Friday, March 15, 2013

Confusing weather, hangouts, and more assimilation

Kenz and I made it down to Bermondsey Square last weekend and happened upon yet another pop-up market. You can't throw a stone in London without hitting a market of some sort. Doesn't matter if it's only 35 degrees outside. 

So, of course, we browsed

Apple & Blackberry pie! And we didn't get any!

Homemade pasties

We wound up getting some lumps of shredded beets and carrots meant to be shaped like burgers. I wasn't sold on them, but they were gluten, wheat, dairy, and sugar free. This is what my life has come to, I was thinking, as Kenz placed the goods in our bag.

I was reminded of my Dad, looking at me about ten years ago when Melinda had started him on a diet, saying (tongue in cheek), "Well, David, I guess I just have to get used to a lower standard of living."

Children waiting to surprise their parents at a tube exit.

On Saturday, as Kenz stayed home to finish up some schoolwork, I headed out to the Royal Academy for cream tea with Owen, his mom, and his dad. It was his dad's birthday and Sunday was Mother's Day in the UK. I assume that's pretty convenient for Owen - he'll always remember the two events happen back-to-back. 

Owen & the birthday boy

The honored mother and I (sneak attack picture!).

This was the only picture I took while inside the restaurant, like an idiot.

The two of them were in London to go see Owen's sister, Jane, play in a concert that evening. We got to hang for about an hour before they headed out for a stroll through Hyde Park on their way to the show. Hanging out with Owen's parents is never not awesome.

Luckily, Owen is fun to hang out with, too. He came over Sunday morning for a big 'ol English breakfast. We cooked pork loin, eggs, bacon, and beans. And (for you, Kara), we had water, coffee, and apple juice. It was all sorts of yum and fun.

Laughing at how absurd this breakfast is...

Kenz stuck with the eggs, hot sauce, and apple juice. 
Compulsory FaceTime break:

Speaking to MOMA & Tom in NZ
As you know, MOMA & Tom are in NZ. Before they went, Tom claimed that he'd be bungee jumping if they found a place that does it. "New Zealand is the capitol of bungee jumping," he'd say, "I'm going to do it. Oh yea, I promise." I didn't doubt him, but I'd forgotten his claim. The above picture is of MOMA recounting the story of his jump - sure, I had a better picture of the four of us, but this one shows the raconteur at her best. Just the story was impressive. But, we learned there was video evidence as well; if you're interested, click this link (video is 2 minutes, be sure to check out his impeccable technique - the lack of hesitation, the swan dive jump, and the yawp that appears to be emanating right from his gut. I'm not sure I could pull it of - certainly not with his form.).

There was yet another installment of FaceTime Uncle, Lucy edition:

Honestly. Those cheeks. Absurd.
I'm still finding little nuggets of interest while walking around town:

It's the pink porch furniture that really sets off the theme of 'Flamingo Relaxo'

This movie just now hit cinemas in London. Strange. Sometimes we get the movie at the same time y'all do, and other times it's as late as 3 or 4 months.

I walk by these two cars every time I go to the gym. The car on the left reminds me of the 'hearse' from Harold & Maude
So, about this weather. On Monday, it was sunny and a delightfully warm 50 degrees. Kenz and I both enjoyed time outside. She went to an outdoor beer garden with friends as I sat by myself in Burgess Park. Spring had arrived, and we were soaking every minute of it up. Even the emergency helicopter hung out in the park before it returned to the center of town.

To further the assumption that spring has been on its way, I've noticed the sun rising earlier:

That's a 5:30am sunrise, folks! 
Then, it happened. The clouds returned. The wind arrived. The rain fell. The cold was heightened by the humidity. By Wednesday morning, I was standing at the bus stop, wondering if I'd ever been as cold as I was at that moment. I couldn't bring an example to my head.

We had to tape our window shut because of the 30mph winds.
It got worse. Kenz and I have 'storage heaters', which are fixtures on the wall that contain a set of bricks with an electric coil running through them. From 11pm to 6am, the heaters turn on and the bricks store the heat for the ensuing day. Apparently, it's more energy efficient.

However, what it means in practice is that if the weather warms up and you wind up turning those heaters off, then when the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse, you've got no heat the next day!

This was Kenz trying to absorb the remnants of heat from the one (of four) heater we'd left on 'low'.

It even snowed on Wednesday. Big 'ol fat chunks of snow.

Luckily it didn't stick, but it looked like a blizzard for about two hours.
Working from the house was a bit challenging. Despite wearing four layers, a toboggan, and two pairs of socks, I never could get my fingers warm. I know it seems like a luxury problem, but when you type for a living, it takes its toll.

Remember those shredded carrot and beet 'blobs' that were supposed to look like burgers? The ones I thought couldn't taste worse than they looked? Turns out they were delicious. Good enough for us to plan on returning to Bermondsey Square for a re-up.

Clockwise from bottom: Brussels sprouts (Michael Gibson recipe), shredded carrot blob, and tarragon chicken. Thanks, Kenz! 

Beetroot blob

Random picture. Who wouldn't trust the artists' rendering? Ah, Walworth Road...home, sweet home.

Lastly, assimilation, cardigan edition. Never thought I would wear one. 

That's it for this week. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for reading.