Posts Tagged: London

In Transit, or Fare thee Well

Mon 04.25.11 - Oxfordshire countryside as seen from the Great Malvern train to London Tue 04.26.11 - London Paddington on way to LHR

Tue 04.26.11 – I am at Heathrow nice, bright and early for my flight back to LAX, so here is a set of photos taken with my Nokia N8 in the last 24 hours. I have more photos from UX London, this weekend in Oxford, and yesterday’s golden light hour toddle around Kensington Gardens to post for you all when I get home.
While I love all of you, next time I am not coming to London during school Spring/Easter break. For as much as staying for the Royal Wedding might be a great spectacle, in the bread & circuses sort of fashion, I am escaping… ((O.o))
I want to say an EXTRA BIG Thank You to Family Hicks for a lovely weekend, to the nice folk at Clearleft (esp. Sophie & Andy) for UXLondon, and all the friends and colleagues I met up with while I was in London. You all made this trip. Thank you.

London, Week 2

Walking through Leicester Square
View while waiting for Mobile Monday to start Sunlight in Bayswater A Plane Tree and its Shadow Conker Flowers Red Pants, Purple Shoes, Oxford Street Michal at Vibe LJ and her new Sony Ericsson Xperia Brick Lane, Wednesday Night Chris Katie and Meg Duck Attendees of the Firefox 4 launch party, London A truly Rare Occurrence - An Empty Tube Car An Evening Stroll

All photos from Week 2 of my stay in London have been taken with my Nokia N8 from Mon 04.18.11 to Fri 04.22.11.
This week was a mix up of meetings, meet ups, work, and resetting my self with walks in the various parks. This week was overly warm by my standards but my London friends were excited that California weather had reached them in April – shorts & t-shirt weather. By mid-week, I started to regret being here during the British and European school Easter/Spring breaks, as it was somehow even more crowded than high tourist season, so I did my best to avoid the tourist spots.
I don’t know if it was the heat, or the students on break, or what, but London felt like it was going to erupt in riots all week – a very jangly feeling. Today the tide changed, as the students mostly seem to be gone and have been replaced with adult couples on a long weekend break – much more laughter tonight.
Tomorrow, I go off to Oxfordshire to spend the combined birthday weekend / Easter with Family Hicks. Then back home to California early next week.

A Sunday Afternoon in Chelsea

Hywel and our lunches at the Chelsea Gardener
Wisteria Abloom The same wisteria climbing in another direction Tulips Fallen Petals Hywel Pigeon and Sloane Square fountain

Last Sunday, April 17th, I met up with the lovely Hywel Reed for lunch and a wander around Chelsea. I have not spent much time in Chelsea, other than having to once get on the Tube at Sloane Square, so it was good to wander in and amongst the lanes, take a stroll on King’s Road, and go to the Saatchi Gallery, as well as sit in the garden of the pub that has the supposed largest pub garden in London. As you can see, Chelsea was awash in spring flowers.
Big thanks to Hywel for lunch, the tour of his neighborhood, and for the lovely afternoon. All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8

London, Week 1

Tulips in Hyde Park
Spring Green Dinner with Dan, Thayer, and Chris (not seen) Andy Tweeting the Session The London Eye, as seen from Hyde Park Spring Blossoms Reading The Circle Line arrives
Photos from my first week in London taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8 from Tues. 04.12.11 to Sat. 04.16.11. Photos from UXLondon and the day in Chelsea with Hywel coming up next.

A Few Tasty Links for Your Fourth of July Enjoyment

It is 12:41pm here in Seal Beach, California, socked in with the dreaded ‘June Gloom’, aka the Marine Inversion Layer, and it is chilly for a mid-summer day at 66F/18C and there is a bit of wind. The Sun has made no effort to come out for a visit. Hopefully, old Sol will burn the clouds soon.
In the meantime, here a few nice links for your Fourth of July reading enjoyement…
How America got its name: The suprising story of an obscure scholar, an adventurer’s letter, and a pun

When Ringmann read this news, he was thrilled. As a good classicist, he knew that the poet Virgil had prophesied the existence of a vast southern land across the ocean to the west, destined to be ruled by Rome. And he drew what he felt was the obvious conclusion: Vespucci had reached this legendary place. He had discovered the fourth part of the world. At last, Europe’s Christians, the heirs of ancient Rome, could begin their long-prophesied imperial expansion to the west.

Nick Patrick on Did Americans in 1776 have British accents?

Reading David McCullough’s 1776, I found myself wondering: Did Americans in 1776 have British accents? If so, when did American accents diverge from British accents?
The answer surprised me.
I’d always assumed that Americans used to have British accents, and that American accents diverged after the Revolutionary War, while British accents remained more or less the same.
Americans in 1776 did have British accents in that American accents and British accents hadn’t yet diverged. That’s not too surprising.
What is surprising, though, is that those accents were much closer to today’s American accents than to today’s British accents. While both have changed over time, it’s actually British accents that have changed much more drastically since then.

The Tyburn Angling Society:

Nonetheless, in addition to a regular circuit of dinners, drinks, and fishing outings, the Tyburn Angling Society is committed to resurfacing the ancient stream — still theirs to fish, they argue, by a never-repealed royal decree. “You could have people fishing by the river in the middle of Mayfair,” Jim Bowdidge told the Evening Standard, “We would get the Wild Trout Trust to get the habitat right for small wild brown trout. Properly done, we could have salmon.”

John Scalzi on Status Check, Re: USA:

The 234th birthday of the United States of America is a fine time to check in with one’s self about how one feels about being a citizen of this country, so today’s question: Am I proud to be an American?
I am. The United States, like so many things, is better as an idealized concept than it is as an actual entity, on account that the nation is made up of people, and while most people mean well, in a day-to-day sense they struggle with their ideals, which are often so inconvenient to their desires. And so, like a married family-values politician with a Craigslist personal ad, or a vegan Febreezing the apartment so no one will catch the smell of bacon, America often finds itself failing its own expectations for itself and others.

Last but not least, the quote of the day from Kevin Lawver:

Happy “Crap, We Lost Some Colonies” Day, Brits!

Update! 12:54pm on 07.04.10 – The Sun is doing his job & is burning through the clouds, Seal Beach now has some sun, some clouds, and is still chilly. Wahoo.
Happy Fourth of July!

Putting a Face to the Flight

Driving west on Ocean Blvd to downtown Long Beach

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

I am going to file this under the category of “oh, california” when really it should be under “oh, serendipity”….
This weekend is the annual Long Beach Grand Prix, of which I had forgotten about until this morning when I went to walk the dogs and could hear the sound of screaming engines 7 or so miles away across the Long Beach bay.
Mid-morning I got a call from my brother Joe, asking if I would pick him and his girlfriend, Christine, up and drop them off in downtown Long Beach so that they could go to the Grand Prix. Sure, I said. Off I went, picked them up and dropped them off in front of the Convention Center on Ocean Ave so they could buy tickets.
About 7:20pm, this evening, I got a call asking if I could pick them back up. This evening’s pick up was a bit more elaborate as all of downtown was one big party zone, with streets blocked off and cops re-routing traffic. When I was finally able to get to Pine & 1st Street it was in the wrong direction from our pick up point and I had to yell out the open window of my car to Joe & Christine who were talking to another couple.
Luckily the light was red and they all ran across Pine Ave to jump in my car. All four of them. I was introduced to the other couple who needed a ride down to 2nd Street, which was on the way. The man of the couple was sitting in the middle and he looked vaguely familiar, when he spoke his voice was also familiar.
As we drove east on Ocean Ave down to 2nd Street, it came out that my passenger was a pilot for one of my favorite airlines and not just any pilot, but he flies two of the most prestigious routes LAX to Tokyo and LAX to LHR.
Yep, LAX to London-town, my favorite non-stop. I then asked, “Do you fly the flight that goes out of LAX at ____ and departs LHR at ______?”
He said, “That’s my plane.” He then went on to tell me various bits and ask when was the last time I flew that route, and yes he was the pilot on many of the flights that I have been on the last few years. We also agreed that the long-long haul flights should all have wifi and where he thought that flying economy was rough, I disagreed because I am short and if the airlines has a power port in economy, then I am happy, though I would be happier with wifi. etc.
I dropped him and his companion off at 2nd Street and said goodbye. As my brother, Christine, and I drove home, I geeked out and giggled a bit.
My brother, “Why are you so happy?”
Me, “Well, I love to fly to London. Love it. I love that flight and it is so nice to now have a person and a face to the faceless people behind the locked door flying the plane.”
My brother, “Oh.”
Me, “And best yet, it is much better to find out that one of your badass Glamis friends is my pilot on my favorite flight than some boring suburban dude, as he will most likely know exactly what to do in the case of an emergency.”
My brother laughed at this.
No really, I love traveling but after 9-11 flying has gotten very un-fun, so it was delightful to meet a pilot who flies my favorite route between LAX and London who is a friend of the family and is a really nice, cool guy. A guy that was at the Grand Prix, a guy who is a part of my brother’s Glamis pack of friends, a guy who pilots planes between LA and London and LA and Tokyo.
This makes me happy.

Goodbye Malcolm, and Thanks for All the Punk Rocks

Signing of the Sex Pistols record deal in front of Buckingham Palace

Thurs 04.08.10 – Fare the well to Mr. Malcolm McLaren. Thank you, kind sir, for many years of hijinx, punk rocks, and making London new & sexy after the great 30 plust years of post-Empire & WWII hangover.
I first was exposed to the fruits of Malcolm’s mind & labors in 1981 when I was a wee 13 year old going through some tough family times. I spent most of the end of 1981 and all of 1982 lamenting that I was 5 years too young to have experienced the punk revolution in 1976 in London or Los Angeles myself. So, I did the next best thing, I jumped into OC/LA’s music scene in 1982 as a fresh, idealistic 14 year old.
As an adult, I can now appreciate the trickster, rebel, and calculated businessman that Mr. McLaren was. And I still have a fondness for red haired men in plaid