spots along the canal – The Narrow Boat. I will never get over the canals in London and the boats. For one split second you can pretend you’re in Amsterdam or Venice, until one second later when you realize you definitely are not. Peninna, a law school bud, was visiting with friends for a trip to Paris and we were lucky enough to get to see her. She busted out the nicest gifts for Jonah, and then for me- which I would not be exaggerating to tell you was about 20 lbs of Pretzel M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. And of course my magazines. Top-notch friend, and loyalest blog reader she is.
There is always a few days of afterglow when another season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette wraps. There are the blogs and gossip magazine cover stories and Facebook discussions and speculation amongst friends. It can buoy you for a week at least, before the sinking feeling sets in that it will be months before another season airs.
I am not alone in my vigilant fandom. 14 million people watched Monday night’s finale of the Brad season. I am guessing I am also not alone in my primary reason for being so loyal to the show: the unparalleled joy I receive in tearing it apart. The love stories, when they happen genuinely and sweetly, are welcomed and cheered- but they are still secondary to the task at hand: rip these people limb from limb. And it is hands down the best spectator sport I have ever partaken in.
Thousands of “ladies” across the U.S., and some here in London, have made Monday night (or Tuesday if you’re living in Greenwich Mean Time) get-togethers a rite of passage. The wine flows freely, the babysitters are home minding the kids, and when not busy playing drinking games matched to the show’s notoriously overused adjectives and hackneyed expressions, the girls show off their best dessert creations and gimmicks.
And when not roving in large packs of estrogen, some women prefer to watch in the comforts of home next to the comforts of their man. It’s hard to believe, but at least hundreds of men are secretly watching this show too. In fact, after hearing the astute comments of my friends’ husbands and boyfriends, I sometimes feel like my man is the only one who still categorically refuses to embrace the goodness that is the travesty of this series. Which is unfair, really. How many football and baseball games have I tried to muster commentary on in the past 12 years?
So another season is over but it’s just a few months until the next one begins. It’s not too late to comment over here at my other project that keeps me from sleeping at night. And now, I leave you with our Bachelor-viewing parties’ Greatest Hits:
Will you accept this rose?
Jonah and Elmo want in on the action
Most Dramatic Bachelor Viewing Party Ever
It’s all about the desserts
A lot of you readers are just dead weight. Let’s be honest. You don’t comment, you don’t send me candy corn, you don’t correct my spelling/grammar errors. You don’t alert me to breaking entertainment news.
Today is your day of redemption. I have a very important decision to make. My sister-in-law has worked her crazy internet jujitsu and found the old tube map image that was the banner on this blog for 2 1/2 years.
When I tried to guess a few days ago, I came up with as close a replica as possible from memory.
Now that I compare the two, I am torn. My new image represents a complete display of the Circle Line, which is very symbolic for me because it somewhat demarcates “central London” from the rest of massive London. And the life of my family here very much takes place for the most part within- which is a feat. However, the old map (where I inadvertently cut off part of the Circle Line- what did I know then?) shows the London tube system as it was the day we moved, before track and line changes including diverting part of the Circle Line, before Blackfriars was under construction etc. The old image was haphazard in a way, since I probably hadn’t even been on the tube when I uploaded it. But it was a moment in time that is precious to me.
Never mind, I figured it out. I think. Thanks, Kaci! Now if only I can fix the resolution…
(Eat it, WordPress. Grrr.)