UK

Last days at home, at work and in London

Time is simply flying by: this time last week we were cleaning the flat and packing up the last of Dayna’s stuff; now we’re staying at Dayna’s place (she’s in Wales) and have finished off just about everything we need to (“closing the loops” as Dee says)! So yeah, we cleaned our place on the weekend, and finally moved everything downstairs to Andy’s on the Monday night. (We’ve had the report back from the independent inspector now, and he comments: “Professionally cleaned” — yah!) I headed over to Willesden Green with Dayna on Saturday and got to check out her flat — small, but well apportioned and very cute. A loft bed over the front door makes it feel like […]

Football, fish and (green) fairies

As our time left in London grows ever shorter, we seem to be cramming more and more into each moment. Only natural, I guess, but it’s been hard on our sleep patterns! Last week I went to my first football game — Fulham vs Stoke City at the Fulham home ground, Craven Cottage. Andy organised it once he heard I’d not been any time in the five years we’ve been over here; I didn’t even get to a Rugby match at Murrayfield when we lived in Edinburgh! And so, after an early finish at work and a quick walk home, we boarded the train at London Bridge — 30 minutes later we were walking with the hordes through a lovely […]

Brains in jars

Six weeks and counting. We’re getting into the “spirit of travel” now I reckon — most of the house packing is done, so I can make a booking with the shipping company with some confidence that we’ll be ready for them, and start concentrating on our backpacks and gear. In the meantime we’re trying to spend quality time in London so that our memories aren’t all work, work, work. Which is why we caught the bus to Drury Lane yesterday and walked to the Royal College of Surgeons for the Hunterian Museum: a gory selection of skeletons and partially-dissected animals (and people!) collected by John Hunter throughout the later half of the 18th century. Hunter bought two buildings in Leicester […]

So much preparation

Well I think I’ve found all the WordPress plugins we might possibly need now, and so after a weekend and a day this travel journal is about ready to be used in anger (as they say – although who “they” are and why they say that I have no idea). Maps, twitter, spam-filters and the theme – all in place and ready for us to hit the road, er, tracks. Which is not to say that we are ready to hit the tracks, not by a long shot. Thanks to Dee’s hard work on the weekend, we have a good idea of times and trains for the “Orient Express” leg, all the way from London to Moscow; the “Asia” leg […]

Transhumanism at the Butcher’s Shop

The theme of last night’s Butchers Shop, organised by hip indy magazine Bad Idea, was transhumanism. We drank a little gin, then settled into the body-warm Victoria operating theatre for a little slice-and-dice of two short stories of human augmentation: in one, our narrator upgrades his heart; the other creates a xenographic sommelier with the nose of a canine. A little role-play, some heckling, then a chance for Matthew de Abaitua to wax lyrical over Paris Hilton’s doggy palace, peacocks and peahens, and consciousness as a evolutionary frivolity. The second half saw Cory Doctorow, Gwyneth Jones and the delightfully irreverent Ian Watson under the gas-lamps and answering questions about technological singularities, the nature of consciousness, humanity & identity and the […]

I can stay in the country, huzzah!

About 2 months ago my entry/work VISA for the UK expired; two weeks prior I sent it away for an extension. Today I got my passport back and breathed a sigh of relief! It’s hard to believe it takes so long! I mean, they certainly took my money quick enough — that was taken out of my account before the first biometrics interview. Worse, the application form warns that it can take up to 90 days, and that if you need your passport back before then they will cancel the processing altogether. Luckily for me, I was entitled to stay (and work) for as long as they had it, but with our next holiday coming up I was really quite […]

Relaxing in Wales – yn llacio i mewn Cymru

It’s day four of our holiday out of the city, and we’re sitting in the Hawk and Buckle Inn reading historical fiction, sketching architecture and writing weblog posts. It’s been incredibly relaxing. The town we are staying in, Llannefydd, is too small for even a general store. Apart from a handful of houses, there is the Hawk And Buckle Inn (where we are staying), a church and a primary school — such a cute wee school it is too! Strangely enough, the Inn gets busy of an evening! I think everyone in town drops in at some point during the night, although the combination of enormous amounts of good food, a bar that has Australian wine (especially after we spoke […]

Is it Friday yet??

It has been a long week this week, largely due to Dee’s work schedule: she’s been on the early-shift, which has meant getting up some time between 5am (on Monday) and 6:30am (by Friday) i.e. a case of finding exactly how late she can leave it to get to work by 7 o’clock in the morning. I’ve tried to get up at the same time, but I’m really not a morning-person. On the other hand, I’d happily stay up ’til dawn watching anime and drinking saké, so maybe my “range of consciousness” is just time-shifted a couple of hours. In any case, even not getting up at 5am has lead me to be tired at work, so I’m really looking […]