Monday, March 19, 2018

British Snow-Wimps

I thought I'd left all this behind. Snow and cold, that is.

Actually I'm not complaining. This so-called cold is not nice but it's positively balmy compared to what I've experienced in Chicago. I've written about it often, but the cold in Chicago makes your nostril hairs freeze. I remember once telling my brother that it was minus 40 with the wind chill factor (which is the same in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit) and he said "That can't be right, that's a walk-in freezer." Yup.

I used to walk the dog looking like I was either going to scale the west face of Everest or rob a bank. You decide.
I've also experienced snow that was feet rather then inches deep, although the roads where I now find myself are more treacherous as they're narrow and not ploughed. My little Mazda isn't the best car for slippy roads.

What I wasn't prepared for was the utter panic by Britain in general. I mean I grew up here. I remember it snowing when I was trying to get to school and by golly, we just walked. (And it was miles.) I realise I'm sounding like an old codger, but since when did Britain become such a nation of wimps?

Actually, I found this on Twitter and it made me chuckle. It's spot on. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hurrah - Words I Can Say Again

Having spent so long in the USA, I'm now enjoying the words and phrases I can say with gay abandon - without getting strange or blank looks.
And writing about it at Anglotopia, so pop over there and have a read!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Repat Life - So Close to Rome!

Been a while eh? I'd love to say I've been rushed off my feet doing exciting things but most of it's boring domestic stuff and that's mainly because the teeny dryer's on the blink. So now, not only do I have to do five millions loads of washing (because one load takes two pairs of man jeans and a towel), I now have to dry everything the old fashioned way - on a clothes horse. While I don't mind a bit of line drying, it's a myth that it saves electricity because you then have to iron everything. Said jeans are so stiff they could cut you, and the towels are positively brittle. 

But I lie. We have been making as much use as possible of our proximity to European cities and last week hopped over to Rome.  I'm still pinching myself that you can be in so many fabulous places in a matter of hours. From Chicago, if we wanted to go somewhere that wasn't even colder in the winter (I'm looking at you, Canada), we had to fly at least three hours - and we were usually still in the USA. I long ago nixed a long flight if we weren't going to the destination for more than a week, and a time change of more than a few hours? Forgeddaboutit. 

So Rome was perfect. On everyone's bucket list, two hour flight, one hour time change, never been. I have actually been to Italy quite a few times since my childhood, and have visited Venice, Florence, Milan, Rimini, Genoa and Portofino, - but never Rome. And my oh my, it's incredible. I'm used to old stuff. I grew up on the north east coast of England where there's an ancient castle every few miles, as well as that old Roman wall. I've lived in London where practically every street has something really old on it. I now live near Windsor Castle. Enough said.

But Rome? 

Apart from the UN Building which is opposite the Circus Maximus, I didn't see a single modern building inside the city walls. None of that "mid-century" modern stuff for Romans. As one of our tour guides said "I live in a museum". And a very beautiful museum too. 

I'd seen photos of the Trevi Fountain but I wasn't quite prepared for the size and the utter glory. According to the Ball & Chain, they've cleaned it up since he last saw it as well. I'm glad we didn't try to see it at Easter or in the summer as the marrow streets leading down to it were fairly crammed in late February.

Photo courtesy of Luxe Adventure Travel

We also did the Vatican tour (with Sistine Chapel), the Catacombs and the old Roman stuff. Here's my arty night shot of the Coliseum. 

Highly recommended if you're over this side of the Pond. 

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