Wednesday, April 23, 2008

St. George's Day

It came and went without me even getting to inquire about the day, let alone celebrate. (That pesky work schedule again).

Long story short: today is St. George's Day in the UK. Exactly what is it, though?

Little is known for certain about the saint's life, but he is thought to have been a soldier of the Roman Empire from Cappadocia, in present-day Turkey, who was executed after refusing to persecute Christians. The story of him slaying a dragon that was terrorizing a village has been circulating since the Middle Ages. He is the patron saint of several countries — including Germany, Portugal and Georgia, which is named for him — as well as the city of Beirut and the Boy Scout movement.

St. George's popularity spread from the Middle East to Europe with knights returning from the Crusades, and he came to be regarded as a protector of English troops. In 1222 religious leaders in England — which was then Roman Catholic — declared a holiday in his honor, and by the end of the 14th century he was seen as England's patron saint.

So there is the history, but what exactly happens on this day in England (which is different than the UK, in case you had to ask). While April 23rd is St. George's Day, England's national day, it's not a public holiday. For decades it passed largely unnoticed — a far cry from its rowdy Irish counterpart, St. Patrick's Day.

Londoners gathered Wednesday in Trafalgar Square, beneath statues of imperial lions and military heroes, to celebrate England's patron saint — a third-century Turkish soldier who supposedly had the power to slay a dragon but likely never set foot in Britain.

OK....a patron saint that is not wonder the holiday is having trouble taking root.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I did it.

I could not help myself. I entered the lottery for the London marathon. Won't know till October if I get a winning spot. The London Marathon organizers take 120,000 applications (which should fill up in a few weeks), and then allow about 37,000 runners or so to actually run in the race.

Fingers crossed...either way, it is going to get me moving again...I am definitely a goal oriented runner.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Flora London Marathon

We were watching the London Marathon on TV today. Made me REALLY want to be out there running...think NYC marathon times 5 in terms of atmosphere, race coordination, and fan support. Who knows....a good goal to shoot for and I am overdue for marathon #12....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A little R&R

The blog went silent of late because yes, the Budman and I actually had 5 days of R&R in Scottsdale, Arizona, courtesy of the Hachie Gal's company. A little recognition event, if you will, for a rather rigorous (or insane) last 15 months of my project.

In no apparent order, our quick US trip included these highlights:

(1) R&R at the Phoenix Fairmont Spa and Resort
(2) sun, dry heat, and a gorgeous pool
(3) naps every day
(4) spa action - massage to be precise
(5) shopping trip to Target...don't knock it until you can't get it on a regular basis
(6) a Wendy's hamburger
(7) private concerts for the company night it was Chicago, the next night it was Lionel Ritchie
(8) great meals
(9) the gratis aspect of the trip - FAB-U-LOUS
(10) an email and mobile free 5 days from work

Pictures to come shortly...

please explain

What exactly is a "yummy mummy". I am hearing that phrase everywhere in London....some hip UK lingo that I am clearly not aware of since I am (1) not a "mummy" and (2) apparently not "yummy".

Translation, please.

what is that called?

Went into a store looking for English muffins the UK, no such thing exists. Well, technically, the product does exist but under a different name, white muffins.

Sounded kinda weird until the Budman mentioned that everywhere else on the planet, those things we call hot dogs in the US are called American hot dogs. OK...I get it now.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Furniture update" update

We are now officially exploring the "removing the balcony railing to get things onto the second floor" strategy. Landlords have been approached and the idea was not shot down immediately. We may actually have a solution to getting that Chinese cabinet upstairs...



Well, I am a definite public transportation commuter. Tube and bus most mornings and evenings resulting in a round trip commute of about 2 1/2 hours. Two tube trains and a bus exchange and I am at my office. Thanks to some colleagues in my office, I have been properly trained.

I have seen quite a few things in my short time of commuting...but I am trying to blend in and look like the locals. I read my paper on the train, I have my Oyster card, and I definitely "mind the gap".