24.8.05

What you're missing on the BBC



our new favorite show. it's a spectacle, yes (ooo..good pun). the guy has even written a book!
But you can't help liking Danny Wallace in "How to start your own country" on BBC2. it's a reality tv type show that follows this 27-year old guy who looks like he was one of the proclaimers (a self quote) as he meets with royalty and groups like the SAS (second amendment sisters in the US) to figure out how to properly build his country. Yes, he is King and it is located in his flat in east London. The kid even went to Pentagram to get his country "branded." A proper flag and coat of arms and a name which hasn't been decided on yet. It's subtlety educational (did you know the UK has no formal written constitution?) while pointing out the differences between leaders and the way the do things (more like question why they do the things they do..) War and guns are banned of course in his country and there are dance moves to his national anthem! Check it out for yourself: http://www.citizensrequired.com/lmg/site/index.shtml

Sail Amsterdam






We happened to be there during Sail Amsterdam 2005. An event that takes place only every 5 years. Really it's about boats, boats, ships and boats. New ones, old ones, the biggest boat we have ever seen to the smallest. It was a gorgeous day and we drank Amstels and Heinikens and watch the madness from the docks. Everyone who owns a boat anywere nearby was in the parade - that was basically one big party! enjoy

19.8.05

Nederlands







I simply love Amsterdam. I think I love all cities with canals and water b/c i grew up in the swamps of louisianne. The Netherlands much like La. is below sea level. They call them dikes instead of levys. Windmills and dikes everywhere. They must have the most modern energy windmills per capita of any country. The Dutch government has made a pledge to create 20 percent of the nation's energy using windpower by the year 2020. Very progressive! We were on the road a lot here and visited Breda, Utrecht, Rotterdam & Groningen as well.

*I love how everyone bikes - although you hate it when your in the car. You actually have to give bikers right of way? Wha? Not a practice we americans were used to. Driving was a bit like a scary video game.
*I love all the design and furniture store. I love their innovative ideas: a store is not just a store, it's a second-hand clothes & furniture store, a design forum and you can get your hair cut and styled. The furniture is beautiful & simple, made of wood or plywood. Their openness and way of life is progressive. Granted the city center does have it dirty downfalls/red-light madness, etc. But I think it's nice.
*The Lloyd Hotel, where we stayed, epitomises Amsterdam. It's an old converted detention center....into a hotel and "cultural center" .. very utilitarian and with lots of communal open spaces for design and community meetings. furniture is just stacked up down the halls. lot's of surprises too! check out what's in the closet? ha. very Dada. you walked through the bathroom to get to the room (shower and toilet in the middle of the room) no closets .. hang your clothes on the wall...and lamps that were magnetic - move them where you need to. nice.

15.8.05

Cows in France go "MEU"






After a narrowly escaping the Gendarme (poohpah2 had to pay them off to avoid jail) admist yelling our heads off at each other... we arrived in Normandie.

Near Pont l'Eveque - a town named after a cheese or visa versa. The land of sparkling cider (yes, 6% alcohol) and calvados, not wine. Amazing food thanks to our dear hosts....the most wonderful croissants and bread we have ever had, those ones at the supermarket simply won't do anymore.
*You have to buy bread fresh every day or it will go soft.
*NEVER use the bread knife to cut cheese.
Moules and frites is my new favorite meal! You get up and go to the market every morning for fresh food, you take a break for a "proper" lunch and then you are not hungry till dinner. Beautiful countryside, friends that live in castles, picturesque villages and traditional architecture with thatched roofs...so lovely! Poohpah2 and I are thinking of purchasing a small traditional old home there with lots of trees inside, a 4th home, yes, yes.......

12.8.05

Channel crossing





Crossing the channel on the "chunnel"...it's a tram not a tunnel...wha? Loading up the car into the train car. Sit and wait. Then VOILA! France dahling! We are driving our english rent-a-car with the steering wheel on the wrong side to a country where they drive on the "right" side. Should be interesting.....

10.8.05

One Yank down






We've lost a good yank out here. Team America won't be the same. Here are some pics from the last night out in Soho. Farewell Pete!

7.8.05

Sunday in the city






St. Pauls church, Millennium bridge over River Thames, Typical Sunday Roast at the pub, Tate Modern museum - Frieda Kahlo exhibit....which was amazing!!!!

3.8.05

Tea Time

Living amongst the world's second biggest tea drinkers...I've learned a few useful tricks of the trade.

* Always use freshly drawn cold water; then warm the teapot.

* It is better to have the chilled milk massed at the bottom of the cup, awaiting the stream of hot tea. This allows the milk to cool the tea, rather than the tea ruinously raise the temperature of the milk. This can cause milk curdling.

English prefer the english breakfast tea almost always and you are hard pressed to find an array of herbal teas as we are used to. It's best with milk and a bit of sugar. Esp. if beautifully presented with lovely little sandwiches, sweets and scones. On the scones, you are supposed to smear on the butter (or clotted cream) and jam...yum. If you come visit, I promise to take you to tea! Ritz anyone?