I like to ride my bike…
A couple of months ago, the lord got his mountain back stolen, in truth it just disappeared from the shed at home.
This sparkled a renew interest on his part to have a bike. We haven’t used the bikes for ages, we didn’t ride at all while in Brazil, despite having visited about 100 shops to try and buy one.
And I only learnt how to ride a bike a couple of years ago, anyway.
When a was a young girl, my dad had lost all hopes to teach little girls how to cycle, having previously failed with my sister. So, growing up and staying in one of the largest cities in the world, I never really had much interest in learning. I thougth it would be impossible to learn.
But somehow I started to feel rather left out, everyone was cycling here and there. So, I borrowed an old trasho bike from a friend and set to the park in front in my home, with the lord.
He tried holding the bike and running behind me as we see dads doing… It didn’t work. People around tried to help and chip in with their advice. That just made things worse.now I was embarrassed as well as self-conscious and scared.
Finally, the lord came up with a breaking through idea. I should treat the bike as a scooter and try to balance.
Then I strated to balace on the bike long enough to try to put my foot on the pedal, and soon enough I was cycling.
I am still wobbly. But since we bought new folding bikes, I have been cycling a lot, and have even strarted to do so on quiet roads on weekend days.
I want to aim to use the bike as means of transport.
It’s so annoying to wait for the bus and so very nice to ride my bike!
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Yes, it is not quite like the film “Chicekn run”, but I have agreed with demasiadoego to train and take part in the 10KM run in Mexico City on Christmas eve.
In Mexico, it is traditional to celebrate with lots of food and drink on the 24th, and not so much on the 25th.
I am quite glad that this Christmas I will have no remorses, since I would have exercised a lot, come dinner time.
In preparation for that, and since there is only 3 months for it, I went jogging yesterday, for the first time in ages…I felt sooooo heavy. I was able to only run for 5 minutes.
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It’s official. After a week of collating documents, translating Brazilian bills, writing letters and filling applications, we had our interview yesterday afternoon with the immigration authorities in Croydon.
We had this romanticed and naive idea that when they said we had to pay £950 for premium service, it meant we would be received in a plush office, and we’d have to explain a lot of things face to face. It wasn’t the case.
On the positive side, I was told I had scored 22 out of 24, in the “life in the UK” exam, which is been nicknamed “Britishness test”.
In any case, after handing our documents and passports…and waiting for a while, I was granted my residence permit. Stuck to my passport and with my photo!
Now I only have to start paying a lot of attention to the weather, and complain about it all the time.
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Those of you that visit this neighbourhood often may have noticed that all of a sudden I am posting quite often.
This is due mostly to the wonderful new application for wordpress I have downloaded for My iPhone.
This way, I am able to write whenever and anywhere I want.
The only restriction is that I do not seem able to write in Spanish. I’m sure an update should soon correct that.
So, please, come more often.
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Yesterday I went out to celebrate the Mexican day of independence. In true Mexican style, I only planned this night out last Friday. I convinced the lord and our German friend to come along. I don’t have any Mexican friend. (actually just recently, I contacted a woman who runs a Mexican social group, but we haven’t yet meet).
We arrived uncharacteristically early, but we failed to get a table. I got a chair.
We ate two tacos each. Cochinita pibil and pastor for me and the lord. It was delicious. I drank countless coronas and one pacifico.
The music was all pervasive Mexican party fare, lots of norteno music, some Molotov, I danced a bit with the lord and a lot on my own.
At 11pm, we all shouted: viva Mexico!
We waited absolutely hours for the mariachi. But it was worth it.
I almost cry when they finished with Mexico Lindo y Querido, si muero lejos de ti…
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Over the course of the weekend, the Thames south-embankment tranforms into huge outdoors festival. London is always teeming with festivals, and surprinsingly given the unreliable weather, outdoor festivals remain very popular. As long as it is not absolutely flooded with rainwater and the winds are not gale-strong, the English know how to enjoy the outing (I trust so would the scots and the welsh for that matter, but I have not observed them in any considerable number).
But yesterday it was sunny. And quite warm (for mid-September). So it was not too difficult to round up a few friends to go to the Thames festival. The lord had mixed feelings about it (flegmatic as he is, he was finding troublesome to feel enthusiastic about sharing the space with thousands of people). I managed to convince him and off we went to watch the Tango shows, right under the shadow of Tate modern.
It was a badly designed stage, at floor level. That is also tipically English. No-one complained too seriously, though we all voiced our ideas, of how this or that other could have been better that way.
So difficult it was to watch the dancers that after around 20min, we decided to wander off… Too many people meant that we were forced to abandon the river front and take the backstreets. London is quaint and beautiful at places. We were stopped by a couple of middle aged Americans wanting to know where they could get Fish and Chips around there. My English friend felt heart-warmed by this.
On Southwarkbridge there were two huge banqueting tables, with hundreds of golden chairs, like some sort of outdoor communal wedding party. There even was a Mariachi band (three people that is). There were quite popular with the feasters.
It was one of those rare ocassions Londoners have a sense of togetherness. Nobody was too bother by the crowds ambling along. People would even chat with strangers.
Away from London, there is this feel of community all the time. The post-office is more of a social club than a service provider. You must do small talk in the queue and at the counter. In country paths, the walkers greet each other. People have got the time to chat and be nice.
Last week, when we were “forced” to walk around Exeter, we meet a little old lady that insisted on chatting to us and even invited us round to her house. That belongs to a by-gone era. We declined, but she still took us round her garden.
Should we had accepted, no doubt a cup of tea would have been offered. Tea has such a place in British life that it deserves its own post.
But away from the cities, you can be pretty sure of only finding instant coffee, so better stick to tea.
The city of London is fast-paced. People don’t have the time to look at each other, let alone chat. But at the riverbank, on sunny days, it feels accepting and magnificent, calm and vibrant at once.
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I am writing this from a train from Exeter to London. When we left for a short holiday in the countryside, there was three of us. And no need for a train.
We had been waiting for the summer all summer. Last Sunday, as the weather forecast predicted yet another dreadful rainy windy week, we decided it was high time to leave London for the greener pastures of the southwest.
We dithered and wobbled. The lord was not entirely convinced he wanted to visit the patental home unless there was guaranteed sunshine. There wasn’t , but as the start of the academic year looms in the horizon, we seized the day and packed our bags. An hour later we were on the road. Wanting to make the most of this “green and pleasent land” we meandered through smaller roads, visiting Eton and Windsor and finally Winchester. It was all fine. I even found the last house where Jane Austen lived.
We were happy. Me, the lord and the car, la machina, were ambling along nicely, learning the history of Harold, the last anglo-saxon king and William the Conqueror, all courtesy of wikipedia and the iPhone.
Then, it all changed. La machina started to make a terrible noise and could hardly climb the hills.
We made it to Exeter. Only just, it appears. The next morning we called the mechanic to take a look at the engine. It was pronounced near defunct! This morning, the lord took la machina to the scrap yard. He got £70 in exchange.
All that remains of that once powerful little master of the Italian motorways, is memories.
I console myself thinking that it will become a compact square of metal, which in turn will re-in-CAR-nate in another car!
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