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New friends and other events

It took me a while to emerge from under the pile of emails after a protracted absence from work. But I did emerge from that battle victorious, if in desperate need of another vacation. Nice trips, I always found, have an annoying quality of appearing insufficiently long, when recalled after just a couple of days of routine, work, school, etc…

Anyhow, the beautiful Tuscan weather not exactly followed us to the cold shores of Great Britain, but sort of seeped in anyway. For the last few days, it’s been sunny and bright in London, a bit chilly in the mornings and at night, but very inviting during the day. I remember in the late 90’s, me and a group of coworkers would take a stroll during lunch hour along Park Avenue on a day like this, drinking in the sun, surveying shortening skirts and discussing whatever hot topic captivated us at the moment… Ah, good old times!

We went to a French restaurant in Soho last night, with new friends. They are relocating to London from Brooklyn and, in search of information, came across my blog. Emailing ensued, followed by a dinner out during the house hunting trip of theirs. The company was excellent, the restaurant pretty good too. A couple of bottles of Haut-Medoc and a superb selection of cheeses for dessert went along quite well with a conversation on many different topics. We did not exactly close the place, but we were there for nearly four hours. For a non-banquet type of a dining affair, that must be my personal record.

Too bad the guys will most likely be living somewhere north-west of center. Bad for us, not for them. St John’s Wood is one of the best residential areas in London, quite close to the city center, urban enough for those who dislike suburban living, but away from most of the tourist noise, with great parks and overall pleasant ambience. We were thinking about that area ourselves at first (it also happen to sit on the Jubilee line of the Underground, which goes directly to Canary Wharf, where my offices are), but turned away from it, because living space to rental price ratio is many times lower over there than in suburban Greenwich area where we reside. We cannot figure out how to manage with less than four bedrooms, but we now know a few families – albeit a bit younger and certainly more urban in their makeup – who manage quite all right. Long story short, yet another couple is going to reside diagonally across the city from us, which will surely make maintaining relationship complicated.

On a different tangent, this was a first time that we truly have walked around Soho at the end of a working day, and the place is happening. Pubs are packed, restaurants are impossible to get into without a reservation, tons of people on the street. Very cool!

For those keeping score, I was out after work on Tuesday for a couple of beers with a colleague visiting from New York. Just a couple, honest!

In other news, our electric shower pump (see about water pressure for reference) developed a terminal case of broken-itis and is being replaced in a few days (at landlord’s expense). In the meantime, taking a shower is an everyday adventure under a weak trickle of water.

Another item in need of repair, CD player in the car (we did not realize it right away, but it was only playing the right channel and nothing on the left) was fixed by the dealer with thousands of apologies for missing the problem during the vehicle check-up before delivery. While the car was serviced, we got to drive a loaner with only 125 miles on it, and that was a pretty good ride as well.

At the conclusion of today’s post, I feel compelled to say something in regard to the horrible thing that happened at Virginia Tech on Monday.

Guns make it awfully easy for a deranged person to kill people. You can sermonize all you want that “guns do not kill people, people kill people”, but the fact remains, a psycho would not be able to cut short lives of dozens of people in a short span if not for the institutionalized enablement of the Second Amendment. This guy was probably determined enough to get his guns on the black market, if needed. But we surely made it way too easy for him.

The Second Amendment is unlikely to ever get repealed, meaning that guns will always be easy to get. I think it is a sad commentary on the American nation that it considers something that stopped making sense a hundred years ago sacred.

I have no intention of turning my blog into a political forum, and I plan to limit my political statements to exceptional cases such as this. If you, my reader, would like to debate the topic with me, please email me directly.