Friday, October 26, 2001


Tuesday, October 23, 2001

The Holly and the Ivy... There's holly everywhere. Holly bushes, holly hedges, holly trees. The only holly I've seen in Canada has been plastic Christmas decoration. Such a strong-looking leaf, almost like armour.

We were planning on going to see Stonehenge Sunday with Yoshie's friends Katherine and Sarah, and Sarah's young daughter Charlotte. Yoshie wasn't feeling up to doing long walks so she stayed at home (probably glad to have the flat to herself for a few hours.) Due to a late start, a dead car battery, and pouring rain we decided to go to Hampton Court palace instead. Very neat place. I was awed by the Henry VIII state rooms, imagining partying with 'enry in the Great Hall. I think I mentioned before that I'm a sucker for old stuff. I kind of lose interest after the Elizabethan era. The garden maze was fun too. Charlotte guided us through. I was completely lost.

Tomorrow we get to look at all the cool toys in the labour and delivery rooms at the hospital. Should be fun. And before I leave, a snippet from the Insight Guide to England: "...Jeremy Bentham, who founded University College, London where his corpse, fully clothed, still sits in a glass case in the entrance hall." This I gotta see. When I excitedly mentioned it to Yoshie she just calmly said "Oh yes, I've walked by it."

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Hmm, went from the normal sleepy 80 hits/day to 5000 hits on Oct. 17. Looks like there's a link to the Sillycon Valley Tour Page from,24330,3354160,00.html. Unfortunately is down at the moment so I can't see what the fuss is about. But I'm sure it's not flattering. Then again, I get what I ask for when I publish to the web.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

I forgot to mention dinner. We went to Belgo near Chalk Farm. Many varieties of belgian beer, mussels, rack of lamb and an international staff dressed as trappist monks. Our monk was a trainee from South Africa. Life doesn't get much weirder on a Monday night. Tuesday night we learned about the many options for pain relief during childbirth. It seems like most women use two, three or more! Next week - tour of the labour ward. Oooo verly scarly kids.
Ahhhhhh broadband. Like having a long cool drink after trudging through the desert, sinking deep into the sand with every step. The comforts of home are slowly coming to us. All of a sudden, our world is starting to revolve around babies. Midwives, ultrascans, crib shopping. Yeah I know, it's the least interesting topic if you're not (or if you're too) involved with it but this is my journal so deal with it. Special note for Yuka: There is a carefully protected cat statue next to the Whittington Hospital. It seems one of the more famous mayors of London (in the 14th century, man is this city old!) had an equally famous cat. The hospital was named after him. The mayor not the cat. But it's the silhouette of the cat, not the mayor, that's on the main sign for the hospital. Does anyone know if blogger has a spell check? I had to paste this into an email to spell silhouette properly.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

An unusually warm and sunny day here. Unfortunately I spent it inside working and waiting for people to return my phone calls. We've been here six weeks and we still don't have permanent internet access or our belongings from Canada. It's almost enough to put you off moving. Ok not really. The coolness factor of being here makes it all worth it.

Our first anniversary was last weekend. I'm still baffled and amazed at my good fortune. One year ago we were kicking around Kauai, now we're lounging in London. Saturday evening we went out to Rules for dinner. "The oldest restaurant in London." The fillet of bambi was quite nice, but the best was the sticky toffee dessert. Oh gawd was it good. The restaurant was in an area between Trafalger Square and Covent Garden, and the nightlife was just beginning as we took the tube back home, eyes and bellies heavy with sleep and good food.

Tuesday was our first of four ante-natal classes. This week we covered "how to know when it's time to go to the hospital." The class was fairly large and run by the Fortis Green (our local area) team of midwives. It seems midwives are the norm here, unlike Canada. Next week we have fun with breathing techniques. Here's something I didn't know before: if the umbilical cord falls outside of the mother's body (as it does for 1 in 3000 pregnancies,) she should immediately get on the ground on all fours and keep her rear high in the air until the ambulance arrives. They will put her on a stretcher and transport her to the hospital in that same position. Ok everybody, start practicing...

Monday, October 08, 2001

The number one bestseller this week in the land of Blake, Shakespeare and Dickens: Learning to Fly, Victoria Beckham.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Chestnuts keep falling on my head. And rain, lots of rain. Had a nice dinner with a former teacher/colleague of Yoshie's and a masters student of his. Most of the talk that I could understand was comparing Japanese, Canadian and British lifestyles. Browsed some bookstores on Oxford Street and then took the tube home after not finding what I wanted. Now I gotta psyche myself up for another round of "Motivate the Movers." I'm not cut out for this, passive aggression just doesn't work over the phone.