Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tea & England

Saturday afternoon I was finally able to get together with a friend for tea.  We had a great time!  There's a little tea shop in the area that serves some pretty good food and tea.  Now I'm partial to Harney & Son's tean, but this place was fairly decent.  I had a Peach Blossom White tea, which was very good for a warm summer afternoon.  I also had one of their berry crepes...and let me tell you...its probably a good thing I don't go there too often or else I'd be a lot bigger than I am right now.  :-)

We apparently had more to talk about than we originally thought considering we didn't get to talk about books at all and we talked for nearly 4 hours!  We'll definitely have to do it again soon.

On the way home from the tea shop, I started thinking again about the trip to England.  My friend and her husband had made a trip there last year and loved it.  I think I would like to go again with my husband just as a nice vacation instead of a work trip.  On the drive home, I did happen to recall all the "odd" things in England:

  • Public Restrooms - in the US, pretty much wherever you go there's a public restroom available...free of charge.  Now, most of the restrooms aren't exactly "clean" but in a pinch, you can use the bathroom.  In England at the train station, you had to pay to use the restroom.  Now it wasn't a whole lot (I think maybe 15 or 25 pence), but I thought it was really weird to have to pay to use a bathroom.  This is especially the case when the bathroom isn't really that clean.  I've seen gas station bathrooms that are cleaner than this one at the train station and that's saying a lot considering most gas station bathrooms are pretty disgusting.  One would expect that if you had to pay to use the bathroom, it would at least by clean.
  • All bathrooms - so the other weird thing..while still on the dirty topic of bathrooms.  The toilets in England were DEFINITELY not water savers.  When you flushed the toilet, I think the water came from the ceiling and about 10 gallons filled the bowl then washed away.  You got used to after a while, but the first few flushes really catch you off guard.
  • Friendly people - onto a better topic.... ;-)  One of the great things while we were traveling around was how nice other people were.  We didn't have many maps with us and the roads over in England don't typically have street names, which made things even more confusing, so we got lost a few times.  However, people in both London and Durham were always very nice and helpful in giving us directions.  In the US, people would just as soon not talk to you or give you the wrong directions and then laugh when you went off in the opposite direction of where you should have been going.  It was refreshing to have so many people willing to help you.
  • Walking - I completely understand now why so many British are thinner than Americans....they walk EVERYWHERE.  The oddest thing was that even though they would walk miles to various places, all the women wore fancy little shoes with high heels.  One day I wore my work boots (dress boots) to class where we had to walk 1-1.5 miles.  My feet were killing me that day and I ended up wearing sneakers the rest of the week.  I don't understand how these women walk so much in such little shoes that have no cushioning and no support.
I think that's all the random thoughts I remember right now.  On the way back from the tea place, I ended up taking a detour in the development that we were considering buying into last year.  There was a 2-acre lot at the end of a cul-de-sac that we had put a deposit onto, but since we didn't sell our house, we gave up on it.  Since I was in the area, I decided to check it out.  Its amazing how many new houses they have built in the past year.  The lot we were considering now has a full house on it and people moved in.  I'm definitely glad now that we decided to wait (even though at the time I was pretty upset that we had to pass on the place).  The side yard on the lot was very steep and I'm assuming the backyard probably was, too.  These people basically only had a side yard and that's where they had a kid's playset.  So much for having a 2 acre lot...they could only use the first 1/4 of it.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good week.  My week at work will be very hectic with most people out on vacation.  I'm essentially doing another person's job this week by checking their drawings and getting none of my own work done.  It will probably take me another 3 weeks to dig out of the hole once that person comes back.  Of all the weeks for him to take vacation!

I'll post on some quilting progress later this week! :-)

1 comment:

YarnKettle said...

On the topic of friendly people, we were trying to find a street so I could go to a yarn shop. We had to ask a couple of times if we were on the right path. Mind you this was after dark down by Waterloo station. The last people we asked were an older couple, he gave the directions while the wife stood uneasily by. After he finished she looked me in the eye and said "Be Careful" in such a stern voice. I promised we would but I think she ay still be worrying about us to this day.