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[Comments] (5) My weekend, an essay, by me. : This weekend was a double bank holiday. I think it's so weird that here we have Good Friday and Easter Monday off work and in the US, where people are much more religious generally, there's no holiday at all. Separation of church and state I guess. Go figure.

This weekend was also my first paid time off ever! I normally work Tuesdays and Fridays but last week I was so sick I didn't even think about it till I went in for the first day on Thursday. But they just said not to worry about it since I would receive bank holidays in proportion to how much I work anyway and sick leave too! WOW! This whole getting paid not to work is totally new to me.

To celebrate the bank holidays and also make up for the fact that Christina fell ill so her visit and our joint birthday celebration in Prague fell through, I went with my friend Jenn to stay at her parents house in a small village in Norwich. Her parents work at a DODDS school at a nearby USAF base. This is very exciting because it meant we could go there and buy American things. Technically, that shouldn't happen, so I won't tell you about the iPod shuffle (for running! Galinda dies after about 20 minutes these days), pair of jeans, enormous jar of Skippy, bags of cheetos, and other American goods that I didn't buy, in dollars and tax free. Yippee! It was kinda like being in a really crappy stateside mall, but you know, beggars can't be choosers. Actually it was really great. Being in an American grocery store and knowing I could buy whatever I wanted and not have to carry it on a plane. Wheat Germ, Cream of Wheat, hot sauce, goldfish, etc etc etc.

I spend most of the weekend meeting random people, easter dinners and pampered chef parties, snuggling with Jenn's dog, watching Pride and Prejudice and reading Julia Quinn novels. All very healthy activities I assure you! We had big plans about running and bike riding but it snowed all weekend so it wasn't really good weather for stuff like that. The snow as the most amazing snow I've ever seen! I always thought the snowflake image was some kind of myth but actually... these snowflakes were huge!! Inches big! I've never seen anything like it! But I am from California and easily impressed. Charming I'm sure. It was really nice to be in a home for a while, with yearbooks and 10th grade English projects lying around, baths and endless cups of tea. It was also nice to be surrounded by yee merrie green hills of england with charming village greens and stone churches and cute pubs and what not. I loved just gazing at the woods as we drove through them. Jenn kept saying it wasn't the prettiest time of year to be there but it was beautiful to me! I mean, I love London but all this constant citying makes me really appreciate countryside and open skies when I see them. I guess growing up in the middle of nowhere I can't really do without that for too long. It's like sunshine. I always took it for granted when I lived in California. Being here makes me appreciate it soo much more. I really notice when the sun is out.

Unfortunately for us they tend to use bank holidays for engineering works, so we had to take a circuitous route to get back to London. However ten minutes into the train journey and the ticket lady told us our tickets weren't good since they were through Cambridge and because the rails are privatized (boo hiss Thatcherites) it's a separate company operating the route we were planning on. But the line from Cambridge to London was being worked on! So in the end we had to get off at Ely, sit on a rail replacement bus for 2 hours, and then get on another train at Royston which took us to King's Cross. Actually it wasn't too bad. The bus wasn't anything luxurious, just a requisitioned double decker but because we got on at Ely with one other person instead of at Cambridge with the rest of the population of London, we hoped up to the top and had the fun front top seats so had a great view of the country lanes we twisted and turned through. Or as much as the headlights showed. It did end up taking like 2 hours longer than it should have.

What with our frantic commissary purchases and all of Jenn's stuff she was bring back (one of her flatmates moved out and took the entire flat with her) we had two heavy suitcases plus some so I took the bus with her to help her and then just stayed the night, going back after work to get my stuff. So all in all I didn't get back till this evening. Pretty adventurous stuff. I really had a great weekend. The one bad thing about relaxing holidays is you never want to leave. When you are frantically busy sightseeing or whatever the thought of going home has some appeal to you but when you are laying in a conservatory reading romance novels with a dog at your feet it is hard to want to go back to London. However here I am and I think my laundry is ready to hand out now.


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