Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day 80: Made for walking

These boots may well have been, but have since been replaced by one of my first purchases in the Capital Region boots in a style called Albany - how appropriate.

We did in fact do a fair amount of walking today. At Five Rivers nature reserve (identifying the birds of the Northeast), around the garden with a rake (an Autumn/Fall job better late than never) and around the local streets with Exile #3 on her tricycle. Exile #3 also managed her 2nd normal swimming lesson in four weeks (two having been disrupted by weather and illness).

The snow has almost entirely gone - even the 'mountain' is only a few inches tall and a couple of feet wide now -it has left the ground extremely soggy, but we shouldn't complain about that. There was certainly a air of Spring Fever as people ventured outside in the sunshine to survey the debris of winter - both fallen twigs and branches from high winds and ice-storms and, in our case at least, the pre-winter debris revealed again having been hidden for so long. There is snow featuring in the weather forecast again (although only in theoretical terms at the moment) so we may not be quite out of the woods, but it is certainly nice to be able to get out and see the sky.
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Friday, March 30, 2007

Day 79: Geeks bearing GIFs

My parents arrived today bearing gifts - the most urgent being these tubes of toothpaste. Although Exile #2 and I have managed to settle on a local brand called Kiss My Face (yes really!), for some reason all the children's toothpastes here seem to be bubblegum flavored (or worse) and although trying them has been training Exile #3 to spit her toothpaste more effectively it's also been making bedtime more of a power-struggle than ever. So, low-fluoride mint-flavoured toothpaste is a great relief for all of us.

Also a relief is the apparent improvement in Exile #4's skin colour. Her face in particular is much better, she looked only slightly sunburned today, a distinct improvement on beetroot.

Our expectations of Exile #5/Native #1's late arrival show no signs of being misplaced at the moment, however much we might be ready for his/her arrival. 'Any day now' could well be giving way to 'When is that baby going to arrive?' before too long.

As for the title, my father can quote 'Greeks bearing gifts' in the original language from Virgil (and no I don't mean this one) and the patents potentially restricting use of GIFs have expired (this blog uses only jpegs anyway), but who can resist a file-format/classical-mythology crossover pun? Not me apparently.
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Day 78: Changing rooms

One of the local news stories here over the last week or so has been the visit of the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to the area. This is like BBC's Changing Rooms with attitude. The lucky recipient of the makeover was sent on holiday with her family. The team moved in and proceeded to demolish her house and replace with a 3700 sqft modern mansion. Not quite Handy Andy and some MDF is it?

There are more and more signs of our becoming accustomed to life here. Exile #4 yesterday talked about Mummy's little car, despite the fact that Exile #2 is currently driving a Hyundai Sonata - larger than any car we ever owned in the UK.

Some size-related things are still catching us out though - we just finished a Chinese take-away feeling very pleasantly full. The only thing is we bought it yesterday and half of it went untouched into the freezer. Very economical both financially and in terms of expended effort - even more important with just two days to go before the due date.

Since many of you struggled with the arithmetic, how about a pictorial pun?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Day 77: Don't be rash

Just when we were ready for a clear run to the big birthday, this happened. Unbelievable. Exile #4 is covered literally from head to toe in a dramatic rash. Click on the picture for the full effect. So, it was back to see the doctor again. The suspicion is that it may be an allergic reaction to her antibiotics that she had for her ear infection. If not, it is a very impressive 'non-specific rash' - very informative. She is in reasonable spirits as you can see, but has been a bit trying today and Exile #2 is starting to run low on resources for coping with her childcare commitments in addition to her baby-care responsibilities.

All this came after my post-posting triumph of swimming 36 lengths (half a swimmers' mile, a sign by the pool informs me) in about 30 minutes last night - not exactly world-class, but a significant improvement on my first few trips.

For tonight, the girls have just gone to bed and we are going to collapse with a take-away for a quiet-night-in together. Hopefully we can manage one night without any more medical surprises.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Day 76: Released from captivity

In a recent experiment, some wild animals were released from a zoo onto an island off the coast of Africa. They managed to survive in a form of harmony with the indigenous wildlife for a while, but finally had to removed and returned to captivity for their own good and for that of the local ecosystem.

It felt a bit like that here after tea today as we ventured out into the back yard with waterproof footwear, but otherwise as-we-were. Apart from the mountain and the large block of ice dominating the pond, there is surprisingly little evidence of the receding winter. Elsewhere in the area, flooding has taken over and it's certainly quite wet under foot in most places. Not that we have been actually stuck indoors very much, but going out was quite an effort, especially for Exile #4 for whom the snow has been more than knee deep for a long time.

We are basically doing well. Hot on the heels of Exile #3's sudden fever, Exile #4 has had one too - albeit only measured at a moderate 103 ºF. However, apart form being tired, they are both on pretty good form now. Exile #2 is also feeling healthy, although sleep is never quite enough. She had what we hope will be her last antenatal appointment today (if you don't count arriving at the hospital in labour!) so it's really just a waiting game now.
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Day 75: Look a patch of grass

So, for the second time in the last forty days and forty nights we can see grass outside our house. It's not the bowling-green carpet-like covering that most male English gardeners aspire to, but then not many bowling greens have to cope with being buried in snow for a month or more at a time. It is however a very welcome sight. With the warm weather and rain set to continue, I suspect that it will soon be revealed in all its soggy glory.

I won't attempt to set a lyric-punning teaser based on today's title as it is probably too obscure even for the best-versed readers. It is from Life In A Scotch Sitting Room, Vol. 2 EP. II by Ivor Cutler who is described in his entry in Wikipedia as a Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. As the narrator recalls family outings when he was a child, his father points out thistles "there were lots of thistles in Scotland, we were soon well acquainted with them" and his mother "also became informative" and uttered the immortal line. I was first introduced to his work by a friend at college who invited me to listen to his show on BBC Radio 4 (probably early in 1990) and LIASSRV2EPII in particular became a part of our college folklore, often (mis-)quoted over the years. I obtained a copy of it on his CD Jammy Smears around the time of his death last year after inadvertently teaching the girls his song Lemon Flower in which his accent makes: I bit into a lemon fruit / the juice fell out and burned my foot into a rhyme. Wonderful stuff, highly recommended for anyone with a taste for gentle but bizarre humour.

I was complaining the other day about the prudishness of this country and in particular about breasts - I fail to see how a child might be corrupted by the sight of one or two. Not that I am particularly calling for public nudity. The impetus for this discussion was a combination of issues related to nursing (breastfeeding) in public and memories of the obscene over-reaction to Janet Jackson's (admittedly ill-advised) stunt at the 2004 Super Bowl (how time flies). Anyway, it turns out that New York State was the first state to produce pro-nursing legislation and as well as explicitly excluding nursing from the indecent exposure laws, also grants a woman a right to nurse in any public place where she has a right to be. So, I probably have nothing to really complain about.

And finally, at the risk of committing a breach of copyright I offer one more quote (a complete work in fact) from the late great Ivor Cutler. If your breasts are too large, you will fall over / Unless you wear a rucksack.
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 74: Four hundred and one point 4

I commented today that I need a haircut - Exile #2 said "Another one?" and that spurred us into realising how long we have been here - 1/5 of the year as it turns out. So here is a little history for you.

Day 0 - Exile #4 having stayed awake throughout the transatlantic flight, excited by the landing shouts loudly enough for the whole cabin to hear "We're going down!".
Day 1 - Arrival
Days 2-8 - Settling in, sick girls...

Days 9-34 - Cold, settling in, a bit of snow, work, school, doctors...

Day 35-62 - The St Valentines Day storm and its aftermath - lots of snow.

Days 63-66 - Hints of Spring, melting snow, grass appearing.
Day 67 - Snow is back.

Days 68-73 - Melting snow (again), finally facing up to imminent arrival of Exile #5/Native #1.
Day 74 - Time to look back, and for wondering who will rise to the challenge of an arithmetic pun?
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day 73: Intrepid Exiles

Today has been another quiet day. Exile #3 has been much improved and improving. She still had a significant fever this morning and missed her swimming lesson, but has been OK for most of the day.

Exile #2 decided today that she needs to have her bag packed for the hospital. So I suppose we are starting to take the imminent arrival seriously. If the baby's arrival does not follow the same pattern as the others, we could be seriously caught out.

At least we're not expecting any more snow, and what is left is melting quickly now.

A few happy moments from today:
  • The girls copying my magic tricks with a heat sensitive stamp on my pay-check. Touch it and it disappears, wave it in the air and it comes back!
  • Saturday breakfast - while the girls were eating fruit-bread watching TV I managed to build a train track completely encircling them without them noticing.
  • Sitting on the front porch watching the rain fall.
  • Exile #4 utterly delighted to be making the first footprints in the snow in our front garden.
  • Exile #3 climbing over the 'mountain' (diminished but still daunting) unaided.
  • Sitting around our kitchen table singing an answering machine message to Grandpa - Happy Birthday Dad!
I just checked the forecast - snow expected tonight. I think they're just messing with us.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Day 72: The plague house

Maybe I'm overstating things a bit, but I arrived home to Exile #2 telling me through her coughing that Exile #3 has a 104 °F temperature and Exile #4 protesting that she's still ill so as not to be upstaged.

The girls seem to have had one illness after another since we arrived here and, since they had had very few in the UK, it seems hard to believe it is coincidence. Of course it's entirely possible that I am simply demonstrating my innumeracy.

It has to be said that innumeracy sometimes makes life interesting and not always in a good way. The families who were accused of child-murder after multiple cot-deaths have suffered a great deal because of it. You can read a detailed condemnation of the application of statistics including my favourite archery illustration of one of the fallacies. Other examples are more fun. The Monty Hall problem dates from a TV game show in which the winning contestant was given the opportunity to win a grand prize by choosing one of three doors. Behind the doors were one car (desirable) and two goats (less so). OK so far. The 'problem' is that always, after the contestant picked a door, but before opening it, the host (Monty Hall!) would open one of the other doors always revealing a goat and the contestant would then be allowed to stick with their original door or switch to the other. When someone published an article saying that there was a correct thing to do in this situation, she was 'corrected' by a number of eminent mathematicians who told her that of course the contestant had the same chance of winning whether they stayed or swapped. You can read all about it but in my experience even after being shown the proof some very smart and generally numerate people can find it hard to accept.

Anyway, whether it is misrepresented chance or that the girls (in particular) have been exposed to different strains of germs since we arrived, we're getting pretty fed-up of the repeated trips to the doctors and having sick girls moping around the house. We must be done with the goats by now surely?

By the way, Exile #3 is pictured a few days ago in good health trying out Exile #5/Native #1's Moses Basket for size - amazingly she still fits in it having supposedly grown out of it more than four years ago. She has now retreated to her own bed - hopefully to make a quick recovery.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Day 71: All is revealed

I set this little puzzle for you all a few days ago. What could it be? Well today I will reveal the answer. How exciting.

Today on the local TV news we saw a plug for an event at the weekend. The item started with the words "Chocolate lovers listen up." and finished with "Proceeds benefit the Addictions Care Center..." You couldn't make it up.

Exile #4 is still out of sorts, although I'm reasonably confident that her ear isn't bothering her so much any more. Exile #5/Native #1's due date is Day 80, so we're really entering the 'any time now' zone. We're expecting him/her to hold on until at least Day 85 though - if the big sisters are anything to go by.

Now, no-one rose to the challenge of guessing what the picture was of, but I know you're out there. You may have noticed a shiny '' logo at the bottom of the page. This little addition is allowing me to monitor the traffic and in the last five days I have had 49 different visitors make 150 separate visits. So if I assume that 1 in 10 visitors were marginally interested by the teaser, I now have the attention of about 5 people as I reveal what the major thaw of today has revealed...

Their St Patrick's Day snow-hats have melted and there they are - the snowmen lovingly constructed on Day 60. Not that there's much of them left, but you wouldn't look so great after 5 days standing around outside followed by 5 days buried under the snow either.

Also appearing from the melting snow this afternoon, a section of corn-on-the-cob on our decking. Either one of the girls has got very expert at smuggling unwanted vegetables, or some of the local wildlife has been making use of nature's ice-box. Either way it's an odd sight now just outside our back door - like the lone remains of a bizarre winter picnic.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Day 70: Stranger than fiction

The story goes like this: two engineering teams are set the task of coming up with a new prototype device, their boss explains to them that whichever team succeeds will need more space for product development, so the other team will be transferred to the Albany office. After a moment with incredulous looks on their faces the scene shifts to a grey building covered in snow, a man trudges across in front. The words, "Albany, New York" announce the location - as he continues the additional words appear "First Day of Spring".

That was Dilbert (click on the picture above).

This is reality,

although in fact today was a very nice sunny day for the most part. Quite cold though, and not much impact on the snow, but I really expect that it will be melting over the next week or so, and maybe in time the 'Cloud of the Exile' will reflect that melting away too.

This evening some of our homegroup came round to our house for a little baby-shower. It was great, although we didn't really know the form. We feel very much part of that little community and Exile #5/Native #1 is part of it too which is very nice - as are the presents :-)

In a (probably last - for the time being at least) equinox-related observation, one of my colleagues pointed out how odd the world daylight maps look at the moment (if you're used to seeing them at other times of year that is). Here is one for you to either be amazed by or not.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day 69: Trudging (in stilettos) in the snow

If being too good at billiards is a sign of a misspent youth and the title is a sign of a misplaced childhood then here is a sign of a possibly misused evening. I had a disproportionate amount of fun creating it without more than passing thought for the girls who were already asleep in bed. Having said that, this morning Exile #4 was quite excited when she discovered it and when Exile #3 found it we were nearly very late for school, so the rightful owners got their reward in the end.

Exile #4 had to visit the doctor this morning having kept me up for a large part of last night with an earache. It turns out she has quite a bad infection. She has been so cheerful with it that we didn't realise how bad it was - poor thing - she seemed so tiny in the night it was hard to reconcile with her normal dynamic self.

Well Spring started at 8.07 pm as the weather men have been intent on telling us this evening, but we will still awake to snow in the morning. I went out to visit the snow-house earlier - it has sagged a little, but not collapsed - I wish I had more time to work on it, I think it could have been quite an impressive structure (can a hole be a structure?), but I think its time has probably passed now.

By the way, talking of snow, I don't think it can have been a foot deep in Camden (Belsize?) or they would have been trudging rather than dancing. Pop pun #8 of course. Please excuse me I never meant to write so many, but you encouraged me.
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Monday, March 19, 2007

Day 68: No news is bad news

So, yesterday was Mother's Day in the UK. It turns out that we are dangerously out of touch. Here, Mother's Day is not celebrated until May, so we had none of the usual reminders and as a result, we missed it. Sorry. We do still love you Mums.

It turns out we had about fifteen inches of snow after the last fall and it is falling steadily again now - we may get another couple of inches apparently. With the equinox just 24 hours away, winter hasn't done with us yet.

As we were sheltering from the winter the other evening we saw a bit of Kate and Leopold. Not by any stretch a great film, but one quote made me laugh and led me to discovering a little bit about an American poet. I thought I would share two very short works by Richard Armour (often wrongly attributed to Ogden Nash apparently) for those, like me, ignorant of his work.

The one from the film:
Shake and shake
The catsup bottle
First none'll come
And then a lot'll

Nothing attracts
The mustard from wieners
As much as the slacks
Just back from the cleaners

Apparently shear thinning is responsible for the former, as for the latter, Finagle may be, but as Hanlon would have it: Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice. Or if you prefer: If you were eating a hot dog in clean trousers, you only have yourself to blame.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Day 67: In the snow house

Last night, after I wrote the post, Exile #2 and I had a blazing row and I ended up returning to the quinzhee to sleep. It was fine, surprisingly snug actually. The only problem was that due to my body heat, the snow on the roof of the chamber was constantly melting, dripping water on me and the floor of the chamber where it re-froze forming a slick layer of ice. Eventually, I fell asleep only to slide down the hill of newly formed ice and end up half-in-half-out of the entrance. There Exile #2 found me, and, full of pity (and a little remorse) took me back into the house.

OK, not really - exhausted after the festivities, we turned in early, woke up this morning as usual, went to church, came home for a quick lunch, had one of Exile #3's friends from school and her family round for a 'playdate', went for a swim, had some tea and put the girls to bed, Exile #4 having had a dose of paracetamol (acetaminophen) due to a 101 °F temperature.

Actually, my point was that we had a very nice, but nothing-interesting-to-report day but I have to share one exchange. Apropos of St Patrick's Day, someone said, "Oh [Exile #3] looks just like a little Irish lass, with her red hair and blue eyes. Oh dear, I haven't offended you have I? - are you English?" "Yes I am, but that's OK." Pause. "We're not actually at war with the Irish you know." Then, in apparently genuine surprise, "Oh really?" I'm guessing they were joking. They were joking. I'm sure of it.

Unless I missed something in the news this week?
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day 66: Under the mountain

Today we awoke to a good foot of snow and we, OK I, decided to make a quinzhee (that is I dug a hole under the pile of snow known as the mountain). In fact the mountain has reached new heights after drive-clearing guy's visit this morning. I was inspired by this one, although working on my own with my bare (gloved) hands, my achievements were less impressive. It was a strange experience to be on top of the hard-packed snow of the 'old' mountain, rather a grand name for a two-foot tall pile of snow that remained from February's storm, with the faint blue/green light filtering through the snow-walls of today's fallen and ploughed snow. It is very peaceful in there too - three feet of snow in each direction blocks the sound very well. Exile #3 can sit up in it quite comfortably, as you can see. It is hard to believe, looking at these pictures that is safe, but there is absolutely no indication of it caving in, even when I was trying to wriggle out backwards having partially blocked the entrance with dug-out snow.

As has been the run of this winter, the big storm has disrupted festivities, last time the florists and restaurants were ruing their bad luck on Valentine's Day, this time St Patrick's Day was postponed, well the parade anyway. We were invited to join in a family get-together to celebrate and had a great time, our hosts were fantastically laid back and the girls spent the whole evening sticking stickers on everyone in the party and being altogether delightful (phew!). The roads were clear on the way up there, but snow was falling again as we returned home. Just a dusting I expect - I think we've had quite enough for now.

#2 to #3 on seeing me covered in snow - literally head to foot - after doing some excavation: I think Daddy must be a mole.
#3 to #2 (stage whisper): Yes, I don't think he realises though.

One last picture for today. Anyone like to guess what it is?

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Day 65: All white now, baby

Yes, we could finally see the sides of the drive, most of the grass at the front etc. when we set off to take Exile #3 to school this morning. However, winter hasn't finished with us yet. Conclusive proof (if you ask me) that the equinox marks the beginning of spring and that rodents can't be trusted. Late in the morning it started snowing and it isn't expected to stop until after dawn tomorrow. It's possible that the boundary between snow and sleet will reach us in the night in which case accumulations will be limited to less than a foot, but if not, it could be as much as we had 30 days ago.

The roads were bad enough to turn Exile #2 around this afternoon - I was already en route to do the school pick-up. I had an uneventful but unpleasant journey in the early-rush hour. It got much worse during the afternoon and now (7 pm) even the busiest roads are white and emptying.

Rumours of the arrival of spring have been greatly exaggerated. St Patrick's Day may yet prove just as snowed-in as St Valentine's Day was.

Pop pun #7 of course - it's all white now:

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day 64: Do you still (atom) feed me?

Once again, names have been on our minds (Vera, Chuck or Dave?), I suppose as is the nature of these things that whatever name we choose it will soon just be Exile #5/Native #1's name and its strongest association will be with them.

I spent a large part of my language-forming childhood in Yorkshire where the glottal stop is a very important part of life. It's main use there is to replace t' definite article. Here, however, it is most often used to replace a 't' in middle of a word where modified by a preceding consonant sound. There is a radio advert that takes its use to new levels though. "Why spend your time doing things you hate? Come to Fow N Laser!" I nearly crash the car every time I hear it, not because I'm finding a pen to write the phone number down or even laughing - just trying to replicate the tortured (to my ears at least) pronunciation of "fountain". 'T' sounds in general are in short supply here as I've mentioned before. Yesterday, one of the people we see regularly at work asked us to say 'bud-err' just to hear one pronounced in all it's glory.

The snow has just about gone under the onslaught of a day of rain. the snowmen are just overgrown snowballs now. However, it may be that before the melt they will be buried as (hard as it is to believe at the moment) we may get a storm tomorrow night bringing another 8 inches or more.

Pop pun #6 for title watchers - well it is Day 64 - do you still need me?
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day 63: Red sky in the morning

Snowman's warning. This morning we had two snow-people, a thick covering of snow (albeit much reduced) and a beautiful sunrise. When I got home from work, both heads had gone, but the scarves remained - no erroneous thermodynamics this time. In fact except for our front and back gardens, most of the snow in the area seems to have gone now. I'm not sure what we have done to deserve it, but I suspect that it will soon be gone. Temperatures peaked in the 60s today - that would have felt mild to us even before our New York recalibration.

One of the questions that comes up with from time to time is whether we have problems with driving on the other side of the road. In fact, since we arrived I have had no problems remembering which side to drive. One of the reasons I suspect is that driving here 'feels' very different. The cars are different (left-hand drive automatics), the roads are different and a large number of them are dual-carriageways (divided highways!) where if you were to attempt to drive on the wrong side you would drive past "Wrong Way" signs - assuming you did not reach another vehicle first.

The one thing that consistently terrified me was the sight of a school bus. Why? because I knew there was a law about them that I did not understand. Today, as I stopped on the other side of the road as one stopped and switched on his red flashing lights I realised that even this mystery had been solved. On one occasion recently I did make a mistake - but not with which side of the road to drive. I reached down to change gear. The reason for this aberration? I was approaching a roundabout (traffic circle!) - it is such a rare occurrence here and such a common one in the UK, it was enough to put me back into UK-driving mode. If I encounter many more, I'll probably lose my ability to turn right at red lights, overtake on the inside and (if I'm not careful) stop for those school buses.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 62: Don't box me in

The girls can't seem to get enough of being in boxes - here they are trying out a undrawered chest of drawers.

Today I did some long-distance tech-support to help my Dad out of a problem that I had contributed to before the exile began. The ability to talk, hear, see and be seen across continents is quite extraordinary when I stop to think about it. The stuff of science-fiction, not just available but basically free (to those of us who already pay for a broadband internet connection anyway). However, we were both aware that we were using our computers and our internet connection to communicate. As I write this, Exile #2 is downstairs talking on a telephone handset to someone who lives nearby who has made what seemed to here to be a normal local phone call, and neither of them is probably concious of the fact that their voices are being transmitted over the internet. Another step in the advance of technology into every day life.

On my return to normal work today, one of my colleagues related a conversation with an American about the UK. So, you drive on the left, which side do you walk on the stairs? It turns out that the strange looks we had been getting were not for our dashing good looks, or our quaint accents, but for sometimes walking on the wrong side of the stairs. Have I missed something all my life? Is there a convention I never learned? I know that there is escalator etiquette, especially on the Tube, but stairs? Maybe like how far from the curb you should park, how far before a junction you should start to indicate, which lane you should turn into when turning into a one-way street, there are just rules here that have no equivalent in the UK. Keep to the right - even on the stairs.
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Monday, March 12, 2007

Day 61: Size of a melon

Here is Exile #4 wondering how big the baby is compared with a chunk of watermelon. Or maybe musing on how similar in shape the melon and Mummy's belly are. Or maybe commenting on the fruit-coordinating colours in Exile #2's top.

Today I had a trip out of town to visit some customers, it was two and a half hours drive each way, so I had plenty of time to myself. For the first part of the journey I was listening to a local radio station and their phone-in feature where listeners comment on a tricky situation sent in by a member of the public. Today it was "Should I let my boyfriend travel out of town two weeks before our baby is due?" Now why would that catch my attention?

Anyway, Exile #5/Native #1 has not made an appearance, and I have made it back safely so I'm in the clear about that at least.

The other interesting coincidence was that I read an article about the science community shunning Web 2.0 (social networks, wikis and the like). Now I am no longer part of the science community and and I have had a very small part in the creation of two interactive websites, I am a member of an on-line group or two, so I had no reason to take this to heart. However, when within 24 hours of reading the article, I received two separate invitations to join some web-based social communities, I did wonder if I should dip my toe in the water and now I have. The one I've joined now seems to claim to be 'for teens like you' so I may not be exactly their target audience. Then again, Web 1.0 didn't even exist when I was a teenager, so maybe my time is now after all.
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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 60: Ne'er cast a clout

After a disrupted night (Exile #3 unwell, Exile #4 disturbed), we awoke to find the snowman just about still standing, but looking rather vulnerable. If only he'd kept the scarf on to hold-back the thaw. Some time in the morning, he gave up the fight.

However, conditions were perfect (a few degrees above freezing) for more snowman construction. So, I went out with the girls to see what we could do. And what we did was this:

Exile #4 joined us for a while, but although the snow-tide has receded a lot since Feb 14th, she is still finding the six inches or so that remain heavy going. Exile #3 chose most of the face/arm items - I wonder if L's wink and R's wry smile are connected in some way. I think they will follow their predecessor to watery oblivion quite soon.

Other than that it was a quiet day, Exile #3 was at a low ebb for most of the day and had a long sleep after the picture was taken. The rest of us have some sleep to catch up on too - especially because we lost an hour to daylight-saving.

As to clout casting for the non-snow-people: there are no hawthorns here as far as I know, but if there were I don't think they'd be in bloom yet and we have seven weeks to go before the month arrives and nearly twelve before it leaves. However, snowman construction in our full winter regalia turned out to be hot work today, so maybe some lighter clouts are in order.
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