Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 2.110: Shakespeare (sans teeth...)

The Annual Shakespeare performance at school came a little late this year.  Last year and the year before it was in January.  Once again, it was a great fun night.  Seven days of preparation, six different performances, everyone in the school involved, just one man to bring it all together.  Quite an achievement.

Exile #3's remaining front tooth came out at school today, it may mean she is growing up, but not quite ready for 'second childishness' as yet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 2.109: Current similarity

Second picture from Flickr user nicsax.

In the beginning, back in 2007...
Man I didn't know 'bout the USA 'n' all that jive.
Some folk read the posts, some folk commented too.
No one knew how I was gonna do, but the_exile had the news, I said,

"Let there be light!" and there was light.
"Let there be sound!" and there was sound.
"Let there be words!" there was words.
"Let there be photos!" there was photos, ah
"Let there be blog!"

OK. I realize that some posts have an audience of one - me!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 2.108: A book of her

After being very wobbly for a long time, Exile #3's front top tooth finally came out yesterday.

It was also yesterday that she showed-off her latest creation very proudly. Although I suspect that her writing might have been a bit better if she'd stayed in the hot-house environment of the UK National Curriculum Key Stage 1, I am so happy with her enthusiasm for reading and writing and learning. This project was completely her own work and done in her own time at home over the last few weeks.

I hope you like it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 2.107: Did it myself (eventually)

Since a couple of you asked, here is my plumbing project - an under-sink filter kit. The main reason for getting it was to provide filtered water for the fridge for making ice as otherwise the ice tastes quite unpleasant.

In fact for the last few days our water even in its liquid form has been smelling and tasting a bit like chlorinated swimming pool water, so we decided to use it for all our cold water in the kitchen. Unfortunately the way the fridge connection had been teed off resulted in the same for me (and quite a few extra connections to make - multiple times).

This morning I got up at dawn to get to the DIY store so that I could try and get this sorted out before taking Exile #4 to school and myself to work. It seems to have been a success.

So far.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 2.106: Don't it yourself


I spent all day trying to get a fairly simple plumbing job done. At the end of the day, the kitchen table looked like this. The mop was out and the dehumidifier was brought up from the basement and sitting on the side in the kitchen draining into the sink.

In between the days had its ups and downs, but mostly downs including two major floods and a flood of minor ones. I think the job list is longer at the end of the day than it was at the start - and the kitchen water supply is switched off (I forgot to mention that earlier) - good for avoiding leaks of the dripping and gushing type - less practical for the morning.

Aargh indeed!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 2.105: Easter Summer again?

Exile #3 had one of her classmates over today and Exile #2 had suggested that since temperatures were supposed to rise into the 80s we might get the bouncy-bounce out.

That's the first time-lapse that's come out well in a long time!

It turns out that is exactly a year (adjusted for day-of-the-week) since we debasemented it (in similar circumstances) for last summer. In the end the temperature rose to 88°F beating the previous record for the day (86°F set in 1915) and with it due to stay in the high 70s and 80s for another two days, it must qualify as an Easter Summer again.

Whether E5N1 remembered it from last year I don't know, but he certainly didn't waste any time as you can see from the video and he continued to have fun throughout the day.

Tomorrow temperatures will probably be back down in the 70s. I can't believe I'm saying that - I was still wearing a winter coat to work on Thursday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 2.104: Mystery no more

Well I know that most of you have been beside yourselves with excitement about the mystery animal from Day 2.095. Well I can now reveal that his name is Peter and he's...

a rabbit of course!

Here's a belated group shot from that day.

Thanks to you and all who made us so welcome during our visit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 2.103: Edwin Edwina Erika...

...or "TomKat vs Brangelina" or perhaps "The Curious Case of Mr/Ms Salt"

It seems that Tom Cruise is in town. Or maybe Angelina Jolie. Or maybe Brad or Katie? Actually I have no idea if any of them are here, but if any of them is - it would most likely be Ms Jolie. She is the star of a film currently in production called Salt, taking on a slightly-adapted role originally intended for Tom Cruise.

This gender-switching drama seems particularly appropriate for the anniversary of Shakespeare's death. One of my colleagues greeted me, with his heart on his sleeve, informing me that we should try to use as many of his phrases as we could today. I gave him short shrift and sent him packing informing him that that way madness lies.

This is where they will be filming. Apparently this atrocious interchange is a reasonable stunt-double for some rather busier roadways in Washington D.C. Who knew that bridges have stand-ins?

The yellow crane just visible in this shot is probably part of the film-crew's equipment. It would seem that if you want to make movies, you come to Albany...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 2.102: Gold leaf, red flag

The girls have been quite excited to look for these leaf skeletons since our return. I assume that they are falling from the trees as the new season's leaves are forming. It's a bleak sign of spring, but quite a beautiful one.

On the day we flew back here I had a weather warning email - as a result of lack of rain, low humidity and strong winds, there was a risk of wild-fires.

What's so special about Hamilton County - you may ask...well, it goes on:

Today has been mostly dry, tonight there may be snow showers on high ground. Friday is expected to be the first day of the year with temperatures in the 70's. Saturday is expected to be the first day of the year with temperatures in the 80's. Even if it gets a top-up tonight, I think the snow's days may be numbered.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 2.101: Rainy day fun

It was a bit British out there this morning. Clouds and drizzle. Not that it dampened anyone's spirits. The girls were on very active form while we waited for the bus.

And E5N1 hoped that he might finally get to catch it while they weren't looking.

(he was back in his own wellies today!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 2.100: Did you have a good trip?

It's not surprising that I've been asked that question a few times today. The answer is yes - we did have a good trip. I'm very aware having arrived back of the people we didn't see and things we didn't do, but we definitely had a good trip. Here are a few pictures from just one day.

Jet-lag update: not too bad last night and better today. Still a little way to go though - as you might be able to detect!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 2.099: Sunday best

E5N1 loves being outside at the moment. This causes us some difficulties because we have no fences and an occasionally busy road outside. When someone is willing to supervise him, he can be out the door in a moment these days (winter clothing no longer required) - his choice of footwear (e.g. above left) is not always what we would have chosen for him. We did get him changed into a pair of new-to-him shoes before we went to out church gathering. We may be extremely casual, but there are limits!

We've done better today. Tomorrow is the real test - back to work and school.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 2.098: Marking time

It's felt a bit like we've been standing still waiting for this day to run its course so that we can try to get a good nights sleep at night tonight.

In the process, we have inevitably been marking the time. Is it lunchtime yet? No. Shall we have lunch anyway? OK.

We also managed a walk at Five Rivers (pictured) and I took the kids to the playground where they were energetic and I was not.

Now, about that night's sleep...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 2.097: Flight/fight?

We have had a fairly smooth journey. Rather long of course. Actual travelling time (door to door) was about 16 hours. Considering we were flying west across the Atlantic - this view of the eastern North America coastline is slightly surprising to me, but that may just be my addled brain.


America welcomed us home in style with the crowds gathering for a Red Sox game, and this glorious sign outside the stadium.


Time for some sleep.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 2.096: Let us out!

Yesterday E5N1 had a great time shutting himself in this little playhouse and then making out (maybe truthfully) that he couldn't open the door again. He is pressed up against the window partly in his desire to get out, but mostly because the house was not in use for play when we arrived but for storage - he only just had room to stand up in it. Interestingly, the article he chose to bring out after his first foray was a potty - maybe he's trying to tell us something.

Today has been a rainy day - the British weather trying to see us off without too many regrets perhaps - but we had a good time this morning swimming at the home of friends of my parents and the rest of the day the kids have played quite nicely while Exile #2 has been packing and I have been helping my Dad with some last minute IT issues.

Tomorrow will be a long day for us. Hopefully tomorrow's post will be written from home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 2.095: Rocking, drôle, withal

We had a very nice day with friends in Cambridge today. The five children played very nicely in the garden and at the park (our local one when we lived here). The weather was very kind.

The kids rocked...

And found it very amusing...
Very nice indeed. On the way back, we drove past our house (someone else's home though) and had a chat with the next-door neighbours.

Two puzzles for you today. First a mystery animal - I wasn't quick-fingered enough - are you quick-witted enough?

And secondly, it's the landmark pop pun 100 for title watchers. Hello sunshine, goodbye rain!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 2.094: History lessons

I remember walking around Oxford with my Dad when I was a student there when he realised that the Second World War was longer before my birth than the First World War was before his. I wonder what similar revelation I might have later in E5N1's life. I'm reading about the inter-war years at the moment in an autobiography of an acquaintance of both Dad's and mine (but completely independently). It is a period I knew very little about.

After we found Dad's old slides a week or so ago and I photographed a couple using my own camera and a battery-powered hand-held slide viewer (this was one of them), he was persuaded to buy a slide scanner to start to digitise his collection (something over 1400 slides plus some of his father's and then maybe some print-film negatives). The scanner arrived at the end of last week, but I helped to get it going today and got some pretty satisfactory results. We've been scanning pictures from 1962 so far - a wonderful glimpse into the past enabled by the technology of today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 2.093: Day 27.218

We've had a really great day with old friends C & B (of a little over 27 and 20 years standing respectively). The weather was kind for time spent in the garden and at the park. We picked up as if we'd seen them yesterday. We had in fact - for an Indian/Thai curry extravaganza after the kids were in bed last night!

This evening we caught up with the Doctor Who special and the last in a three-part Red Dwarf special - neither the best of its kind, but both good fun.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 2.092: Found-ational!

We had a little Easter Egg Hunt in the garden today - a little piece of America we have brought 'home' with us.

The other day Exile #2 and I went into an Off-Licence (Liquor Store). "Hello" said the man behind the counter. "Hi, how are you doing?" we both said in unison. Followed by an embarrassed reaction as we realised our pleasantries were on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

Happy Easter from the culturally confused!