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Category: Chronicles

Back from КСП

Combining an outdoor outing with an important staple of our newly-congested social calendar, we went this weekend to the semi-annual КСП festival. КСП, as I once mentioned, is loosely translated into English as Author-performed Song Club. It is a cultural tradition widely spread amongst ex-Soviet intelligentsia: Gathering together around a…

Tree-chopping

High winds in New Jersey. A big branch split off a tree at the edge of our front lawn. Natasha always had a lumberjack fantasy. Not what you thought!     By the time I came home, she already talked a neighbor into taking a chainsaw to the thickest parts……

… and a pond

We have a nice pond with a little waterfall and fish in the garden.     It caused us quite a lot of pain in the run up to closing the house purchase. We’ve been given several versions of the events by various sources, and were finally able to piece…

No-car commute

An unexpected hold-over from my days on British Isles – I don’t use a car on my commute. We now live only about a mile away from the nearest commuter bus stop. So I walk. My stop is one of the major ones on the same service that I used…

In my own bed

Sleeping in my own bed is nice. It’s not just the fact that we bought nice and soft new mattresses, which are a huge improvement over anything that I remember sleeping on in my life. It’s not only the quiet neighborhood, the chirping of crickets – or whatever the little…

Moving in

I haven’t been wearing my pedometer today, which is a pity, because I must have hit a new daily record with all running up and down the stairs. The movers are here to deliver our old stuff. The stuff that largely has no place in this new house of ours.…

It happened!

You’ve noticed, no doubt, my general reluctance to discuss our house hunting and purchase beyond vague allusions to things not going too smoothly. I’m going to rectify that now. Why now? Well, it is with a great amount of relief – satisfaction, I hope, will settle in later – that…

Weekend notes, 08/24/09

Our weekends have gotten back to what we consider “normal” for us very quickly upon repatriation. A dinner outing with parents. An idle get-together with friends by the pool. A mixed kids-and-adults party in celebration of some occasion. We have not had a single Saturday or Sunday in the last…

Sleeping like a log

A number of my friends heard me in recent months complain that I had started to have sleeping problems. Old age, I’d say. No matter which ungodly hour I choose to go to bed, it would take me at least an hour of tossing and turning to fall asleep. And…

A little apology

My regular readers will have to forgive me for being mostly incommunicado these past days. Those whose personal web pages I regularly read myself will have to doubly forgive me for being continuously absent for the longest time. And those who expected a phone call from me arranging for a…

More adventures in air travel

I don’t know what Meg Ryan felt – she was on the same flight with us, but on the lower deck, – but we were quite miffed with how America greeted us. The plane departed on-time, and everything was going on swimmingly until after all preparations for landing were made.…

Day #1032

I can’t escape the feeling that I may never be back. Come on, you say, this is London you are talking about, surely a restless traveler such as yourself will come to London as a tourist eventually. Hmm… I don’t know. Except for Scotland, which we practically left aside, we…

Last time in Central London

Our last weekend in London. Our last visit to Central London. Do you think that London did its best to collaborate weather-wise on such an occasion? Nope. Could any more lines of National Rail and the Tube be suspended “for planned engineering works” on the only day that we had…

Kimmy the Swimmer (redux)

Continuing with Kimmy’s activity farewells, she had her last swimming lesson. During which she had to pass an exam. A 200 meters medley: Backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, free style, 50 meters each. In one go! She passed with flying colors. The swim was not timed, but according to eyewitnesses – Natasha…

A dream fulfilled

I have been working from home quite regularly in the last ten years or so. Not having to suffer through the commute at least once every couple of weeks, if not more frequently, is both a perk and a fairly common arrangement in technology1. I always had a dedicated “home…

Preparations, 07/07/09

It is a bit eerie how fast a house full of assorted belongings and various junk becomes a house full of neatly stacked boxes. Three guys showed up at our door this morning. I gave them a brief tour of the land and they went about their business. Just a…

Stray observations, 07/01/09

Busy at work, plus various relocation-related errands, phone calls and what-not. Less than frequent blogging, as the result. The temperatures have been pretty high in London the last week or so. Not too hot. Warm-to-hot, cooling down nicely overnight. But in a house without any air conditioning, it gets quite…

Back to London, for the time being

As I mentioned in passing at least once, I can’t sleep on planes. Sleep, to me, is an exercise in tranquility, with no ambient light, no nearby movement and definitely no unaccustomed-to sound allowed. Ability to adopt the most favorite pose for falling asleep is a key component of the…